Rovers 3rds and Seaton 2nds finished with honours even after a hard fought 29-29 draw. I am still trying to figure out if that was a point dropped, one saved or a fair reflection of a tight game.
It was a lovely autumnal day when Rovers kicked off at Hornby Park with only a strong cross field wind to trouble the players and the threat of Kenny Braham sneaking up behind to worry spectators. Rovers took the lead when Paul Arnell
crashed over and then converted his own try. 7-0 to Rovers. After 15 minutes a kick ahead from Arnell was well chased by Luke Wallis
and Dash Hogg and it was Hogg who got to the ball to go over for what I think is his first try for the club. Dickie Flounders
got the conversion to make it 14-0. Even better was to come when after a series of strong forward drives ‘Granville’ Bradley went over in the corner. Dickie could not convert but half way through the first half Rovers were 19-0 ahead despite kicking up the bank. Instead of taking more control of the game though Rovers allowed Seaton to get back into it. A combination of Rovers easing up and some profitable substitutions saw Seaton score 3 tries before half time with one converted (and one hitting the post) to have a half time score of Seaton 17 – 19 Rovers.
The stern words at half time were duly forgotten when we kicked off as it was Seaton who scored an unconverted try after 2 minutes of the second half to lead for the first time in the game 22-19. Rovers responded well though and after some good passages of play and a particularly strong drive by Granville Marc Burnside went over. The conversion was narrowly missed but Rovers had regained the lead 24-22. Both sides then had further opportunities to score and it was Seaton who eventually took one to score a try. The conversion meant Seaton were ahead 29-24 and Rovers needed to score a try to come out of the game with anything. A long kick ahead by Granville was knocked on by the home full back near the posts which set up a period of intense pressure on the home line. ben gibson
and Granville were actually over the line and had grounded the ball cleanly near the posts but on both occasions the ref was not on the right side of play to see this. The pressure finally told when Ste Clayton went over but this was further out and the difficult kick was missed to leave a final score of 29-29.
Many thanks to Neil for turning out for us when gerry mcmullen
had to come off and we had no more subs. That was one of the main differences in the game. We had appreciably fewer options when players were injured and had to have too many people play out of position. We are also letting teams into the game too much by not keeping up pressure and concentration levels.
Man of the match was Granville for his whole hearted effort all game.
Finally best wishes from all at Rovers for a speedy recovery to the Seaton lad for whom the air ambulance was called, though I understand it was not required in the end. It would be good if someone could let us know how he got on.