Altrincham Kersal 2XV 38-22 Didsbury Toc H 2XV
Tries: Doug Whyley (x2), Sam Gallimore, Matt Geiger, Andy Frost, Ishmael Bashir
Conv: Paul Howarth (x4)
The stage was set at Burnley Rugby Club for the cup final. The sun was shining for the climax of the season for Kersal 2nd team, as they faced off against Didsbury Toc H 2s in their attempt to clinch the league and cup double.
After the previous final had been forced into extra-time, the game kicked off under the heat and it was a close contest early on as both sides sized each other up. Kersal began to take the upperhand in the set piece and this allowed the backs to wonderfully slice through the Didsbury defense to gain the advantage in the match, with Doug Whyley going over for the game's first try. Kersal found themselves down to 14 men for a period in the first half due to ill-discipline, this however did not dampen their spirits with players putting their bodies on the line in defense to stop the waves of Didsbury attacks. Their dominance in shone through as they kept Didsbury scoreless in this period and Kersal scrum-half Sam Gallimore dived over the tryline, as a maul from the forwards took them to within inches of the line. Before the break, Whyley found another hole in the Didsbury defensive line and crossed for his second try of the match as Kersal went into the half-time 17-3 up.
The second half kicked off and Kersal carried on on the front foot, forcing Didsbury into several early errors. More dominance in the pack saw Kersal demolish the Didsbury scrum from 5 metres out, allowing number 8 Andy Frost to cross over for the try, taking the score to 24-10. After some further exchanges of play, Didsbury caught Kersal asleep on the hour mark with 2 successive tries taking the score to 24-17, proving the contest was not over. This kicked Kersal into action and fullback Matt Geiger soon crossed the tryline after a jinking run put him under the posts for a try. With just 5 minutes to go, Kersal began to retain control of play and winger Ishamel Bashir sidestepped his way over for Kersal's final try of the match taking the score to 38-17. A late try with a minute to go showed Didsbury weren't going to go down without a fight, but it was too little too late. With the score standing at 38-22 and Kersal regaining control of possession, and the full time whistle went to the jubilation of the Kersal team, coaches and their supporters who had travelled to Burnley in good numbers.
The win capped off what has been a tremendous season for the Kersal 2nd team, triumphing in both the league and the cup. Congratulations must be extended to skipper Matt Hassard and every player that has played for the team over the course of the season, as performances have only improved getting better and better. Thanks must also go to all that have coached and supported the 2nd XV throughout the campaign. The squad now goes into the off-season for a well deserved rest, before they return to summer training in efforts to carry on the fantastic form of this season into their campaign in Division 1 next season.
Match Album from Adam Sullivan here:
Updated 08:49 - 8 May 2018 by jeff atkins