Meden Vale 1st XV 5 Pts V East Retford 1st XV 29 Pts
Retford make it 11 wins after a hard fought win at Vale
In form Retford made the trip to Meden Vale and as expected faced a physical and determined side that seeked revenge for last year’s Cup Final defeat to East Retford. Retford had other ideas though and started with the same high paced intensity that has served them so well this season.
The forwards, led by Dave Howard, Ed Bailey-Hobbs and Ed Driver
, carried very well in the loose, producing great support play and offloads to put Retford on the front foot. Persistent pressure allowed Captain Preece to open the scoring with a well taken penalty.
Secure lineout ball, quick handling and great support play down the blind side saw the ball find Dave Howard who charged over from short range for Retford’s first try of three converted tries in the first half. Well recycled ball then allowed Dave Howard again to break down the right giving the ball on to Josh Freeman
to find space on the wing and beat his opposite man to power over the line for the second.
Camped in the Meden half and almost immediately from the restart, Driver used more direct running to punch a hole in the defence. He then showed great awareness to time a pass and put in the supporting scrum half Mikey Philips under the posts. Twenty four points to nil at half time interval to Retford who were still looking for the bonus point try.
Although ill-discipline cost them on occasions, it was communication and line speed that worked in their favour to prevent Meden Vale scoring. Frustrated not to have seen much ball, Retford were in need of a strike move to change the game. A solid scrum from the Retford pack was a great platform for Phillips to serve Fly half Wilson, who found Josh Nicklin
running powerfully on yet another fantastic angle, bursting through two tackles to score the bonus point try.
Full credit must go to Meden Vale for their response in the second half. They found more structure and field position to apply constant pressure on Retford and scored a second half try themselves very near the end of the game. Their celebrations though were a reflection of Retford’s outstanding defence.
Men of the Match this week went to Simon Philips in the forwards for his leadership in defence and Josh Nicklin
for another fine all-round performance. Retford look forward to continuing their fine form and hard work in training and in two tough encounters in the next week at Mellish and Nottingham Moderns.