1st Grade - Report
|Northampton Demons||38||vs||12||LEICESTER STORM|
Leicester Storm crumble with the league title hanging on by a thread!
The Storm 1st Grade put a poor display in against their local rivals Northampton Demons and paid the consequences.
The Demons couldn't believe their luck at times, as Storm continued to give away needless penalties. The home sides opening try, resulted from three back to back penalties against Leicester, for unbelievably basic mistakes and too their credit, Northampton punished every mistake Storm made. Even the home sides second try came from a penalty for high shot, and with Northampton’s play-maker not missing a kick; it was not going to be easy watching for the travelling Storm fans.
Storm did get on the score sheet with 15 minutes played; the left winger, Mark Etherington, finished off a well worked try after some good foot work from the Centre, Austin Huntley. The young winger, Etherington, staking a claim for the 1st Grade shirt with a hard working display on Saturday afternoon. Dave Weston converted from near the side-line.
The away side then went back to conceding needless penalties, knocking the ball on or bickering amongst themselves. Head Coach, Tim Farnden, couldn't believe his eyes as the team started to argue about the plays, moves and question each other’s ability; especially after such an intensive warm up. The Demons scored once more before half-time and also added 2 penalties to go into the second half 22-6. The story of the first half had to be the fact the away side had given away 14 penalties... astonishing really considering the amount of experience in the squad.
Simple message going into the second half was cut out the bickering and the pointless penalties and we can get back into the game. Storm were the first to score in the second half, a Greg Harris sneak over from a yard was enough after some good work finally from the forwards - Mahmood Saad, playing his last game for 3 weeks as he prepares to wed his lovely fiancée Charlotte on the 14th July - Weston again converting.
However, it was an all too familiar story for Storm as they continued to give away penalties and not make any yards through the forwards. Northampton Demons went on to score 3 more unanswered tries. It could of been more if it wasn't for the cover tackling of fullback Etherington (who replaced Boothby at fullback, with 15 minutes to go, due to injury). If the wingers had seen more of the ball on Saturday, maybe the score line would of been different.
A disappointed Head Coach, Tim Farnden, said this after the game;
"Very disappointed with the result today; it was a game that we should of controlled. We let them win the forward battle in the first 15 minutes and never recovered. At times we looked good today but with such a poor platform being provided by our forward we struggled to make any real ground. We need a big effort at training this week to make up for it, and a far better performance next weekend"
Man of the Match: A tough one for all the wrong reasons. None of the big guns really fired today. Impact wise, Scott Castell, Patrick Thomson and Liam Barnes, played with heart and effort. But if this winger had seen more ball on the day, then who knows? His cover tackles saved certain tries on 3 separate occasions and the young lad has a great chance of cementing his first grade shirt - Mark Etherington