Retford sign off 2018 with 14th consecutive win!
Nottinghamians RUFC 12
East Retford 1st Team 22
On the back of two tough victories in one week, East Retford 1st Team were made to battle away at struggling Nottinghamians, it what was treacherous freezing conditions. The home team showed why they were a tough team to beat and came out of the blocks firing. They got just reward with an early converted try under the posts. Despite having the wind behind them Retford struggled to get going with unforced errors preventing numerous scoring opportunities. This was until the ball found its way to Josh Freeman on the blind side, who, as he has all season, showed his pace and power to score in the corner. The try was brilliantly converted by Dan Preece from the touchline. Nottinghamians quickly responded with a second try almost immediately, leaving Retford in a difficult position to chase the game in the second half. A further Preece penalty brought the score to 12-10 at half time to Nottinghamians.
Now playing against the biting wind, Retford produced their most dominant rugby of the afternoon, camping in the opposition’s territory for the majority of the second half. Simple, old school rugby did the trick and this begun with a dominant line out and scrum. Dave Howard’s first try came from the base of a brilliant scrum, in which Retford drove 10 metres for Howard to gather and score from number eight, converted by Preece. Credit goes to all the forwards, in particular front row players Helliwell, Wilkinson, Bailey-Hobbs and Warren, who dominated the scrummaging all afternoon. With the score at 17-12, a tense 20 minutes followed, knowing one mistake could allow Notts back into the game. Dave Howard single handedly then took grasp of the game and made a devastating run, handing off numerous defenders to score his second and deservedly earn the forwards Man of the Match award. It was young Ryan Mellins who was awarded the backs Man of the Match, for a fine, brave tackling display at inside centre.
This week has proven Retford can play in the coldest, toughest conditions and grind out a win, that sees them sit seven points clear at the top of the table going into 2018. Full credit to whole squad for a great first half to the season.