Kersal U13s Beaten by Cold (Again!)
Hand warmers fail to gift a win
The AK U13s visited Knutsford for their first game of 2018. When Kersal last stepped out, they were soundly beaten by a big outfit from Ramsey, IoM and the freezing conditions. Santa Claus took pity and gave each of the lads a late Christmas present of a hand warmer – just as well seeing as the pitches were frozen on arrival!
Whilst waiting for the ground to thaw, the teams practiced some scrummaging and played some tag. Knutsford looked quicker but kept running into trouble; Kersal were sluggish but better with the ball in hand. Eventually the mud became soft enough for a full game of contact to be played…
Things did not start too well for Altrincham as Knutsford scored soon after the kick-off with a simple side step and some woeful tackling. This was soon cancelled out though as Kersal won a ruck which allowed some superb dodge-running and a score. AK were starting to become dominate and were attacking the Knutsford line. Frustratingly the ball was turned over, and with so many Kersal players focussed on the power play, the pitch was wide open for the Knutsford backs to run the full length to touch down. AK clearly decided that whatever Knutsford could do, they could do better as they immediately retaliated with a similar score of their own. The sides were very even but then Altrincham went to sleep - allowing two quick tries by Knutsford that cut through the Kersal defence with simple side-steps. At half-time, Knutsford led 4 tries to 2.
The half-time break didn’t wake the lads up as they stood off the ruck allowing Knutsford front foot ball. Suddenly AK were down 5-2 and it was feared that heads would drop. However, those fears were banished as Kersal staged a fightback by just playing good rugby! The AK scrum was becoming dominant, the ball was moved freely down the line and the tempo was increased as recycled ball came back a lot quicker. Suddenly it was five tries apiece. Having done the hard work, Kersal then let in two easy tries, largely due to missed tackles. However, it was Altrincham who scored the final try of the match with textbook play: a scrum won against the head, the ball passed smoothly down the line with the backs running at pace, and a simple touch down in the corner by the Kersal winger.
Despite losing by a single try (again), there were many positives to be taken from this match. Although going three tries down, the lads found the resilience to respond; when mistakes were made, they sorted themselves out and didn’t bicker; when they looked cold and sluggish, they found a bit of energy. All things considered, not too bad a start to the year, and at the end of it all, they could warm their hands!
Players: Kieron Booth, Lonan Kearney, Luis Tait, Sam Moss, Fin Waterhouse, Sam Mason, Tom Pattison, Matteo Booth, Elliott Cardy, Harry Whitehurst, Isaac Armstrong, Kane McLennan, Sam Ridgway, Isaac Povey