Luctonians RFC 29 v 3 Preston Grasshoppers RFC
Saturday 30th November 2019
There was a chill air around the ground at Mortimer Park before kick-off for this interesting encounter between the Black and Whites and Preston Grasshoppers, with both sides looking for a victory to help their respective climb from the bottom end of the table. It was to be for Luctonians, who secured a valuable home victory against their fellow strugglers who have now lost 5 on the bounce and look to be in for a difficult winter, Lucs running out winners with an emphatic 29-3 victory.
Due reverence was shown prior to kick off with a minute’s silence in honour of two Luctonians who have passed in the last week. John ‘Puddy’ Ferguson and Phil Aston. Phil was often to be seen at games both home and away, always with a quick wit and an opinion, not least aimed at the referee at some point during a game. He was also a Womble and as Bryan Markham said to me pre-match, it is another of their crowd who will no longer meet on Wednesdays to do their bit for the club around Mortimer Park.
Back to the good news, Lucs’ win was based around a superb defensive performance from the home side, where in terms of possession Hoppers had most of the ball. However, Lucs were happy to keep their opponents deep in their half with an excellent kicking game, especially from Louis Silver who had an excellent game throughout. When their chances game to score they struck decisively to secure a well-deserved bonus point victory.
Seb Robinson opened the scoring after 10 minutes, following good work from Man of the Match Aiden Cheshire and Louis Silver, who also added the extras. Hoppers scored their only points when Ben Dorrington knocked over a penalty, this following yellows for Owien Harriott-Davis of Lucs and Murray for Hoppers for a lively handbags encounter. Lucs were awarded almost from the restart a penalty of their own, and Louis again knocked over the bar to give Lucs a 10-3 advantage.
Johnny Morris then ran in a fine second try following a swift cross field phase from Lucs on the half hour where their swift handling had Hoppers on the back foot. The game remained in a stalemate up to half time with neither side able make any telling score.
Half Time Score
Luctonians 15 v 3 Preston Grasshoppers
22 DRAW PRIZES for the Junior Netball Section Draw during the half time break. YES 22! Marvellous support for this ALL NEW section of the club which only started in September this year and is for boys and girls from 5 to 16 years of age. Let’s hope all the prizes were collected as the Clubhouse was as full to brimming as I have ever seen it on Saturday for the Hobsons Brewery Hospitality Day.
Hoppers started the second half on the front foot and although they had plenty of possession in Lucs red zone, the black and white of the home side stood firm, and when they broke clear they were clinical in attack. Louis Silvers’ alertness, again following a Hoppers scrum, was rewarded when he spotted Rob Crowley on the blind side and he slid into the corner to increase the home side’s advantage after 54 minutes, Louis adding the extras from the touchline with a superb conversion.
Guy Kirkby crashed through on the hour following another spell of excellent forwards pressure from the Lucs, Silver again converting to finish the scoring in what was a hard-physical defensive encounter. Both sides defended resolutely for long periods as the game clock ran down, with Lucs impressing with their standard of tackling and perhaps most noticeably their discipline where they didn’t concede any penalties in the danger areas.
Full Time Score
Luctonians 29 v 3 Preston Grasshoppers
A strong performance from the boys, which gives everyone confidence that next week’s long haul up to Wharfedale will give Lucs the opportunity to turn over their opponents in their own back yard. If you are going along, be sure to “Make Some Noise”.
Immediately following the game, the clubhouse, packed with Lucs, Hoppers, Eves (whose 2nds were playing our 3rds) and their supporters, together with some crazed bunch from Tenby wearing red baseball caps, were treated to some of the finest singing ever to be heard at Mortimer Park.
Recently, at an U16s South Africa Tour fundraising event, #BurkieTheBaker pulled a Singing Lessons prize from the hat and decided that he would put his win to good use. So, despite still recovering from a very serious illness, he gave his all, in front of a packed clubhouse, with a collection in support of the Under 16s #SouthAfrica2020 Tour. He’d already raised £500 on the promise. Some claimed, well just #TomoTheBuilder actually, that this was a promise to keep his mouth shut. Yes, the very same Tomo that totally overlooked our sponsors Avara Foods, when introducing the table occupants during the pre-match lunch.
Luctonians Man of the Match
Luctonians Captain’s Man of the Match
Referee: Mr Tom Bird
Tries: Seb Robinson (10), Johnny Morris (28), Rob Crowley (54), Guy Kirkby (61)
Cons: Louis Silver (11, 55, 61)
Pen: Louis Silver (25)
Preston Grasshoppers Scorers
Pen: Ben Dorrington (22)
John Morris, Rob Crowley, Drew Cheshire, Ollie Allsopp, Will Burton, Louis Silver; Tom Furnival, Guy Kirkby, Joe White, Conor Turner, Owien Harriott-Davis, Cameron Tawfik, Mat Hackley ©, Aiden Cheshire
Ryan Smeilus, Connor Deignan, Ben link, Sam Jones, Owen Randell
Jordan Dorrington, Tyler spence, Alex Hurst, Sam Stott, Scott Jordan, Ben Dorrington, James Gough ©; Noah Miller, Chris Taylor, John Blanchard, Ally Murray, Sam Wallbank, Ryan Carlson, Toby Harrison, Matt Lamprey
PJ Millea, Oga Mabaya, Luke Proctor, Jake Squirrell, Nick Gregson
Next week, Saturday 7th December, we travel to The Avenue, to take on Wharfedale RUFC
For all you dedicated supporters looking to see what the first team are all about and wanting to keep in touch, please go to our Facebook Page (click Here).