In front of a large crowd at Trentham Fields and on a perfect day weather-wise Longton ran out comfortable winners by 45 – 7pts. Against Tamworth.
Longton welcomed back Pete Wilshaw. Joe hall and Mark Doughty, in addition to debutant scrum-half, Frenchman Nicolas Gomtard.
The home side went in front after only 4mins., playing into the wind. From a lineout well inside the visitors “22” the Longton pack went forward remorselessly to crash over wide out. Sam Bedworth’skick fell just short but Longton led by 5pts. to nil.
Then, 7mins. later the ball was moved swiftly wide left to left wing, Mark Doughty, who evaded two tackles before the ball was passed inside and recycled for flanker, Gareth Rawlings, to score a superb try. Sam Bedworth converted to make it 12 – 0pts. The game became more evenly contested for the next 15mins. with Tamworth beginning to show their potential.
On 28mins. Tamworth missed a penalty with Pete Wilshaw being yellow carded for the offence; this was the first of many shown by the referee despite the fact that the game was played in a good spirit; better communication from the official would have led to less of a stop start game.
In the 30th. minute Tamworth score their only try of the game with a cut-back to the middle. The conversion was successful closing the gap to 12-7pts.
The number of stoppages meant that the next score came in the 48th. minute. The ball was moved quickly out across the back line wide right with James Mountford diving over in the corner. Sam Bedworth’s conversion from the touchline fell short making the score17-7pts. at the break.
The second half started well for Longton when James Mountford was at the end of a fast flowing movement to dive over in the corner. Sam Bedworth converted with a superb kick to take the hosts clear at 24-7pts. Tamworth lost a second row to a yellow card in this passage of play.
In the 15th. minute all the play was in the visitors’ “22” and they were under great pressure. With the third scrum in a row No.8, Pete Wilshaw, picked up from the base to crash over for Longton’s fourth and bonus point try. Sam Bedworth converted to take the score to 31-7pts.
Tamworth fly-half, Norton, was next to receive yellow as the official was beginning to resemble a Las Vegas card dealer. Longton began to lower their intensity and there followed a period of Tamworth pressure but Longton’s defence held sure.
In the 25th. minute Ashley Potts was next to receive a yellow card. However, Longton upped their game again and in the 30th. minute they went down the right wing on the blindside where George Glenn was the beneficiary of the last pass to dive over in the corner. Sam Bedworth’s superb conversion took the host further ahead at 38-7pts. Tamworth lost a second row to another yellow card.
Eroni Lequai came on into the back row and had an immediate impact with his trademark burst through the middle from picking up at the breakdown.
The final score came in the 39th. minute when Longton moved the ball left for Nicolas Gomtard to deliver a beautifully timed pass to Mark Doughty to run in. Sam Bedworth converted to make the final score 45-7pts.
In the end it was an impressive scoreline despite the fact that Longton were not always at their best, undoubtedly contributed to by far too many blasts on the whistle. Still it was a vey valuable 5 point haul to maintain a challenge for the top places.
The Man of the Match trophy was awarded to debutant scrum half, Nicolas Gomtard for an excellent all-round performance at scrum-half.
Longton have a blank Saturday next week before travelling to Walsall to resume league action.