East Retford 'A' XV 56 Pts V Market Rasen 2nd XV 19 Pts
As Retford met up for this friendly fixture it was very apparent that because it was supposed to be a free week a full side was going to be hard to muster.
An hour before kick-off they still only had half a side, anyhow as the team got changed and prepared to warm up players arrived and Retford were taking to the field with a bare fifteen players mixed up from both first and second team and a lot playing out of position.
Before the kick off captain Ali Waring stressed to the assembled side how they must play together and try to play with some structure as he knew that the visitors were having a fine season and they were not going to be a push over and it definitely wasn't going to be a fifty point game. Having said that from the kick off Retford got a perfect start with Mikey Phillips finding an early gap to score a try in the corner well converted by Mark Pymm.
Market Rasen were quick to reply with some good forward play setting up a run in the backs where a missed tackle saw the Rasen centre through under the posts to score a converted try. There then became a battle in the forwards where Retford were coming out on top with some fine tackling and counter rucking especially by Brad Sexton and Callum Micklethwaite.
Some twenty five minutes had gone by before Waring set up another attack; he made a diagonal run before passing the ball on to Dave Howard whose timely pass released Luke Osborne who raced into the corner to score his maiden try. This was followed up with some great play all round and Jordan Mee made a break and actually passed the ball to Ben Wilson whose step inside sent all the defenders the wrong way before passing to Mikey Phillips who ran clear for his second try under the posts, conversion added.
Retford were now dictating the pace but an interception by the Market Rasen fly half saw him race away from the Retford players for a try. Retford however were to have the last play of the half with strong running by Simon Phillips supported well by Micklethwaite who finished the move off well with another try in the corner and a half time lead of twenty four points to twelve.
Retford had played out of their skins in the first half and were encouraged to go on and continue to play well and put the game out of reach for the visitors and that is what they did. The first points came from a scrum with the combination of Howard and Mee in the second row engine room adding the power the opposition were pushed clean off the ball. Simon Phillips picked up at number eight drew the man and passed out to his brother Mikey who went over for his third try of the day.
Playing with pace Retford were soon back on the attack and the dancing feet of Simon Phillips soon saw him through the gap and then his pace through to the line to score. Some great work was put in around the park particular by Ash Eccleshall from back row hovering up any scraps of ball whilst some strong runs in the back line were added by Jake Followell having a rest from Uni. The lineout was working well good controlled throwing by Harry Salathiel who also added his weight with some strong running but the nest sortie came from another Waring scything attack straightening up and passing to Kyle Fitzpatrick on the wing who ran in the try.
From the kick off Retford added more woe onto their opponents with another forceful run in the forwards by Matt Watt who set the ball up with the help of the rest of the pack clean ball for the back line to run this time to the left. Ball shipped down the line before Waring once again passed the ball out to Osborne on the wing to score his second. Market Rasen were not done just yet and went through several phases of play before a nice move in the backs saw their centre through to score. However Retford were throwing the ball around at this stage and moved down to the left before switching back the other way and when the ball found Howard in the middle of the park he just went straight on with two superb had offs to score under the post, conversion added.
Once again from the kick off Retford forced their way back with a great take by Sexton into opposition territory. Running at a very tired defence the ball was moved simply down the backs an out to Fitzpatrick who scampered in at the corner for his second try of the day and rounding off the scoring for the match.
Market Rasen awarded the Man of the match awards which went to Fly Half Ben Wilson in the backs for a well-controlled game all around the park and to Bradley Sexton in the forwards for claiming most of the kick offs and having a great day in the scrum and the loose and a superb tackle in the first half, Donkey went to Jake Followell for landing on the ball claiming an injury but was only winded with an imprint of Gilbert on his stomach.