Broadstreet Rugby Football Club travelled the relatively short distance to Westleigh Park to take on a confident and full strength Leicester Lions RFC side aiming to capture a maximum five points against their lowly placed visitors. ‘Street had other ideas and came away with a gutsy away win 13 – 21 and did so with thirteen and fourteen players for most of the second half of the match, as they picked up four yellow cards to just the one issued to Leicester Lions in the dying minutes. ‘Street’s defence throughout the final quarter was immense and for that alone they deserved the win as Leicester Lions tried desperately to breach their visitor’s line. Both teams looked to play fast and furious and although declared by some as a scrappy game, the energy and determination displayed by both teams made for a tense and exciting encounter writes Bob Harcourt.
Lions kicked off deep into ‘Street territory and from resultant play took the first points from a penalty as ‘Street’s backs were caught off-side. Fly half Jonathon Boden kicked the three points and three minutes later grabbed a second as Leicester Lions turned tackle ball over in front of the posts, 6 – 0 with six minutes on the clock. ‘Street’s number ten Ben Palmer pulled one back after ten minutes play as a Leicester Lions lock offended at the breakdown; 6 – 3. ‘Street scored the first try when captain Beau Carney; deputising for the injured Jamie Harrop (and doing so magnificently, in leading from the front with a tireless display from open-side), made good ground from half way and quick hands found pacy winger Josh Palmer who touched down wide left. Brother, Ben narrowly missed the difficult conversion, 6 – 8. With half time five minutes away, ‘Street conceded a scrum penalty around half way and Boden boomed the kick into the left corner for a penalty line out. A catch and drive was halted but ruled illegally and ‘Street’s number six, Roan van Heerden, was shown the first of ‘Street’s four yellow cards. From the resulting scrum option, Leicester Lion’s Robert Young darted through the ruck guards to score under the posts. Boden converted the ‘sitter’ to give his side the lead again two minutes from half time.
Half Time: Leicester Lions 13 Broadstreet 8.
‘Street started the second half with a long kick and on recapturing possession, patiently worked the phases for a minute or so, and were rewarded when fly half Ben Palmer gave a short ball to number eight Chris Wood who pierced the defence to run in untouched from thirty metres for a well manufactured try. Palmer converted as ‘Street regained the lead with only two minutes of the second half played, 13 – 18. Three minutes later Palmer bagged another penalty, as ‘Street mauled their way deep into Lion’s territory, giving ‘Street a tenuous two-score lead at 13 - 21. ‘Street’s opportunities to increase upon that lead were substantially blighted thereafter as individuals fell consecutively foul of the yellow peril, as three more were shown to visiting players on, 46, 58 and 65 minutes respectively. The play, however, ebbed for a while, but, as was to be expected, Lions became increasingly threatening during the time of ‘Street’s depleted ranks and only a massive defensive rear-guard commitment prevented further scoring. In fact the visitor’s saw ‘Street’s scrum half Nick Thatcher, taking a leaf out of the Lion’s book, cutting through from a scrum in the shadow of Lion’s posts and scoring. Unaccountably, the official did not acknowledge the grounding, leaving defenders to pick up and gratefully play on! Lions, by now, had lost winger Devon Constant to a yellow and, back to full complement at last, the last five minutes was all ‘Street, as they pinned the home side in their 22 area until the final whistle.
Final Score: Leicester Lions 13 Broadstreet 21.
This was a gutsy performance, but not yet the full Monty! No let up now ‘fellas’. No mental presumptions! Maintain the intensity [with composure] every minute of every game! Relish the combat! What do you think Mrs Freemantle? “They’re on the front foot now, don’t let them take their foot off the pedal”!
Squad: Andy Murray; Jefferey Gregson, Nathan Tilsley, James Otutaha, Josh Palmer; Ben Palmer, Pierre Ferre; Joe Foreman, Stewart Pearl, Jake Dodd; Callum Tucker, Matthew Solomon; Roan van Heerden, Beau Carney, Chris Wood. Henry Sandys, Alex Beddows, Dan Martin, Nick Thatcher, Ashley Elvers.
Thought for the Game: Whilst not out of the woods, this game, and the last two week’s dogged performances, highlights the true capabilities of the squad. You all know there was more in the tank this game and there would have been more, but for yellow cards. They must be avoided at all costs. Yes! Both sides erred, but it is no good to complain that only one side copped the yellows – don’t be distracted, be squeaky clean and become even better!