Altrincham Kersal (15 ) v Caldy (34)
The team put in a performance that Roger would have approved of despite the loss
The back drop to this game was set against the sad news this week of the loss of our president Roger Salt. The boys knew how important Roger was to the history of our club, his presence as player, coach and volunteer lasting over 50 years. The team were determined to put in a performance which he would have approved of. A minutes silence was held before kick off in Roger's memory.
The game did not get off to a good start for the home team. A kick out of defence didn't make touch and the visitors used that to their advantage running into the gaps which Kersal had created scoring easily to take a 0-7 lead. The next 10 minutes were not much easier with Caldy dominating. It took until 14 minutes for Kersal to make any significant territorial gain. A scrum on the Caldy 22m line looked like a great opportunity to level the scores. Caldy however were stronger and turned over the ball, their scrum half breaking on the blindside running the whole length of the pitch to score under the posts. The visitors were finding it too easy to break open the Kersal defence although AK were more resilient on 20 mins forcing Caldy back on at least 10 occasions. In the end the pressure was all too much however and Caldy extended their lead to 20-0.
Kersal reacted to the score with a spirited fight back, the forwards in particular showing real aggression in both attack and defence. In recent weeks our discipline at the breakdown was below expectations, this was not the case today with the ball repeatedly breaking the gain line and the supporting forwards clearing out the ruck impressively. The hard work paid off on 28 mins following a period of constant Kersal pressure. A line out on 5 metres was well secured and following a series of successive phases Ollie Higson scored in the corner and converted by Max Brooks. Soon after Brooks slotted a penalty to take AK into the break trailing 10-19.
The renewed confidence carried on early into the second half, the opening 5 minutes were very even. On 42 mins however Caldy broke again and extended the lead to 10-24. Two further tries increased the margin to 10-34, but the scoreline didn't reflect the level of effort and commitment shown by Kersal, Matt Ratcliffe coming close to scoring on 65 minutes, only to be saved by some last ditch defending by the visitors. Kersal were not going out with a whimper, in the dying minutes Ratcliffe, Walsh, Higginson and Merrill all combined to pressurise the Caldy line. In the end Pat Brooks-Maher found the smallest of gaps to cross the line to score in the corner. The game ended 15-34 to Caldy, both teams showing real commitment through out, but the visitors greater organisation and ability to exploit the spaces, saw then worthy winners.
Tries - Ollie Higson - 1, Pat Brooks-Maher -1
Cons - Max Brooks -1
Pens - Max Brooks - 1