1st XV Finish with a Win
East Retford 1st XV 44 Pts V Skegness 1st XV 10 Pts
Retford entertained Skegness in their last league match of the season in a game that Skegness needed to win to survive in the league but Retford also wanted to extend their winning run to six on the bounce and consolidate their third place in what has turned out to be a very good season.
Retford got off to a slow start having the ball turned over from the kick off but Luke Osbourne robbed it back and a solid run by Mikey Phillips took the side up to halfway and things could settle down. Skegness were fired up and were taking chances bordering on the offside but putting Retford under pressure not letting the side get into any sort of rhythm.
An early penalty chance drifted wide on the wind but five minutes later the Skegness centre was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on and Dan Preece converted the ensuing penalty for a three point lead. This should have settled the nerves but Skegness came back working their way up the park through their forwards and eventually scoring in the corner taking the lead by two points.
Retford needed quicker ball and when they produced it the backs got on the front foot and Josh Nicklin was on hand to finish the move with a great burst of pace to score an unconverted try. This was soon followed by a great run by Simon Phillips and then on to Preece whose turn of pace shocked the crowd as he outpaced the Skegness winger kept him at bay with a couple of handoffs to score in the corner and at this stage Retford were out playing the visitors in all departments.
Skegness on the other hand were not giving up and as half time approached and excellent move in the Skegness back line saw their player hit the gap and run clear though to score and although he was close to the posts the kick was missed giving Retford a lead of thirteen points to ten at the interval. Retford knew that if they tidied up their game and got the passes right then there was definitely more in the tank.
Just five minutes after the restart Preece added a penalty to increase the lead before Retford hit their stride using quicker ball and faster pace to outwit their opponents. Nicklin broke through on the right hand side to outpace the Skegness defence and score his second converted by Preece this was followed shortly after by some superb forward play inter passing and taking on the opposition before a break by Preece who then passed on to Simon Phillips then on to Nicklin who stepped his man to score his third try under the posts again converted by Preece.
Retford then lost their prop Joe (ten minute) Helliwell for a high tackle who was shown a yellow card before almost from the kick off Retford came storming back up the pitch with some more brilliant passing skills before passing to scrum half Mikey Phillips to run clear and score another converted try. Then to put the game to bed as they say again from the kick off the forwards on another rampaging run saw Harry salathiel bounce off his would be tackler to score again under the posts making a simple conversion for Preece to round off the scoring.
After a slow start Retford put in a fantastic second half display with the Men of the match awards going to Simon Phillips in the backs and to Captain Dan Preece for an excellent match in the forwards with Donkey going to Joe Helliwell for giving the excuse of the player he tackled was to small that’s why it was a high tackle. Retford 1st team look forward to finishing the season off in style with a final against Medan Vale at Nottingham Lady Bay Ground – 1 Holme Road, West Bridgford Saturday 5th May kick off 2pm.