Being a foot of the table clash, Saturday's fixture against Old Northamptonians RFC was another of what is fast becoming a series of ‘must-win’ games. Broadstreet fielded probably their strongest starting XV so far this season, especially the Back Row with Stewart Hendry, Chris Zutic and Will Parkes all featuring for the first time together, a trio that would have been competitive in our National League Two campaign in 09/10 writes Luke Truslove.
The match got off to a quick start with Broadstreet pressurising the Old Northamptonians' 22 almost from the off and earning themselves a five metre scrum. From similiar positions last week against Mansfield RFC, Broadstreet failed to provide the penetration to convert these situations into points, however, Prop Ben ‘The Penguin’ Dawes threatened the Old Northamptonians' try line immediately with a destructive pick’n’go that fell just short of the line. A quick switch blind from Scrum Half Nick Thatcher found No. 8 Stew Hendry with acres of space and a number of supporting runners outside of him, however he took the ball on himself and crashed over two covering tacklers to score the first try of the match. Fly Half Scott Harman added the conversion. 7-0
Just before a quarter of the match had passed, Broadstreet added to their lead when they once more took advantage of five metre scrum. No. 8 Stew Hendry peeled off the back and rather than attempting to crash over himself as many, including the ONs' backline, though he might do – he fed the oncoming Inside Centre Ross Bayston directly whose well chosen angle meant that he ran under the posts almost untouched. Conversion Scott Harman. ON’s recorded their first points of the afternoon when their Fly Half Tom Goodman slotted over a penalty on 25 minutes. 14-3
‘Street added some further distance between them and the visitors when they scored their third try just before Half Time. No. 8 Stew Hendry turned over the ball in a breakdown just inside the Old Northamptonians Half and, without the ONs noticing before he had sprinted past their attacking line with the Try Line wide open in front of him, managed to gain thirty metres before two Old Northamptonian's players dragged him down. Unfortunately for them, Hendry offloaded the ball out of the tackle and Captain Nick Thatcher collected it to finish off the break with ease. Unfortunately Scott Harman missed the kickable conversion, prompting an outburst of exasperation from his father on the touchline seemingly convinced his son was a "tight shorted plonker" (or something sounding very similar).
HT – 19-3
At Half Time the fans did not need to be reminded that Broadstreet have shown spells of control that have earned them the lead before, however the league table doesn’t lie and they were aware that we may not see the same Broadstreet team come out after Half Time. Unfortunately, their fears seemed to be justified and a nightmare ten minutes from ‘Street allowed ONs to close the gap to just four points!
Firstly Centre Matt Love crashed over from short range on 47 minutes, taking advantage of poor fringe defence from Broadstreet around the rucks. Then ‘Street Full Back Jon Duncan was sin-binned for illegally slowing down the ball after ONs had almost scored again directly from the restart. This was compounded when after some decent pressure Broadstreet gave away a penalty at the resultant scrum, and nippy Scrum Half Matt Ireland took a quick tap and jinked over the line for a try. 19-15
Broadstreet however reacted well from the quick burst of scoring from the visitors and five minutes later, a slick interchange of handling from the Broadstreet Backs saw Fly Half Scott Harman bursting down the wing and heading for the corner. Unfortunately, a decent effort at a dive to the corner from Scott was thwarted by some dedicated covering tackling from the ON Backs and he was forced out just in time to stop what would have been a fantastic try.
With twenty minutes to go Broadstreet did finally manage to get themselves out of touching distance with a well deserved try from Nicholas Thatcher who was delighted to register his sixth try of the season. Ten minutes later he returned the favour to Hendry who had set him up for an easy try earlier in the match. A typical quick snipe from the base of the Scrum attracted more than his fair share of tacklers who brought him down inches from the Tryline, Hendry was there to catch the pop-up from the ground and he jumped theatrically over the line without the threat of any opposition. Scott Harman made light work of both kicks.
FT – 33-15
MotM - With a tireless performance at No. 8 which earned him two tries and two assists Stewart Hendry was a shoe-in for the award.
DotD - Despite the protests of Vince Harman who was adamant that Scott should receive the award for a dodgy cross field punt caused by too tight shorts, for capping off Broadstreet’s worst spell of play with a sin-binning, Jon Duncan earns the unwelcome prize.