Midlands 2 West (N) 
11th January 2020, 2:15 pm
16 - 11
Longton 1st XV
Tamworth Rugby Club

Match Report

Longton returned from Tamworth with a solitary point in a game of two halves to finally go down by 16-11pts.

Gaz Rawlings, Rich Thompson, Sam Bedworth and Eroni Lequai were all unavailable and Longton also lost Martin Ellis, Paul Housley and Ashley Potts to injuries during the game.

The visitors took the lead in the 3rd. minute when Joe Hall landed a penalty from in front of the posts. Then, 5mins. later the ball was moved quickly right by the backs out to winger, Mark Dougherty, who, in typical determined fashion brushed aside two defenders to touch down wide out. The difficult conversion was missed but Longton led by 10pts. to nil.

It didn’t take Tamworth to hit back. Strong running by their backs brought a try down the right flank and with the conversion being good the score was now 8-7pts. to Longton.

The next score came after 23mins. when Joe Hall landed a penalty 25m. out and 10m. to the left of the posts stretching Longton’s lead to 11-7pts. The visitors continued to hold the upper hand with their forwards driving the hosts back at the scrums. As the 40th. minute of the half was reached Longton had a lineout only 5m. from the home line but a great opportunity was lost when the throw was deemed to be not straight. Half-time arrived with Longton well in command of the game.

However, the wheels came off the Longton wagon during the second half, not helped by the injuries to three of their forwards. As halfway through the second half was reached Tamworth landed a penalty from 30m. to make it 11-10pts.

The home team now had their tails up, helped by Longton increasingly making mistakes at vital times but at least their tackling was much improved from last week. In addition, they were not helped by the loss of three forwards, losing their domination of the scrums.

With 25mins. gone Tamworth were awarded a penalty 25m. out and 15m. to the right of the posts. The kick was good to put Tamworth ahead for the first time at 13-11pts. Three minutes later another penalty, this from 28m. but straight in front of the posts took the score to 16-11pts. and leaving Longton requiring a converted try to win but their cause was not helped when skipper, Pete Wilshaw, was shown a yellow card for asking the referee to clarify a decision, as a captain has a right to do so.

Tamworth could not take advantage of the extra man as Pete Wilshaw came back on for the last few minutes. This saw Longton make one last effort as they went marching into the home “22” but they could not make the pressure count on the scoreboard. Tamworth were finally able to win possession and put the ball into touch to secure the win to end a very disappointing afternoon for Longton.

M. Wheat.