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Longton 1st XV 26 v 48 Droitwich

In a high-scoring and entertaining game at Droitwich, Longton went down by 48pts. to 26, but had the consolation of picking up a bonus point.

Scott Rawlings returned at inside centre, with Ben Turner at fly-half but leading try scorer, Sam Evans, was still out injured. The pack looked strong and heavy with Rich Thompson and Martin Ellis in the second row and Mickey Allen and Pete Wilshaw in the back row.

Droitwich got off to the best possible start with a try after only 2mins. but Longton replied with a try of their own through Pete Wilshaw who finished off a driving maul by crashing over. Sam Bedworth converted to level the scorers at 7pts. each.

The home team were already looking dangerous with ball in hand in their backs. They were punching holes in the Longton midfield and the outside backs were running superb support  lines. This led to two more tries attacking from deep to put Droitwich 19 – 7pts. ahead. They increased their lead with two more tries and Longton faced the prospect of a heavy defeat. They did not help their cause by frequently spilling the ball when in good attacking positions. On occasions they were within metres of the home line and on other occasions saw the ball turned over by an aggressive defence.

Droitwich continued  to look threatening when running the ball through their strong, well-organised back division until they had amassed 48pts.

Scott Rawlings made several of his customary powerful surges into the home defence but, although he often barged through the first two or three defenders, he was eventually pulled down by multiple tacklers.

As the game entered its final quarter Longton began to gain and retain more possession and tries came from Mark Doughty, Rich Thompson and replacement, Eroni Lequai who burst through the middle to touch down under the posts for the final try in the last few minutes. Sam Bedworth converted  two of these and struck the post with the third, to pick up the four try bonus point.

Longton remain in the last but one place just one point  behind Moseley Oak. Next week they are at home to Dudley Kingswinford.

M Wheat.

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