Longton 1st XV 0 v 78 Newbold
This was a contest between the league leaders and the bottom team, Goliath against David, and the latter did not even have a sling shot. The 78 – 0pts. for the high flying hosts amply illustrated the gulf.
Longton travelled without 11 regular players and gave away about 2st. per man, especially in the pack. The experienced team members were Pete Wilshaw, Tim Wareham, Sam Evans and Scott Rawlings, plus a far-from-fit, George Glenn, and all performed with distinction, setting a fine example to their inexperienced young colleagues. Sam Evans in particular had an outstanding match in attack and defence.
The game was barely 8mins. old when Newbold scored their first try, with the conversion making it 7 – 0pts. The second try came almost 2mins. later, the well-struck conversion making it 14 – 0pts. The young lightweight Longton pack were being pushed about in all of the scrums, testing No.8, Pete Wilshaw’s skill in rescuing the ball from a rapidly retreating pack. Newbold knew how to capitalise on possession and territory as their backs were showing great pace, accuracy and penetration and despite the brave defensive efforts of Rawlings and Evans.
It was 23mins. before the third try when the ball was quickly moved left from a scrum on halfway; a man over was created out wide for a well-worked try. The easy conversion was good taking the score to 21 -0pts. The fourth try involved four slick passes by the backs to create a try in the corner. This time the conversion from wide-out failed, making it 26 – 0pts.
In the 35th. minute could not hold a 5m. scrum and the try came in the corner. Again, the difficult conversion missed to now make it 31 – 0pts. The last score of the first half came in injury time when a move started their own half ended with a try on the right wing, with the conversion making the half-time score 38 – 0pts.
The second half was only 5mins. old when Newbold struck again. This time from a scrum in the Longton “22”. The ball was swiftly moved left for a try in the corner but the difficult conversion missed, taking the score to 43 – 0pts. By now Longton were struggling to win and retain possession; in all some eight balls were dropped when possession was won illustrating the pressure applied by the Newbold defence. Within 5mins. Newbold scored again. From a scrum 40m. out the ball was passed swiftly left where the last man out wide burst into the corner; a superb kick made it 50 – 0pts.
Some 19mins. had gone before the next score which came from a driving set scrum. The Longton pack buckled and the referee immediately awarded a penalty try making the score 57 – 0pts. Then, after 26 minutes a catch-and-drive from a lineout brought another try which was converted to take it to 64 – 0pts. With time running out Longton dropped the ball again when in possession which led directly to a try. As injury time was entered another dropped ball led to the final try, making the final score 78 – 0pts.
The young inexperienced Longton side battled bravely throughout but was simply out-muscled and outpaced by a well-drilled and physically imposing side. Next week Longton are at home to when they hope to have many of the 11 players not available today.