ALDWINIANS 20 - 32 TARLETON
in a match that boasted 6 tries in ideal conditions for running rugby, too many errors cost Aldwinians dearly and Tarletons forward play and accuracy clinched the win.
Aldwinians began the afternoon with a much changed side from that which defeated Burnley in the cup game last week, weakened in the back row. From the kick off the home side showed their intent by keeping play in the opposition half and won an early penalty from referee Simon Ford for infringing at the side. Richard Mooney had no problem in securing the first three points on the board. From the resultant kick off, the opposition took advantage of a stray pass and a missed clearance from Lee Kern, and camped in the home side 22 with a series of phases that the Audenshaw outfit did well to defend. A couple of errors from Tarleton prevented them scoring; it seemed as if every time they looked like scoring they either dropped the ball or the pass went forward. Eventually the pressure told and a move from left to right along the backs saw Tarleton score their first points of the match, although the conversion was missed.
After 14 minutes a scrum on half way saw the home side pushed off the ball but a series of knock-ons by both side stilted the play. Eventually Mike Moreland, playing at hooker, managed to break off the shackles and make a great run into opposition territory but an attempted interception by Tarleton spoilt the move. The resultant scrum saw the home side backs gain possession and a wonderful diagonal run by coach Wynand Van Zyl from full back into the opposition 22, and a penalty was won from the maul. From the line out a knock halted progress but Aldwinians stayed in the opponents half until Alex Hughes was penalised for being on the wrong side. Tarleton moved swiftly into the home sides territory and a bizarre series of bounces saw Lee Kern almost gather the ball but it came off his knee and bounced into his opposite wings hands; fortunately he was stopped short of the line but an offside decision gave Tarleton a penalty in front of the posts which they converted to make the score 3-8.
On 28 minutes Lee Kern made a great wingers run down the left, only prevented from scoring by a crunching tackle pushing him into touch. Aldwinians kept Tarleton in their own 22 and when the ball was passed out to Mitch Van Zyl on the right wing a try looked certain but great defence prevented him scoring, although at the resultant ruck Tarleton strayed offside. Mooney stroked the penalty over to bring the deficit back to 2 points 6-8.The last 10 minutes of the first half saw the home pack competing well and a penalty was won in the opposition half. Again poor handling handed the advantage to the visitors on more than one occasion and the score remained 6-8 at half time.
Danny Lyons had bolstered the front row just before half time in the hope that the home side could compete better at the set piece. On 43 minutes a great move from the Tarleton backs looked certain to result in a try but a tackle by Wynand Van Zyl was adjudged to be high and Aldwinians were reduced to 14 men for the next ten minutes. From the quick tap penalty the left winger scythed through the defence and touched down under the posts, giving Tarleton an easy conversion to make the score 6-15. On 48 minutes James Worrall replaced Mooney with Alex Hughes moving to stand-off. This immediately resulted in a great run by Mike Moreland who handed a superb pass to James Worrall to score on the left. The try was converted and the gap again reduced to 2 points, 13-15.
The next 12 minutes saw the home side under pressure both in territory and possession, and a penalty for a late tackle by James Worrall gave the opposition an easy 3 points to see Tarleton go 5 points clear. Aldwinians responded but an intercepted pass saw the Tarleton 11 race to the line to score under the posts and with the conversion make the score 13-25. The game seemed to be slipping away but on 64 minutes a great run again by Mike Moreland with another superb pass to Jamie Henderson saw the Aldwinians centre score under the posts to make Worrall’s conversion an easy one. 20-25.
The last 15 minutes meant that the game was there to be taken; and it was – by the visitors. Aldwinians insistence in giving away possession proved fatal. They resorted to penalty offences, not deliberately but in their quest to wrest the match, and it was from one of these offences that Tarleton took another quick penalty to scythe through an unprepared and tired defence. The try was converted to make the score 20-32.
Aldwinians tried hard to rectify their mistakes in the last 5 minutes but having been camped on the Tarleton try line they could not achieve a losing bonus point.
Aldwinians first XV are at home again next week against another newly promoted side Burnley.