Midlands Premier League
Lichfield RUFC 19 v 80 Luctonians RFC
Saturday 13th April 2019
An away day to Lichfield beckoned, home to the only English Cathedral with three spires, for this the last game then of regular season in the Midlands Premier league. With a win required to keep the pressure on Scunthorpe at the top, should they have lost and we beat relegated Lichfield, then we would top the table and automatic promotion back to National Two.
As it transpired, Broadstreet did their very best to beat their opponents on the day and lost by ONE point, which ended up being the difference between our end of season and another potential game in the playoffs. So, it is to the playoff game we head, but more on this later.
It was a raucous arrival for club officials, players and spectators with hosts Lichfield holding their Ladies Day amid great noise, hooting, merriment and laughter from within the marquee. What’s this we hear, one of our number is acting as a waiter! A Small, stripped down to his ‘smalls’, adorned only in an apron, is giving the ladies their very own Chippendale act.
Pitch-side the scene was of anticipation, with the cool wind blowing in from the East, and not wind from our Alacadoo Robin East, who was there once again, as were many other regulars. Another full season I believe where he hasn’t missed a game, home or away. Season on season of devoted support for the Black and Whites. Top Credit to the man. Well Done Eastie!
The game kicked off with not good news from the Colts away in the National Cup Semi Final, however the boys here couldn’t dwell on that, as this game had to be put to bed. It didn’t take them long to get into their stride with Loz Breese over the line with only 3 minutes on the clock, and Louis Silver converting (7-0).
Lichfield responded by winning a scrum deep in Lucs’ red zone. The ball shot out and, from the loose ball, Drew Cheshire collected and ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts; Louis Silver again converting, and it was 12-0 after 8 mins.
From the restart, good work from Will Burton and Tom Pearson put Louis Silver away and we had 3 tries on the board and 21 points bagged after only 10mins with Louis converting his own try. My pen was now in danger of burn-out as, a couple of minutes later, Tom Pearson and Drew Cheshire combined to put the strong running Isaac Fanueli away and with Louis adding another conversion 28-0 made the game look all over for the home side, and Lucs looking likely to get a cricket score.
Credit to Lichfield that they stuck to their game plan and started to play some good rugby, with their backs moving the ball well and applying some pressure on our defensive line. But Lucs always looked dangerous with ball in hand and when Owien Harriott-Davis, who had a fine game at No.8, finished a flowing Lucs move after 23 mins, Louis again converting. It was all over with a now insurmountable 35-point lead.
Mat Hackley was off for a blood injury which brought Conor Turner into the fray for his last game for the Club before winging his way home to Canada. An excellent contribution he has given all season; go well young man.
And to rub salt into the wounds for Lichfield, Josh Watkins looked likely to add to his impressive try-scoring tally when he was put through, only to find on his shoulder Joe White (how did he get their so quick up against the speedster?), who dived over and at half time Lucs were 42 points to the good.
Half Time Score
Lichfield 0 v 42 Luctonians
What’s this we see, a fully inflated helium blown up ‘convenience’ doll, bedecked with balloons, floating away into blue skies, let loose by those scandalous ladies at the rowdy luncheon. I hear the Bishop of Lichfield was having palpitations as it narrowly avoided his Three Spires.
The Second half got underway, and Josh Watkins was not to be denied, adding to his seasons tally try No 31, following good work by Johnny Morris. And Louis missed the conversion! 47-0 and Owien Harriott-Davis scored again when he finished off what was possibly the try of the game when excellent interplay from Rob Bengry, Johnny Morris and Isaac Fanueli allowed him to touch down, with Louis this time adding the extras. 54-0.
Lichfield were rewarded for their persistence when their lively Greg Massey scored and converted (54-7) before Rob Bengry’s strength allowed him to drive over on the hour. He scored his second a few minutes later when diving over in the corner following good work by the forwards, before Drew Cheshire again punished slack play around the scrum, to pick up and pop over the line from close in. The score now up to 73-7 and still 10 minutes on the clock to play.
Louis Silver‘s interception catch above his head and run saw the score up to 80 points with his conversion. Lichfield then scored two late efforts from their impressive No 7, Callum Turner, to give them some respectability at 80-19, when the full-time whistle blew.
Top performance from the Black and Whites, although tailed off a little with game won, and credit to Louis Silver, a 30 point haul. I make it he has scored 80 plus points in the last 5 games, marvellous.
Full Time Score
Lichfield 19 v 80 Luctonians
All were waiting on events from Broadstreet. News had crept through that Scunthorpe had been 17-0 ahead but clawed back to 17-16, and that two Scunnie players were in the bin.
[Chatting to the Lichfield guys as they were forming the tunnel, they were urging Street on, “so we can end the day with a combined Relegation and Promotion Party”. Ed]
But it wasn’t to be. Scunthorpe held out to become Champions, and well done to them.
Geoffers’ Luctonians Man of the Match
You can’t score 30 points and not get a shout out
Luctonians Coaches’ Man of the Match
Tries: Loz Breese, Drew Cheshire (2), Louis Silver (2), Isaac Fanueli, Owien Harriot-Davis (2), Joe White, Josh Watkins, Rob Bengry (2)
Conversions: Louis Silver (10)
Rob Bengry, Drew Cheshire, Josh Watkins, Isaac Fanueli, John Morris, Will Burton, Louis Silver; Dan Powell, Guy Kirkby, Joe White, Loz Breese, Tom Pearson, Callum Young, Mat Hackley, Owien Harriott-Davis
Replacements: Giles Morell, Conor Turner, Tom Furnival
Once again all the action is up on the Luctonians BookFace pages from Greggers, apart from what he missed.
[Now hold on there. The boys have been told that tries must be at least 7 minutes apart in order for one to be uploaded before the next can be videoed. It’s hardly the cameraman’s fault that they can’t follow such a simple instruction. Ed]
So, it’s off to the playoffs for the Black and Whites. Still to be confirmed as I write, but probably will be played at Luctonians on Saturday 27th April versus Old Foe from way up North, Blaydon. Keep looking on the BookFace page for details.
[No need to wait that long. Confirmed. Ed]
Be there and #MakeSomeNoise
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Please note changes from initial lineup. Connor Deignan became unavailable, so Dan Powell ran out in his stead. Dan was replaced on the bench by Tom Furnival.