East Retford 1st XV 26 Pts V Cleethorpes 1st XV 17 Pts
Retford were hosts to the unbeaten top of the league side of Cleethorpes last Saturday and expected a hard fought game having at least eight squad players out of the game for one reason or another.
Retford under the leadership of Joe Helliwell were looking to get off to a quick start but it was the league leaders who set the early pace.
Some three minutes in Retford were penalised for a high tackle and a quick tap penalty saw Cleethorpes scamper in for an early try whilst Retford were still looking at each other. Then ten minutes gone Cleethorpes used a nice move from the lineout in their own half to bring their left winger into play that left everyone in his wake to score a converted try.
Then whilst Retford were trying to get back into the game they lost two players just minutes apart Mark Pymm for a discretion playing the ball on the ground then Freeman for a high tackle so were going to be severely tested over a period of about thirteen minutes or so. To their credit they produced the best defensive period of the season so far and almost scored just being stopped short but whilst down to thirteen men the team started to make inroads.
When the team was back to full strength it was inevitable that Retford would finally get on the scoreboard and great forward play put the team on the front foot and a nice bit of handling in the backs saw Simon Phillips go over from centre, converted by Josh Freeman to bring a half time score of seven points to twelve in the visitors favour.
From the half time talk it was clear the tactics that Retford were going to use and the forwards were clearly up to the task on the day. Dave Howard took the ball on and was involved in the move at least three more time before Simon Phillips once more ceased his chance to claim his and the side’s second try again converted by Freeman and Retford took the lead.
Just as Retford were settling into some sort of rhythm once again they received a yellow for a seat belt tackle deemed high by the official so Ed Bailey-Hobbs had to sit out for ten minutes during which Cleethorpes drove over for a try but once again missed the conversion. When the ten minutes had been served it was Retford superb team play that saw them go up the field of play before Will Wilkinson crashed over to claim the try, again converted and regain the lead.
Retford finished the day off with a burst of speed from Josh Nicklin from deep in his own half and looked like he would go all the way but was pushed into touch. Retford received a penalty and Mick Sykes put the ball in touch in the corner. Winning the ensuing lineout they drove for the line and a pick up at the rear saw Trenny wriggle over in the corner for a fourth and once again bonus point try.
Retford claimed a great win to move second in the table with Dave Howard receiving Man of the match in the forwards and Simon Phillips receiving the honour in the backs with the three yellow cards collecting a donkey award. Next Saturday Retford play Worksop the match to be played at Retford a change due to bonfire commitments kick off is at 2.15pm.