AK Senior Colts progress to next round of Cheshire Cup...
A win is a win but a win over Wilmslow on their own turf is even better and the fact it was a double header made Sundays victory all the sweeter. Having suffered with a lack of numbers all season it shows the calibre and quality of the lads for the team to have now reached 4th in Division A. Today however was a little different as we had the added advantage of three substitutes which gave coach Dave Murray an unusual but welcome headache.....
It couldn’t have been a better start. A very quick and explosive start saw AKRFC putting Wilmslow onto their back foot right from the start without evenallowing them to take a breath. Having pushed them onto their back line from the start and with only threeminutes on the clock BJ managed to squirm over the line 0 – 5 and Callum Yates popped the conversion over, 0 - 7. Fantastic.
The forwards were superb, pushing Wilmslow back again right from the off. If the barriers weren’t around the pitch they would have surely ended up in the car park. The forwards having done the hard work in the scrums and mauls allowed the ball to be passed outby Phil Marchant and Doug Whyley to the wings where valuable metres were made by Paddy Tarbuck and Simon Steel. The pressure on Wilmslow back line was continual and the gap couldand should have been doubled on a few occasions over the next 10 minutes but unfortunately a few handling errors kept Wilmslow in sight and gave them a bit of hope. On the odd occasion Wilmslow did venture into our half, mainly via the use of the boot, they didn’t get very far as the AKRFC backs picked up the loose ball and off we went again. In fact if it wasn’t for the fact we changed round at half time I don’t think Wilmslow would have realised there were two halves to the pitch !!
A penalty gave Wilmslow some hope and a moment to take a breath. AKRFC regrouped and went forward again taking the game to Wilmslow asking questions of them across the park. The pressure finally told when Nathan Bailey, using all his speed (not), guile (not) and superior athletic prowess (questionable) dropped down for Try number two. 3 - 12.
In fairness to Wilmslow there was a 10 minute spell where they matched us man for man and we couldn’t make any head way. Sorry, my apologies, that was half time. And so suitably refreshed and ready for the challenge of the second half I made my way to the opposite side of the pitch to offer my assistance to the referee should he need it, but not having heard Tony at all in the 1st half I assumed the referee was having a good game.
Wilmslow made more of a fist of things in the 2nd half and we visibly began to tire. After a few forays towards our line Wilmslow gave themselves another life line by scoring their only try of the game 8 – 12. We needed to call upon the subs bench, and thank goodness we had the extra lads available. With Paddy Tarbuck and Dan Hardy not being able to play any further part in the game coming off through injury it gave us the very rare opportunity to maintain 15 lads on the field and without these extra bodies it might have allowed Wilmslow back into the game.
Wilmslow used their substitutes to freshen things upbut very nearly lost one of these substitutes when Nathan, during the collapse of a maul, fell or rather managed to position his superior bulk in such a position that Wilmslow’s No 7 had every ounce of breath knocked out of him and was then only allowed to breath in sufficient air to keep him barely alive.
Despite the added numbers on the bench Wilmslow got no where. On the occasions when they got past our forwards with a good old kick and run ChristianConnolly and Callum Yates were able to pick deal with matters and set us on our way again. After abetter spell from Wilmslow and a few excursions towards our line we seemed to catch a second breath and after some good interplay James ‘O’ Rourke managed to find some open space and headed for the line. Support arrived out wide and but for a last minute tackle AKRFC would have been over the line. Five minutes later James ‘O’ Rourke found himself in space again and this time managed to cross the line with out any support. Callum Yates converted, 8 – 19.
Senior Colts league table: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/altrinchamkersalrfc/j/league-table-24487.html