North Lancs One
GARSTANG 30-21 TRAFFORD MV
Garstang preserved their immaculate home record this season with their best performance of the season against a Trafford MV side who they had never previously beaten.
Garstang have made a habit of starting games quickly this season but this week they made a poor start and midway through the first half they found themselves 13-0 down after conceding two tries and a penalty. The team had not played badly up until this point but Trafford had just been more precise in their execution and finishing.
Garstang didn’t panic and from the restart after the second try, they created a superb score of their own.
John O’Brien made a break and the ball was quickly recycled several times, a Garstang player was held up just short but Steve Rowbottom followed up and went over in the corner (5-13).
Garstang were now on the front foot and within a couple of minutes they were well and truly back in the game when Gavin Barton scored their second try of the afternoon (10-13).
Just before the half time break Garstang brought on Andy Tissingh and he made an immediate impact as he broke down the wing. He was hauled down short of the line but quick recycling of the ball saw it come out to Ben Kelsall who went over in the corner to give Garstang the lead (15-13).
Garstang had done incredibly well to turn the game around but they knew that they would have to put in a huge performance in the second half to prevail.
The half started well for Garstang with a dominant forward platform giving the back division plenty of ball to work with. However, good Trafford defence and a couple of missed opportunities meant that the game remained tight.
The match defining moment came midway through the half as, when Trafford were attacking the Garstang line, Josh Knowles intercepted the ball and raced eighty metres up field to score a great try under the posts (22-13).
This score took away some of the pressure on Garstang and they started to play some outstanding rugby which yielded several more chances which would probably have sealed the game at that stage if they had taken any of them. They eventually had to settle for a penalty which McLennan slotted to make it 25 unanswered points for Garstang (25-13).
Trafford were not prepared to lie down and with ten left to play they opted to kick a drop goal when they were pressing the Garstang line (25-16).
Moments later Garstang secured the game when the ball was worked out wide and Rowbottom bagged his second of the afternoon when he squeezed over in the corner (30-16).
A score for Trafford with the last play of the afternoon was little consolation for them as they left Hudson Park empty handed for the first time ever.
Overall it was a great performance by Garstang with every player contributing to the victory.
Team: Miller, Barton, Kenyon, Everest, Whitaker, Slater, Kelsall (c), O’Brien, Nickson, Dawson, Dugdale, McLennan, Knowles, Walling, Rowbottom.
Replacements: Davies, Tissingh, Pye
December 13 the 1st XV will be hoping that they can get their first win away from home as they travel to Birchfield.
The Blues are also in action at home against Blackburn 3rds.Both games KO at 14:15.