After a solid performance against Knutsford the previous week, Holmes Chapel 1st XV continued their post-Christmas form by recording a hard-earned win over a very tough Prenton outfit. Mike Cottam
’s preparations were hit by several late drop-outs but fortunately enough players were able to step in at short notice to make up a 17 man squad. Alex Gormley
was named on the bench (and would go on to make his 1st XV debut), while Chris Broomfield and Jon Griffin
were drafted into a makeshift second row partnership for the day. The first half was full of commitment and aggression in defence from both sides and this set the tone for the afternoon. With Prenton enjoying a slight upper hand in the set-piece but Chapel looking the more threatening with ball in hand the match was finely balanced but neither side were creating clear-cut opportunities. Joe Maddock
went narrowly wide with an opportunistic drop-goal attempt but apart from that there were few chances in the first period.
The second half continued to be hard-fought but as Chapel began to improve their scrummaging most of the play was in Prenton territory. The visitors thought they had scored when Ed Meyrick broke down the wing and touched down but he was adjudged to have put a foot in touch while running for the line. Several other excellent chances were created and wasted by Chapel as they sought to avoid a repeat of the 0-0 scoreline between the 2 sides at Station Road early in the season. The breakthrough finally came when Chapel were awarded a penalty in front of the Prenton posts and Cottam wisely decided to go for goal. Stu Butters scored the easy 3 points to give the visitors something to defend. Rather than sit back however, they were soon further ahead after Butters ghosted past several defenders to score under the posts for a try that he converted himself. At 10-0 with only minutes to go the game should have ended comfortably, however to their credit Prenton came back strongly and scored an unconverted try to halve the deficit with 2 minutes remaining. Fortunately for Chapel there were no further scares and they had fought their way to a crucial victory.
This weekend Chapel take on University of Liverpool in a rearranged fixture at Station Road – all supporters are welcome for a 2.15pm kick-off. There was no 2nd XV action last weekend but this Saturday the 2s take on Lymm in the cup away from home in what should be a cracking match.
Holmes Chapel RUFC would like to acknowledge and thank all club sponsors for their support. For more information on our sponsors please visit our website: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/holmeschapel/d/sponsors.html