Lichfield 26 Bridgnorth 43
Trips to Lichfield are always enjoyable due to the excellent and friendly welcoming reception, due in part to the intertwining of of the Ward,Solari and Pennington families, all pillars of strength in the Agricultural Society in Shropshire and Staffordshire.
On the field of play games are usually closely contested but played in the right spirit and todays game was no exception. To come away with a convincing victory hasn't happened very often for Bridgnorth..!
In bright sunshine and with the extremely wide pitch, the scene was set for for expansive rugby, but it was Bridgnorth forwards testing the home defence for the first ten minutes.Bridgnorth ignored a penalty chance on the extreme left, going for touch, and play moved across field producing the first set scrum on the right wing, before Llew Williams opened the scoring with a well struck penalty 0-3.
Richard Addison then made one of his dodging,weaving runs for Gareth Bladen to score and Williams to make the score 0-10.
Lichfield backs looked particularly sharp,sweeping through tackles to score but missed with the kick and a further difficult penalty chance. Joe Cave came on for Ed John and immediately made his presence felt, but the Lichfield attack caused six missed tackles in the Bridgnorth defence to score under the posts, with the simple conversion giving them the lead 12-10. Further good back play and more failed tackles saw Luke Massey waltz through and the goal put Lichfield in front 19-10 at the break.
Lichfield missed a penalty chance and more missed tackling from Bridgnorth until the forwards took charge a great driving scrum brought a try for Will Biddell on the extreme right. Llew Williams kick struck the upright but the All-blacks were back in contention 19-15.
Joe Cave then made a powerful charge for Tim Breakwell to put Bridgnorth back in front and for Williams to make the score 19-22, but the lead didn't last long, as with an interception and try under the posts Lichfield were back in front. Not for long however, a kick ahead brought a try for Ryan Smileus and great kick from Williams put Bridgnorth back in the lead 26-29. The Bridgnorth forwards took charge a huge tackle from Ed John, and Cave with Tim Breakwell in support, forced Lichfield back for yards for Jordan Burgess to burst through. Then Richard Addison broke clear and with a 30 metre solo dash to touch down between the sticks for Llew Williams record a great win 26-43.
Bridgnorth with the third best defensive record in the League may reflect that they missed more tackles in this game than in the rest of the season put together and that new boy Marley Finn in his First team debut on the wing didn't get a pass all day.
Another good team performance, tackling excepted,with Rich Addison and Lew Williams outstanding, but the appearance of Joe Cave seemed to change the forwards determination to take charge of the game. So this weeks choice for Bridgnorth's Man of the Match Joe Cave.
Next week Sandbach at home,5th in the League may prove stiff opposition.
Bridgnorth lost 29-26 at Sandbach and the Cheshire side took Birmingham/Solihull's unbeaten record 23-20 last week