U14s: Upton 14 MRFC Marauders 26
A Pleasing Performance Secures a Good Win in a Competitive Game
Today we made the short trip to Upton renew a long standing rivalry, looking forward to another closely matched and hard fought game. We were not disappointed. The snow flurries which threatened on the journey happily relented, leaving a cold, windy, but sunny morning.
The game started evenly, Malvern probably just having the upper hand. The very muddy pitch and challenging weather conditions made fast, free flowing rugby difficult, and played to Upton's larger forwards and more one dimensional game.
Malvern opened the scoring from a line out near our own line. The ball secured, moved along the backs to Hamish who went on one his trademark runs, knocking over would be tacklers like skittles. A well timed offload to Charlie, and then another one to Will B secured the try. The supporting runners were excellent, demonstrating the real speed we have in some of our players.
Sadly the lead did not last long. Upton kicked long from the restart, a poor Malvern clearing kick, into the wind, failed to relieve pressure, Upton gathering and catching the defence napping for an easy try, 1-1 (5-7).
Upton played the conditions well. Keeping the ball tight and using their large forwards. Despite the odd Malvern win against the head the Upton scrum was fairly formidable, and ultimately allowed a pick up and go by the Upton 8 from close range, 1-2 (5-14). Malvern persisted with the expansive running game, but the cold weather and strong wind seemed to cause an unusually high number of handling errors, the strong running of Will L and Hamish especially coming to nought ultimately.
Turning round at half time meant that Malvern had the wind at their backs, running in three unanswered tries. Hamish running a good angle to level the score, Will adding the extras, 2-2 (12-14). Malvern took the lead, the move started by Kieran with a huge hit, then quickly to his feet to secure the turnover, the ball fizzing to Godders who showed a turn of pace not expected of a Hooker, coupled with determination and strength, to score, 3-2 (19-14).
Kieran also had a hand in the final try, a good run, the ball recycled from the ensuing ruck, to Will L, Will B and Hamish to score under the posts, 4-2 (26-14). With Malvern now in the ascendancy and looking to run away with the game, proceedings were brought to a premature halt through an injury to an Upton player. Let's hope he is ok.
An outstanding team effort, with forwards and backs combining really well and all players putting in a lot of work and effort to gain a really good win against a large and powerful Upton side who were suited by the conditions. Well done all.
Those who are away, have a great week in the sun or snow!
Thanks to Neil Preece for the write up.