Broadstreet Rugby Football Club entertained third placed Sedgley Park at the Ivor Preece Field in a nine try thriller which saw the home side come-back after falling behind 0 – 19 in the first ten minutes, to take the game by 35 – 26, after the Manchester outfit had got off to a flying start off the back of five straight wins, writes Bob Harcourt.
Eager to retain third spot in the league, Sedgley blitzed their host with three tries in the opening ten minutes through a Matthew Riley’s brace, on four and seven minutes, both converted by Stephen Collins; followed up by scrum half Callum McShane’s dot down to give them a formidable nineteen points to nothing lead and seventy minutes still to be played. A thumping looked on the cards as ‘Street seemed caught out by their visitor’s pacey, expansive rugby. Thereafter, thankfully, ‘Street composed themselves, and clawed back fourteen first half points with tries from scrum half Nick Thatcher and left winger Nathan Tilsley; both converted by Ben Cooper, to trail by five points at the break. Half Time: Broadstreet 14 Sedgley Park 19.
The second half, ‘Street out-gunned a very good team by three tries to one as the home boys ran in their scores, firstly, through centre James Otutaha, which gave ‘Street the lead for the first time after 56 minutes; Broadstreet 21 Sedgley Park 19. However, from a midfield turnover on the sixty minute mark, the visitors countered strongly and prop Ben Black was on hand to finish off some good forward support work under the posts to regain the lead for the visitors. Collins converted; Broadstreet 21 Sedgley 26. Thatcher’s second try and Cooper’s third conversion followed five minutes later and, with the last ten minutes approaching the scoreboard stood at Broadstreet 28 Sedgley Park 26. ‘Everywhere’ Thatcher’s second try was scored off the back of some grand forward surges following a stalemate third quarter; the highlights for ‘Street in that period being; their scrummage driving the opposition some ten metres for a penalty and; a set piece move at which Nathan Tilsley ran a slice to pierce the Sedgley defence, only for the wily winger to lose possession with a free passage to the posts. Sedgley had their moments too, pushing close on more than one occasion and, in a somewhat throw-a-bout game, they engineered several skilful and promising sorties; but to no avail, as ‘Street had, necessarily, tightened up their defence after that leaky first ten minutes.
‘Park predictably attacked strongly from the restart looking to take the match, but several phases failed to dent ‘Street’s now dogged defence and it was ‘Street’s pressure in defence that saw Sedgley’s threequarter spill the ball in ‘Street’s 22 metre area and, quick as a flash, livewire winger Josh Palmer, back after several weeks out through injury, scooped up the ball and sprinted 75 metres for the clincher. Ben Cooper completed another 100% kicking success with his fifth conversion;
Full Time: Broadstreet 35 Sedgley Park 26.
Squad: Andrew Murray; Josh Palmer, Beau Carney, James Otutaha, Nathan Tilsley; Ben Cooper, Nick Thatcher; Joe Foreman, Michael Worthington, Jake Dodd; Aaron Crofts, Matthew Solomon; Dan Martin, Jamie Harrop, Jack Gibbons. Henry Sandys, Stewart Pearl, Gareth Turner, Christopher Wood, Sam Gibbons.
Thought for The Game:
Almost 50% of ‘Street’s 99 tries scored this season have come in the final quarter of matches, showing that there has been great fighting spirit and a commendable level of fitness throughout the campaign. After a shaky run of two wins from the first ten matches due variously to; a glut of away fixtures, first timers at this level and a less than finished defence, there have been two winning runs of four matches and seven matches, before and after New Year, respectively, showing that the players learned quickly and adjusted well, in wiping out an ominous season’s start, to go on to finish a very creditable seventh [fifth on league points] out of sixteen clubs. Third time Lucky in National League Two North!
Saturday’s match was not the first occasion that the team has come back from a substantial point’s deficit and doing so, against a high-flying Sedgley Park, just highlights the amount of preparation and organisation on the training field and the belief in the systems employed. That has to be the sign of good coaching and good players trusting each other to do the right things on the field of play. Congratulations gents on an outstanding season’s work!
How it went –
Home: Wins 11 Losses 4 [Hull Ionians 1st, Ampthill 2nd, Harrogate 4th, Chester 6th]
Away: Wins 6 Losses 9 [1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th]
Points: Home: For 467 Against 338
Points: Away: For 306 Against 349
30 - Andrew Murray, Stewart Pearl and Matthew Solomon
28 - Joe Foreman and Nick Thatcher
27 - Jake Dodd
26 - Jefferey Gregson and Nathan Tilsley
Most Points: Ben Palmer, Ben Cooper and Andrew Murray
Point of interests:
49 players were used throughout the season, of which 21 were selected in less than 5 matches; therefore, the squad was mainly chosen from around 28 regular players and 22 players had been at the club in a previous season or more.
10 loan players were used over the season and 4 of those loanees played in only 1 match, 1 played in 2, 1 in 3, 1 in 5, 1 in 7 and 1 played in 10 matches; resulting in just 31 selections out of 600 selection places and out of that 31, 11 selections started on the bench. No loanees were used in the first 6 or last 6 matches.