Midlands Premier League
Luctonians RFC 45 v 12 Bridgnorth RFC
Saturday 2nd March 2019
Expectations were high for a reversal of previous results against Bridgnorth this season with them having beaten us twice; in the North Mids Cup and in the league at their place. And we were well rewarded, with the boys putting in an excellent shift to beat our local rivals, comprehensively as it turned out at the end.
However, the big crowd would not have been sure what to expect when the game started, with Bridgnorth playing with the infamous wind behind their backs towards the Clubhouse in the first half.
Lucs started well, and played with ball in hand to nullify any kicking game, and Isaac Fanueli was unlucky when he broke the line early, only for his pass when tackled to go into touch. The pressure was kept up and Bridgnorth often kicked to touch to clear the danger from their 22.
Our lineout set play though, was somewhat adrift and, all too often, we were picked off from the throw, the strong wind not helping. The scrum however was solid and it was to tell when we scored first. Drew Cheshire scurried over in the corner from quick work across the backs following a re-set when Bridgnorth were on the back foot (5-0).
Bridgnorth started to gain a foothold by using the breeze at their backs, and eventually got on the board when they capitalised on a penalty in the red zone for Luis Evitt to crash over. To be fair, they now started to play and added their second on the half hour from Ted Parker; this time Williams converting to give them a 5-12 lead.
It was beginning to look desperate when Louis Silver got shown a yellow just before half time, with Bridgnorth starting to look like they might add to their tally, but the Lucs boys showed their resolve and went through the phases to keep the ball in hand to see out the half without giving them opportunity to capitalise.
Half Time Score
Luctonians 5 v 12 Bridgnorth
Excitement, tense, as it always is in the back of the stand, the noisy Bridgnorth support was irritating, but all in the best of humour. However, they were soon quiet when a great move from Lucs when John Morris, Alex Smith, Will Burton and Isaac Fanueli contrived to put Josh Watkins away, and his fancy footwork saw the gap close to 2 points just after the restart.
5 minutes later Will Burton skipped through again from a lovely move across the back line and Louis Silver kicked the extras, the lead 15-12.
North were now under pressure and their clearance kicks were proving fruitless as they struggled to clear the halfway line. Drew Cheshire added his second, again from some smart work following strong forwards dominance, with Louis Silver kicking a beauty from the touchline to stretch out the lead to 24-12.
The restart came straight back as the kick fell short of the 10m line and Lucs took full advantage. John Morris kicked through and the gazelle like figure (poetic licence please) of Josh Watkins chased down the ball to give us another 5 points, with Louis Silver again popping over the extras. 31-12.
The tackling was ferocious throughout and it was on more than a few occasions the Referee had to intervene and have words with the Captains. I feel sure he could have used the yellow card, but he was on top of the game and kept it flowing throughout, even though we had more than our fair share of knock-ons. Records are being checked to see if Alex Smith broke a Club Record for the most in any one game. [Records Checked and, with only two, he wasn’t even close… Ed. 😉]
With Bridgnorth now looking out on their feet, the boys took full advantage to rub home their ascendancy and John Morris duly obliged 5 minutes from time when he rattled over. Again Louis Silver, who was on a roll, converted.
With time up, the chance to finish the game with a kick to touch was offered, but we had a scrum 5 metres out and, the yellow card to Norths Nicholls gave the boys the chance to really rub home the result. Aiden Cheshire drove through after breaking away from the resulting set piece to add the cherry on the cake, with the extras also being added to send the vocal and excited home crowd into raptures.
Full Time Score
Luctonians 45 v 12 Bridgnorth
Look on the Facebook page for The Final Try and turn the volume up, then visit all the others. This is what beating your local opponents means when you need a big result.
This win sets up the remaining fixtures as crucial and Away at Broadstreet next week becomes another must win, to stay with a shout of the playoffs.
Luctonians Man of the Match
They were all Stars today. My Man of the March was Callum Young, although everyone had great games.
Clubhouse Man of the Match went to Joe White who was also superb, especially in the front row against a big Bridgnorth front 3. The coaches concluded with me and Greggers, that Callum had a cracking game, displaying versatility, as he is usually a Hooker, today playing in the No 6 Shirt.
It has to be said the referee Mr Adams also had a fine day, controlling what could have been a difficult game, exceptionally well.
Tries: Drew Cheshire (14, 60), Josh Watkins (45, 62), Will Burton (52), John Morris (75), Aiden Cheshire (80)
Convs: Louis Silver (53, 63, 76, 81)
Tries: Luis Evitt (19), Ted Parker (34)
Conv: Llew Williams (20)
Josh Watkins, Drew Cheshire, Isaac Fanueli, Alex Smith, John Morris, Will Burton, Louis Silver; Alex Reid, Guy Kirkby, Joe White, Lawrence Breese, Conor Turner, Callum Young, Mat Hackley, Aiden Cheshire
Replacements: Connor Deignan, Owien Harriott-Davis, Rob Bengry
Gittings, Burgess, Williams, Bishop, Parker, Haisila, Bladen; Boyce, Evitt, Cave, Goulson, Madden, Breakwell, Rochelle, Nicholls
Replacements: Rogers, Hooper, Molitika
Mr Carl Adams
Attendance: 500+ There were a lot there !
NEXT – AWAY AT BROADSTREET – 9th MARCH
Travel arrangements will be in Lucsline during the week.
Be there and #MakeSomeNoise
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New Match Report Image based on photo by Nigel Mee