Longton 1st XV 12 v 87 Dudley
Longton travelled to Dudley K with a side fielding only five regular first teamers and were given a sound lesson in slick and pacey back play, going down by 87pts. to 12.
On a fine sunny afternoon Longton began promisingly and for the first 20mins. were right in the game despite having only limited possession. The home side were awarded penalties inside the Longton “22” in the opening 4mins. but chose to kick for the corner and go for the lineout but the visitors withstood the pressure.
After 12mins. a Longton clearance well downfield was caught just inside the touchline allowing DK to launch a fast counter down the wing which brought the opening try. The conversion from out wide missed giving the hosts a 5 – 0pts. lead. From the kick-off Longton were awarded a penalty which they kicked to the corner. Despite several driving mauls they could not get over the line, Dudley eventually winning a penalty for holding on.
With 20mins.gone Longton knocked on in their own “22” and DK made them pay with a second try, this time under the posts. The simple conversion made it 12 – 0pts. However, just 2mins. later Longton moved the ball left from deep inside their own half where it was transferred to full-back, Sam Evans, arriving in the line at pace. It was all that the devastating winger needed as he glided effortlessly passed two defenders to sprint in under the posts. Scott Rawlings converted to make the score 12 – 7pts.
After 32mins. DK scored their third try when a break in the centre produced an easy score in front of the posts. The conversion made it 19 – 7pts. Three minutes later Longton put a penalty into touch some 6m. from the home line but, again, they could not force the ball over the line; a further Longton attack in the 38th. minute took the ball to within 7m. of the try line but a knock-on wasted the opportunity.
In the dying seconds of the half Dudley won a penalty on the Longton line which saw scrum-half, Dunn dart over to score. The conversion made it 24pts to 7 at the break.
The first 10mins. of the second half are best forgotten as Dudley scored four rapid-fire tries to stretch their lead to 52 – 7pts. The scoring did not stop there as further tries came in the 15th. and 18th. minute to stretch the score to 66 – 7pts. Longton were now looking a dispirited team as heads dropped and more tries came in the 24th, 31st, and 34th. minutes to take the score to 87 – 7pts.
Longton did have the final word as they moved the ball left to score in the corner. The missed conversion was no more than academic as the final score was 87- 12pts, Longton’s heaviest defeat since the inception of leagues. They will hope to have many of their missing players back next week. On the plus side some of their young players making their debut looked to show some promise and regulars Sam Evans, Scott Rawlings, Pete Wilshaw and Tim Wareham all battled hard throughout setting a fine example.