Longton defeated a battling Uttoxeter by 26pts. to 20 at Trentham Fields despite being below their best. The visitors missed a penalty kick at goal after just 5mins. but were good value with their backs moving the ball wide with pace and accuracy. Longton gradually worked their way into the game although their powerful pack did not have the expected domination of scrums as they had a few weeks prior.
It was a stop start game with many mistakes on both sides. Twenty-five minutes had elapsed before the first try came for Longton through NO.8, Gareth Rawlings, even though the same player appeared to have scored, Longton leading by 5pts. to nil. a similar try a few minutes before. The conversion from Grant Hallam missed leaving Longton leading by 5pts. to nil.
After 25mins. Uttoxeter landed a well-taken penalty from 40m. out and 8m. from touch to make it a 5-3pts. game and then a second penalty gave Uttoxeter a 6-5pts lead at half-time.
With just 5mins. of the second-half gone Longton attacked in the Uttoxeter in the Uttoxeter “22” for Jake Boatfield to go over. Grant Hallam converted to make it 12-6pts. Uttoxeter were awarded a penalty 35m. out and 10m. in from touch but this time the kick sailed wide. It took 25mins. of the half for Longton to get their next score. The ball was moved wide left but an unfair tackle as the winger dived over saw the referee run under the posts to award a penalty try making the score 19-6pts.
Longton now seemed under control but Uttoxeter were far from beaten as their backs moved the ball wide at pace and punched a hole in the defence to score a fine try under the posts. The successful conversion made the score 19-13pts. leaving only one score between the teams.
With less than 8mins. to play Longton took play deep into the Uttoxeter “22” and from wide out Ricky Bentley showed pace and determination to score Longton’s 4th. and bonus point try in the corner, Grant Hallam converting with a superb kick from the touchline to make the score 26-13pts. with less than 5mins. to play. Once more though Uttoxeter showed their never-say-die attitude when on 79mins. they ran the ball from halfway and with a well-timed pass and strong running they scored a fine try and with the successful conversion closed the gap to 26-20pts. but it was too late for any more play as Longton kicked the ball dead for the referee to blow full-time leaving the final score at 26-20pts.
Ricky Bentley had a fine game for Longton with some superb lineout takes and strong running. Longton were pleased to gain a 5pt. but all credit to Uttoxeter who were always in the game.
In the prior game before the first team encounter a young Longton Colts beat a combined Leek/Uttoxeter Colts by 17-14pts. after coming back from being 14-0pts. down. In the end the Longton side were the fitter as they scored two excellent converted tries in the second half and completed the scoring with a penalty near to the end of the game.