Carlsberg don’t do Junior Rugby games, if they did it would probably resemble the match at Moss Farm this morning, blue skies, good pitch and nearly fifty lads engaged in a well mannered game.
Northwich were keen not to suffer a repeat of the demolition job that C & N dealt them at the end of the Under 15s season. An even start by both teams with Northwich enjoying some joy at the breakdown and in the scrum. C & N held the territorial advantage with most of their play inside the Northwich half.
Northwich elected to run the ball wide on their own ball. Quicker ball from Tyrrell at 9 through the hands of Gooch 10, Vickery 12 and Williams on his full debut boded well as the ball reached the wingers; C & Ns defence though was up to the job and smothered wingers Meakin and Hughes several times.
It was though C & N who turned their territory into points, a series of lineouts, scrums and other forward orientated engagements lead to Northwich trying to clear from under their own posts , the kick charged down with a C & N hand creating downward pressure the try was awarded, converted 0 – 7.
The half rumbled on with a high penalty count from both teams for infringements in the break downs and the odd case of verbals, meanwhile the coaches discussed the likelihood of car insurance premiums rising as the boys would be able to drive this time next year, the discussion also covered the safest place to park at Moss Farm, which after several instances of lofty touchline clearances it was evident that along the touchline of the 1st XV pitch was not the best place if you wished to avoid the odd blemish on your cars body work, nevertheless at half time it was still anyone’s game.
Five subs at half time, a couple through knocks and bangs which soon proved costly, the penalty count from the first half continued as the visitors fired over a central penalty to make it 10 – 0.
The departure of Gooch at 10 left huge holes in the back line for C&N to quickly score two long range tries, making it 24 – 0. The young blacks though never gave in and just like the The Six Million Dollar Man / The Bionic Man (Who?...Google him if your under 35!) we rebuilt him and Gooch returned to 10 and the stability from the 1st period was restored. Loads of rolling subs from both teams now and a penalty in front of the posts provided Dan Tyrrell the opportunity to get the Northwich tally underway. 3 – 24.
Next up comedy moment of the match as C & N took a five metre penalty the Northwich line all looked left and never moved…easy score through lack of communication. 3 – 29. Lots of scrums and penalties ensued with Northwich having the last word with a Gooch try starting from outside the 22, conversion missed, final score 8 – 29, yes a defeat, but a very encouraging performance and a 100% improvement on last week.
Man of the match is probably a tossup between Cameron Gooch and the impressive Tom Williams, with notable performances from Elliott Lambert and Matt Quinn. Many thanks to Steve Holding of C & N for officiating and doing a damn fine job of it.
Home to Aldwinians next week, a new team to us and a new challenge, Kick Off is 11.00 on the 1st XV pitch, I would advise not parking along the touchline!
Squad – Watson, Cole, Challinor, Wright, McPhillips, Lambert, Gorman, Lewis, Tyrrell, Gooch, Vickery, Williams, Hughes, Meakin, Bradley, Smith, Preece, Yarwood, Quinn, McEwan.