By grazzer, Aug 31 2014 04:48PM
Saturday 30th August 2014
Northwich 25 New Brighton 19
Northwich had their first competitive match of the season against newly promoted New Brighton at Moss Farm. This was the Quarter final round of the Cheshire Vase and with all to play for, both sides were well prepared.
With a number of key players missing the Blacks were understandably cautious prior to the kick off. This caution was immediately dispelled when Mike Gallimore gathered early position and ran the ball at the visitors with drive and purpose. When New Brighton were penalised at the breakdown Gallimore pounced and from a quickly taken penalty he broke the gain line. The recycled ball was moved to Richard Dale standing in at fly half for the injured Dutoy. Dale saw a gap and scored close to the posts to give himself an easy conversion after only 5 minutes. The match settled down with both sides showing distinctly different game plans. The well drilled visiting forwards were comfortable holding the ball at close quarters, while the Blacks were happier in broken play. The Blacks displayed some stoic defence as the visitors tried to take control. However the home side took advantage of every loose ball to launch counter attacks. They were rewarded with a penalty after 15 minutes and Dale converted to stretch the lead. A new combination in the centres of Shiels and Edwards was beginning to take effect and on the 21st minute produced a fine try when the ball was moved quickly to the left releasing man of the match Simes for a great try. At 15-0 it looked like it could be a easy afternoon for the Blacks. This would prove not to be the case as the visitors took control. Their patience and confidence were rewarded with a well worked try on the 28th minute followed by a further converted try on the 39th minute after some uncharacteristic poor defending. The half closed at 15-12 with all to play for.
The second half began badly for the home side as the visitors took the lead after only 5 minutes with another try. At this point it looked like the Blacks had given everything and the home support began to resign themselves to defeat. With the visitors controlling territory and possession the Blacks defended for all their worth. With New Brighton on the attack the ball was spilled and quickly moved by the Northwich backs. Sheils made the decisive break feeding Simes who in turn fed Wilson to score a fine try, which Dale converted. With 30 minutes left the match became a nail-biting one score contest. It wasn’t until the 73rd minute that anyone could relax. The visitors conceded a penalty close to the line and Dale needed no second invitation to add the 3 points. There was still some defending to be done but victory so close it was clear the Blacks would not be denied.
The next match for Northwich will be the opening league contest against Anselmians at Moss Farm KO 3pm