2's storm through to the BEST trophy Final
in a comprehensive 24-0 win away at Aldwinians
Aldwinians 2XV 0-24 Altrincham Kersal 2XV
Altrincham Kersal 2nd XV returned to action this weekend after a fairly lengthy run of no fixtures, due to scheduling and weather, against Aldwinans 2nd XV away. Having met in the league twice this season already getting one win a piece, a win today would not just see one side go ahead in the head-to-head standings, but also progress into the final of the trophy.
In conditions which wouldn't be out of place in mid-winter, Kersal played into the wind in the first half and knew that they had to take control of the game early on. With intermittant blizzards of snow and gales throughout the match, Kersal kept the ball in hand and gained territory early on through some solid defensive efforts from players throughout the team, as well as good support play and slick movement of the ball through the hands. Kersal went into the half-time break 10-0 up, with scores coming from 2 Matt Moss tries out wide.
Kersal knew not to get overly-complacent at half-time and made sure they carried on executing their game plan into the second half, this time playing with the wind. With conditions worsening, Kersal continued to dictate play and territory and it was Jack Snoddy, who was unlucky to have a try disallowed in the first half, who got the score rolling in the second half with a try which took Kersal 17-0 up after it was converted by fly-half Paul Howarth. Kersal's defense kept out waves of Aldwinians attacking efforts, who were unable to penetrate the Kersal defense and cross the try line. Kersal's final score of the match came after Kersal pressure after a kick up field from Jack Braithwaite forced the opposition into handling errors in the tricky conditions, leading Jordan Roberts to collect the loose ball and a powerful run put him across the tryline underneath the posts. With the score at 24-0 and Kersal again pressuring the Aldwinians line, the blizzard and the howling Arctic wind returned with a vengeance as full time was looming, it wasn't long before the full time whistle was blown to the delight of the Kersal players, confirming their place in the final after a hard fought victory.
The win sees Altrincham Kersal 2nd XV progress into the final of the BEST Trophy on the 5th May (venue TBC), where they will face off against Didsbury Toc H 2XV who overcame Tarleton in the other semi-final 40-5.
Next weekend sees the start of the final run of games towards the end of the season, with all still to play for in the league. Altrincham Kersal will travel to fellow promotion chasers Holmes Chapel, hoping to get a league win and avenge the defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season.
Tries: Matt Moss (x2), Jack Snoddy, Jordan Roberts
Conv: Paul Howarth (x1), Jack Braithwaite (x1)
Photos courtesy of Hannah O'Gorman