Castle Donnington 15 Cleethorpes 20
Buoyant after beating second placed Belper in the league last weekend, Cleethorpes travelled to Castle Donington looking for only their second away league win of the season.
Skipper Steve Gibson was pleased to welcome back vice captain Pete Southwell and Steve Broderick back into the starting line up.
The game kicked off at 14:15 with Cleethorpes starting the game very strong, putting the home side under a lot of pressure. The pressure started to tell as Castle Donington gave away a penalty for an infringement at the ruck. The penalty was in front of the post, but a good 40 metres away.
The Cleethorpes pack wanted to run the ball, but the decision was made to go for the penalty kick. Andy Stephenson stepped up and coolly slotted the ball between the posts giving the visitors a 3-0 lead.
With an early score on the board Cleethorpes went in search of more points. The forwards were hungry, and competed at every break down and set piece. The Cleethorpes back line was full of confidence and eager to try their moves. It was from a scrum that the first try would come, pack leader Sean Ward called for an eight push, winning the ball cleanly. Scrum half Charlie Code fed the ball out to Searle who dummied the ball to Gibson before feeding the ball down the line, the ball when through hands to the wing Glen Maddison. With just his opposite man to beat Maddison popped the ball back inside to the supporting Matt Searle who crossed the line for the first try of the game. Stephenson converted to take to score to 10-0 in favour of the Meggies.
With the ball back in their hands Cleethorpes started to work their way back up the pitch but were thwarted by some good defence from the home side at some baffling decision from the referee. The home side were able to score a penalty as the Meggies struggled to come to terms with their discipline and the referees' expectations.
Midway through the second half Cleethorpes should have got their second try of the game, when again with back line set piece straight off the training ground Cleethorpes opened up the home defence. Searle spun a long miss pass out to full back Stephenson who joined the attacking line a full pace however he was unable to take the ball cleanly and the opportunity was missed.
The second try for the visitors was not far away, and from a line out the Clee pack executed one of their pieces, and as no.8 Jaymel Endar broke the line he chipped the ball over the oncoming full back. The ball bounced just short of the try line, and it was a foot race to get to the ball first with Searle winning the race to score his and Cleethorpes second try of the game. The conversion was missed but Cleethorpes now held a 15-3 lead.
The second half started well with both sides playing at a frantic pace and intent. Castle Donington were clearly not going to lie down and let the Meggies take the point's home. It was not long before the home side would strike back, with the Castle Donington skipper driving over the line for a try. The conversion was missed but Cleethorpes lead was now cut to 15-8. Frustrated at conceding a try Cleethorpes bounced back quickly and but the home side under pressure. Castle Donington had a line out on their own 22, and under pressure from the Clee line the ball was messy with home fly half dropping the ball under pressure from Endar and Searle. Man of the match Searle reacted quickly to the loose ball, and reminiscent of his favourite footballer Steve Gerrard he dribbled the ball sublimely around the on coming home defence before touching down for his hat trick. The conversion was missed but Clee now led 20-8.
Castle Donington came back at the visitors and scored one more converted try to bring the score to 20-15 and that was how the game finished. With two wins in a row Cleethorpes have now opened up a six point gap between them and the relegation places with nine games left to play.