Longton 1st XV 11 v 0 Stourbridge
On a miserable wet and windy day at Stourbridge Longton pulled off their first away win of the season by 11pts. to nil to lift themselves up to 12th. in the league, recording their first away win to send them into the Christmas break in good spirits.
They travelled without the influential flanker, Mickey Allen, but still with a big set of forwards, including the returning Martin Ellis and George Glenn back to his normal position at hooker. The strong forward dominance meant that Longton were able to control the game and this won them numerous penalties as well as good field position.
Pete Wilshaw picked up at the base of an early scrum and after making good ground fed Charlie Rushton who sped over for a fine try. The difficult conversion in the dire conditions missed but the visitors led by 5 – 0pts. in what was certain to be a low scoring game. After much Longton pressure Scott Rawlings kicked a penalty from inside the home “22” to extend the lead to 8pts to nil.
The only other score in the first half and, as it turned out in the match, was a drop goal by Scott Rawlings to make the half-time score 11pts. to nil.
In the second half Longton kept it tight for lengthy periods to give Stourbridge little chance of getting themselves into the game. The deteriorating conditions made running rugby nigh impossible. The home team were clearly unhappy with the official but, as is generally the case, the team which is dominant gets to dictate meaning that the other side give away more penalties out of sheer frustration. Longton managed the referee extremely well and so ran out comfortable winners to come away with four valuable points.
Longton will hope to maintain this current good form in the New Year when they face many of the teams in the lower half of the table