Intermediate Cup 
11th September 2021, 2:00 pm
Uttoxeter
24 - 22
Longton 1st XV
Uttoxeter Rugby Club

Match Report

From a dominant position of leading by 22pts. to 5 with less than 20mins. to go Longton conceded three tries to go down by 24pts. to 22 when Uttoxeter scored their final try with the last play of the game to send the home supporters home deliriously happy; two of the tries came when Uttoxeter ran the ball from their own “22” through some poor tackling from the Longton backs.

Longton opened brightly enough with the first try coming in the 6th. minute. Fly-half, Grant Hallam, dummied and side-stepped his way through the defence for a fine try which he also converted to put Longton ahead by 7pts. to nil.

With 13mins. gone Longton were again attacking out wide but lost possession allowing Uttoxeter to launch a counter-attack from their own “22” resulting in the home side going over for a try; the conversion missed leaving Longton leading by 7pts. to 5.

The Longton pack continued to dominate at the scrums and breakdown led by No.8, Gareth Rawlings but the backs lacked penetration. It was not until the 29th. minute that Longton scored their 2nd. try. From a scrum 5m. from the home line the pack drove forward to allow Gareth Rawlings to touch down. The conversion missed but Longton led by 12pts. to 5.

Despite a number of promising m 17-5pts. with Longton s Longton failed to add to their tally as Half-time arrived.

The second-half was just 8mins. old when the Longton pack stormed forward from a line-out allowing flanker, Paul Housely to barge over for the third try; the conversion from wide-out missed making the score with Longton apparently cruising to a comfortable win. Longton again attacked the home line through their forwards with Gareth Rawlings going over for his 2nd. try; the conversion was unsuccessful the score now being 22-5pts. and Longton looking like adding to their score. However, Uttoxeter had other ideas and would not lie down. They scored their second try from a scrum on the Longton “22”; the ball was spun out wide left for the winger to evade  several tackles  and touch down. The conversion was good closing the gap to 22-12pts.

As the final 10mins. approached Uttoxeter scored again with a break through the middle from their own “22”. The successful conversion closed the gap to 22-19pts. With the last play approaching Longton lost possession deep into the home half allowing the hosts side to run the length of the field to touch down out wide right. The conversion was missed but as the final whistle blew Uttoxeter had triumphed by 24pts. to 22.

All credit must go to Uttoxeter for their never say die attitude but this was clearly a game in which Longton snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The return of second rows Rich Thompson and Martin Ellis and No.8, Peter Wilshaw, will undoubtedly add to the forward power but it is the backs who must tighten up their defence as they head into the league programme in two weeks time.

M.Wheat.