Buxton 1st XV 41 Pts V East Retford 1st XV 16 Pts
Retford boarded the team bus early Saturday morning for their trip over to Chesterfield to play in the NLD Plate Final against Buxton.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Retford as Buxton who had had a strong finish to their season winning their last five fixtures had finished a strong fourth in the division above Retford.
Retford had beaten Amber Valley, Mellish and Worksop the teams in their division to reach the final but as the match started with a half past midday start and against a blustery wind Retford were soon under no illusion as to the enormity of the task at hand.
Buxton set off at a fast pace putting Retford’s defence under great pressure and early penalty saw Buxton kick for the corner but Retford stole their ball but were encamped in their own twenty–two. The early pressure saw Retford give up another penalty and as the players turned their backs as the posts appeared to be signalled the Buxton scrumhalf took a quick tap and scooted past the retiring Retford players and was awarded a try which was converted.
As the wind seemed to get stronger so did the Buxton play as around the fifteen minute mark a great blindside move saw Buxton back row player in at the corner and this was added to some three minutes later with another short range try both unconverted. During this time it didn’t help Retford loosing front row Simon Palmer
to a hamstring injury and Joe Helliwell
did his upmost to replace him especially in the set piece but also James Green
to a yellow card for the teams persistent penalty count.
Retford continued to soak up the pressure and gave up another converted try before Retford had a little bit of luck of their own. Having had the scrimmage ball turned over Buxton appeared to have added to their tally running in from their own half the referee’s assistant pointed out an infringement in that scrum. The official brought play back to the Buxton half where Retford were given a penalty of which Joshua Freeman slotted the kick over against the wind giving Buxton a twenty four point to three lead at the interval.
At the start of the second half Retford firmly believed that they could get on terms with the elements at their back and they did improve and show what they could do but the strength and fortune of the Buxton side proved too much. It was Retford who put on the early pressure and were soon rewarded with another penalty again converted by Freeman but as Retford started to gain some forward momentum a random clearance kick from Buxton took a severe bounce on the hard ground completely flat footing the Retford defence and bouncing straight into the arms of the Buxton fullback who ran straight through to score, once again unconverted.
This was soon followed up again with another blindside move that paid off with another try before Retford players gathered themselves to play their best rugby of the day. Good forward running and recycling of the ball allowed the Retford backs some room to run before Freeman on the right wing showed his strength to score in the corner. Retford were now playing with some pride and effort all-round the pitch with all the players contributing Retford
forwards showed great strength collectively before Dave (Jeff) Ruzicka powered over for Retford’s second try.
Retford were definitely finishing strong but another yellow for and unbelievable tackle alleged to have been a no arms tackle by the referee’s assistant saw brother Michael Green
also collect a yellow. Retford still in shock from the decision saw Buxton capitalize once again as they went down the short side to score adding the last points of the day.
Retford had given a good account of themselves particularly in the second half and although the score reflects an easy win for Buxton the play on the day was very demanding and showed Retford the standard they need to achieve if they wish to look for promotion.
Retford would like to thank all their supporters and readers and invite them to come and watch a Presidents XV v the 1st XV on Sunday 21 May 2017 kick off 2 o clock.