Longton 1st XV 14 v 32 Worcester
Longton again had several key players missing including scrum-half, Sam Bedworth, hooker, George Glenn, second-rows, Rich Thompson and Martin Ellis and flanker, Mickey Allen, which meant that their pack lacked weight in the tight. Worcester took advantage of this to push Longton off their own ball time and time again and it was only the skilful hands and dexterity of Pete Wilshaw at No. 8 who managed to get his hands on the ball as the forwards retreated backwards at a rate of knots. The lineout too was struggling at times and so Longton were starved of possession for many parts of the match. This largely gave Worcester many of their points in a 32 – 14pts. home victory.
For the first 15mins. there was little to choose between the two sides despite Worcester having most of the possession. Then, on 16mins.Worcester stole a Longton lineout on the visitors’ “22”. The resultant forward drive saw the strong home pack over the line for the first try. The conversion missed to make it 5 – 0pts.
With 20mins. gone Longton were awarded a penalty on the home “22” and 10m, to the left of the posts after a series of strong attacks from the forwards, with Pete Wilshaw at the forefront. Scott Rawlings put over the kick to make it 5 – 3pts. Just 3mins. later Worcester took the lead when Longton lost their own scrum which led to a penalty; this was easily converted to make it 8 - 3pts.
There was a lull in the scoring for the next 13mins. despite a couple of promising runs from Sam Evans. Then, in the 36th. minute Longton kicked their second penalty from 36m., Scott Rawlings producing a great strike to make it 8 – 6pts. The visitors then had a chance to take the lead with a third penalty but a difficult kick from 45m. fell just short; a minute later, however, Scott Rawlings kick from 40m. just got over to give Longton a 9 – 8pts. lead going into half-time.
The second half started badly for the visitors when Worcester had a lineout 5m. from the Longton line and their well-organised catch-and-drive produced a try. The conversion missed, giving the hosts a 13 – 9pts. lead. Worcester were soon back on the offensive and a penalty took them inside the “22”. Another penalty on 16mins. was kicked to the corner from which a second catch-and –drive brought a try. This time the conversion was good to make it 20 – 9pts. with Worcester still having most of the ball.
It was the 32nd. minute before the next score came. From a scrum deep in their own half Worcester went on the blindside and after a couple of missed tackles saw a try conceded. Although the conversion missed the lead had stretched out to 25 – 9pts.
There was no further scoring for the next 9mins. but, with 8mins. remaining, Longton managed to turn a scrum ball over on their own 5m. line and attacked down the wing with a great try coming in the left corner from Jake Boatfield. The difficult conversion from wide-out into the wind fell short, making the score 25 – 14pts.
In the 36th. minute Worcester moved a scrum ball left 40m. from the Longton line and an inside break brought a try under the posts which was converted to make it 32 – 14pts.
The only other incidents in the game was a yellow card for a Worcester player and a couple of promising attacks from Longton, but wayward passes and dropped ball came to nothing as the final score stayed at 32 – 14pts.
The experienced players, skipper Tim Wareham, Scott Rawlings and Sam Evans all set fine examples with their tackling and general commitment.
There is no game next week as we have an international break.