Midlands 2 West (N) 
7th March 2020, 2:15 pm
Longton 1st XV
17 - 22
Camp Hill
Longton Rugby Club

Match Report

Longton fightback thwarted by try in the last play of the game.
On a good afternoon for rugby if a little breezy Longton played their rearranged match aginst high flying Camp Hill. Both sides were missing a number of players but the Longton team showed little resemblance to last week’s winning team. The new 2nd row was Ainsworth and Holford with Thompo filling in for Gareth on the blindside.We had a different half back pairing with Nico Gomtard back at 9 and Joe Hall deputising very well for Paul Green at 10. Ryan Geghorn made his home debut at 12, and Chris Pike was on the wing, with Hamish at full back. In the second half Nathan Caucau deputised for the injured Ricky Bentley .
Camp Hill started the better winning a couple of Longton line outs, throwing in was difficult and the decent ref made due allowance, and although under pressure in the scrum Camp Hill managed to get the ball out to their slick backs. It was no surprise that after 10 mins following a number of missed tackles that they registered their first try through their live wire scrum half with a break down their left wing. The conversion fell well short due to the breeze. Camp Hill continued to have the better of the exchanges but in the last 15 mins of the half Longton came back into the game with strong runs from the forwards led by Pete Wishaw, and a 60 yd sprint down the left wing from Marc Doughty that somehow was denied 5 yards out. After 30 minutes from a turnover on the opposition 22, Joe Hall cut through the defence for a fine try under the posts. Unfortunately just as Joe was moving to kick the conversion the ball fell of the tee and Joe’s under pressure drop goal sailed wide. Half time came with honours even.
As the second half started Longton introduced Nathan Caucau for the injured Ricky Bentley, who had had a fine first half. The game was being played between the 22’s with neither side looking likely to break the deadlock. However, the dynamics of the scrum seemed to change and with 20 mins to go good ball from the scrum just outside the 22 saw Camp Hill evade some weak tackling and score a try in the left corner. Then as the match was entering the last 10 mins Longton were looking to create space for Marc Dougherty who was a threat all afternoon, when a pass on the Longton 10 metre line was intercepted and a try scored under the post to give Camp Hill a seemingly winning lead. Camp Hill then lost a 2nd row to a yellow card.
There followed a dramatic period of play with Paul Housley gathering the ball on the Longton 10 metre line and setting off on an arching run down the right bouncing off 4 tacklers to sprint 60 metres to score in the right corner. The conversion missed but Longton were back in the game. Then from a kick downfield Marc Doughty gathered the ball and charged his way down the right wing evading and running through the Camp Hill tacklers to score a good try under the posts from within his own half. Joe Hall converted and at 17 all the match was on a knife edge, with just a minute to go.The Camp Hill 10 tried a drop goal from 40 metres which sailed by the left hand upright, but from the ensuing 22 in what was the last play of the game, Longton booted the ball upfield and from halfway the ever dangerous Camp Hill backs ran the ball back down the right and ran through some weak tackles to score a bonus point try in the corner, the conversion missed ,but at 22 to 17 Longton had to settle for a losing bonus point.
In what was a creditable display by a vastly changed side, Pete Wilshaw again lead by example with a fine performance, and Joe Hall settled in well at 10.
Next week we have a semi final cup match in the intermediate cup away against Stafford at their new ground.
Chris Boardman