Didsbury Toc H Plate QF v Burnley RUFC
Didsbury Toc H narrowly lost to Burnley RUFC in the final seconds of our Plate QF, played away at Burnley.
Final Score 22 - 17 (HT 12 - 10)
Didsbury Toc H U14s, narrowly lost our Lancashire Cup Plate QF by a single try scored in the dying seconds in the final 'Final Play'.
The game was a Home fixture rearranged to Burnley due to an unplayable pitch at Didsbury. Thanks go to Burnley for hosting the fixture which we played on their top pitch, not too windy but a fairly chilly day for all.
Parents gathered initially thinking we'd be up against some seriously big lads in white shirts, thankfully that was the U16s, but as it happened the U14s were of similar stock and there were a fair few big lads in there. With a record turnout of 20 in the squad with only a few missing we expected the best from Toc H. We welcomed Will to his first Lancs Cup fixture.
The lads were there bright and early, our captain head down and focussed.
Didsbury started brightly and Sam M scored in the first quarter with a break from the middle and good pace to score under the posts. Early controversy mind as the kicking tee was at the far end along with our kicker searching for it, but with the Ref pressuring and clock watching we had to resort to a drop kick conversion which we missed. Better have our kicking tee closer at hand next time!
We went behind to a converted try when one of their BLs shed a few tackles on his way to scoring under the post, we need to get those tackles lower and we paid the price later in the match.
Didsbury did get the ball quickly away and out wide on a number of occasions but handling wasn't great in the conditions and some dropped balls and the touchline helped out Burnley, but OJ managed to get away to score in the corner, Burnley edged ahead with a score out wide at the end of the half.
The half was essentially a battle to contain the big lads, not lacking effort we did well on the whole, but we struggled to get a good grip on them at times, sometimes through poor technique and in part ignorance of Regulation 4.4 (j) but it was chilly and they're children after all. We didn't help ourselves with a yellow card sin bin, but it's not as if we haven't played with 14 or 13 this season, so we should be able to cope in these situations.
HT 12 - 10
We again started the half brightly and following a lineout catch and charge by Will, which then went a few phases Will finished off with a pick to drive over the line, converted by Leo to give Toc H an early lead.
Burnley scored an unconverted try to level the scores at 17 - 17 and they weren't doing themselves any favours either with a sin bin for the home side; soon back to full strength setting up a nervy last 10 minutes for all concerned.
Toc H just couldn't manage to get a clean break on the heavy pitch and ill discipline with a red card resulted in us going down to 14 for the remainder of the half. It remained a tight game and as the Ref called final play we won the line out and ran the ball out of play, though it transpired it wasn't the final play and the Burnley line out was fed quickly wide for a score to secure their plate progression.
FT - 22 - 17
The game was played in good spirit between both teams and we can't complain, both sides were committed and it was a QF so a lot to play for. Our performance wasn't at the level we reached in earlier games and we just didn't make the tackles we needed to make. We'll learn a lot from today, take a look at ourselves and ask if we competed as we'd have wanted to in some key areas. Burnley posed a big threat today with their Big Lads running hard and direct on a wet and muddy pitch, Rugby is a game played in all conditions, maybe today didn't suit our strengths and exposed some weaknesses. We didn't take all our chances and failed to make the difference we wanted and we just need to take it, learn the lessons and make sure we're never left wanting when we hit a knockout stage in future.
Thanks to Burnley for post match hospitality, definitely the best post match pie our lads have had. Best of luck in the plate SF.