St Andrew hold off Ledbury fight
Ledbury could not quite convert a host of chances to finally lose a nail biting game at home to Rugby St Andrews
Ledbury hosted Rugby St Andrews who travelled in good numbers after a positive result against title chasing Evesham last time out. The hosts were looking to finish strong, knowing if results went their way and Shipston could defeat Evesham, promotion was still a possibility.
Rugby St Andrews flew out the blocks and threw everything at Ledbury, running good lines and gaining valuable yards. With Ledbury failing to keep hold of their own ball due to some excellent counter rucking from the travelling side, they were finally rewarded for the possession they had when they powered over for the opening score of the game, the conversion was unsuccessful, 0-5.
Ledbury slowly started getting back into the game, even though the power of St Andrews was a lot to withhold at times, thanks to some on the money kicking from George Bennion, they started playing rugby in the correct areas. Going down the hill at Ross Road, Ledbury surprisingly drew a blank in the first half failing to convert any chance they gained entry into the red zone.
Both teams had men sin binned due to some exceptionally strict refereeing that firstly saw Dave Wargen binned for a bit of argy bargy with an opposite number. Steve Humphries was next to go when he failed to role within the allocated 2.1 seconds following the completion of a tackle.
Wanting a home result for themselves and their fans, Ledbury at the start of the second half had quick ball, good decisions, slick hands and a finisher in Dan Sewell to draw level. With the majority of the second half to go, surely this had to be the time the home side would kick on and win the game. To give St Andrews credit they defended exceptionally well, put Ledbury under immense pressure, this caused them to knock balls on, make poor decisions and lose the ball in vital areas of the pitch.
St Andrews piled more pressure on when, against the run of play, managed to grab a score of their own to extend the lead by 5 points again, Ledbury still knew a converted try would win them the game. Pressure after pressure, attack after attack was piled onto the travelling defence and they managed to withstand and hold onto the victory, even though they were reduced to 14 men after numerous infringements, a well-earned result for them and a disappointing way for Ledbury to finish.
Even though Ledbury suffered defeat, they have enjoyed a very good season, even though the closing stages have ended poorly. To have lost 2 games more than half way through the season with some big away scalps, Ledbury dominated and bullied many of their opponents and were clinical. With a few players bidding farewell, Ledbury will look to rebuild ready for another season.
Having personally been part of the club now for 4/5 seasons, it has been a pleasure, the social at the club is fantastic and the rugby we have played at times has been absolute class, the boys are a tight group and with some added quality and youth, this club could enjoy a lot of success.
We say a farewell to Gary Nichollson who has been an exceptional player for many a year, he is heading back to his homeland up North, he will be missed as a player on and off the pitch, so we all wish him good luck for the future.
The end of season party happens on the 6th May, tickets are being sold at £25 per head and it would be fantastic to have a big celebration on what was on the whole a good season, I look forward to seeing you all there.
Thank you for having the patience to read through these reports, it has been a pleasure even if I may be dyslexic or illiterate. All the best. Bromo