The long trip to Hull Rugby Football Club’s Ferens Ground was yet another stern test of character for Broadstreet Rugby Football Club’s talented young travellers and this week they passed the test with a dogged performance which threatened much more than the four point 15 – 11 win. On a dour, damp and misty afternoon both sides threw their all into a match which neither could afford to lose in the fight to escape the bottom reaches of the league and whilst the rain drenched pitch threatened to inhibit handling, to their credit, both sets of players put on an entertaining, if nerve jangling, performance to defy the elements.
‘Street had the first chance to score six minutes after kicking off, when they earned a penalty lineout five metres out, however, after several surges near the Hull line, the ball was knocked on and the home side cleared. Street maintained defensive pressure in Hull’s half and when a home forward lost possession giving ‘Street a scrum put in on the home ten metre line, the visitor’s phase play took them to fifteen metres out from where first-time fly half Ben Palmer broke through to touch down left of posts. Andy Murray sliced his kick wide, 0 – 5 and twelve minutes played. Hull’s restart kick went straight out so ‘Street attacked from the half way scrummage, but, having progressed into Hull’s 22 the ball was dropped in centre field with the possibility of a score looming. From the scrum Hull kicked high and long and gained a penalty at the catch melee. Centre Ali Heard missed from 35 metres out. The play see-sawed for a while with Hull keeping possession for sustained sorties into the visitor’s half, but ‘Street’s defence stood firm particularly at successive penalty lineouts and two scrums close to the try line. From a penalty inside their half, scrumhalf Nick Thatcher tapped and broke before offloading to number eight Jack Gibbons wide in the left hand tramlines and having reached the home 22 area, with a score looking probable, he was unable to stay in field when gang-tackled into touch to end the half.
Half Time: Hull 0 Broadstreet 5.
Half time changes saw prop Harry Pendleton replace Joe Foreman and blindside Alex Beddows on for Dan Martin. With Hull restarting, both sides took turns with possession in ‘Street’s half until a ruck penalty award after nine minutes gave Hull’s changed kicker, James Kirk a successful shot at goal, 3 – 5 but, from the restart ‘Street collected and went through several phases before Hull offended in their own half two minutes later, allowing Ben Palmer to cancel out Kirk’s three points, 3 – 8 with 13 minutes of the half gone.
There then followed an incident attracting interesting debate. Hull broke through and inter-passed sixty odd-metres towards the ‘Street line, where an attacker was tackled one-on-one short of the line. As he attempted to off-load from the ground, retreating wing Ashley Elvers intercepted/knocked the ball back over his own line, where it was gathered and a counter attack upfield ensued. Elvers was penalised and received a yellow card allowing Kirk to kick the penalty points for 6 – 8 and sixteen minutes remaining. [No ruck, no maul, tackle only; tackler and tackled on the ground: out of the game? – No knock on; open play? Whatever the reading of the situation, Mrs Freemantle would have been bemused, bothered and bewildered – as all were!]
One player down, ‘Street needed to up the ante and they did so by keeping play deep in Hull territory from the re-start. A turnover on the home 22 saw Jack Gibbons breach the defence and, with the assistance of Nathan Tilsley and Beddows, replacement scrum half Pierre Ferre took an inside pass to scorch over and round to the posts untouched. Palmer added the two points with eleven minutes to go to full time, 6 – 15. In an act of generosity, through a lapse in concentration, ‘Street allowed Hull’s thorny, sniping scrum half Oliver Hardisty to break and gallop from inside his own half. Kirk and prop Tom Price were commendably up in support for the latter to crash over in the right hand corner. Kirk was unable to convert, but now ‘Street had to remain focussed for the remaining seven minutes; still being with one player short and only four points the difference. Despite being in the ascendency in Hull’s half, the penalty count was one way in this period, forcing ‘Street to defend mightily and work their way back into Hull’s half after each retreat. Hull, enjoying possession, tried hard to break out of their territory, but ‘Street’s defence was more than capable as several defenders bundled a Hull ball carrier unceremoniously into touch to end play.
Full Time: Hull 11 Broadstreet 15.
Jack Webber; Jeff Gregson, Nathan Tilsley, Andy Murray, Ashley Elvers; Ben Palmer, Nick Thatcher; Joe Foreman, Mike Worthington, Jake Dodd; Callum Tucker, Matthew Solomon; Dan Martin, Jamie Harrop (C) Jack Gibbons. Harry Pendleton, Stewart Pearl, Alex Beddows, Pierre Ferre, Jack Howland.
Thought for the Game:
Caldy; “…. Broadstreet better than their league position suggests….”!
Hull; “…. we suspected that Broadstreet would be a much better side than their league position ….”! Lads, need more be said?