Last Sunday Preston Grasshoppers brough 12 players to a chilly Grove Lane.
Manchester had 14 eligible U7's and it was decided to play 2 teams of six to give the maximum playing time for all the players.
The teams were split based on experience and recent performances to give all players the best possible peer group in which to get the most from the play. This is something we have looked at over the last 2 weeks as we have been able to field more players as the younger players come of age. We Will look to rotate players in and out of teams so all get the best experience, to learn and build confidence.
Team A - Ewan, Lightening Ben, Jamie, Harry, Charlie, Alex
Subsitutues - Bailey and Evie
Preston also picked their team based on experience, and we rotated both teams.
Team A were in clear control from the start running out winners by 12-1. Scorers for Manchester Lightning 2, Ewan 1, Harry 1, Alex 1 Charlie and amazing 7!!! Manchester showed great support play, and great defence to limit the visitors to only 1 try.
Team B played the more experienced Preston team in their first game. This game was a little tighter as both teams traded trys early on. Manchester took control in the 2nd half, forcing a number of crucial turnovers. Bailey made his Manchester debut at halftime. Eventually Manchester won 10-8. Scorers for Manchester, Taylor 6!!!, Thunder Ben 2, Zac 1, Will K 1.
Team A played the more experienced of the Preston players and were put under a little more pressure. However the now signature Tigerish defence saw the Preston team often going backward more than forward and the Tigers finished winners 11-4. Scorers for Manchester Lightning 3, Ewan 1, Jamie 3, Harry 1, Charlie 3.
Team B continued where they had left off in Game 1 and took control early. More great defence and support play meant Preston could not hold a now rampant Tigers team. The final score was Manchester 8 - Preston 4. Scorers for Manchester, Taylor 5, Zac 1, Will K 2.
Team A were now in no mood for even conceding a try! A very one sided game ensued and Manchester scored 11 un-answered trys!!! The boys covered well and worked well for each other. Taylor and Thunder Ben swapped with Alex and Jamie for this game. Scorers for Manchester Lightning 3, Ewan 3, Taylor 1, Charlie 4.
Team B fought the hardest Game of the Day and the expereinced Preston Team wanted to take something away from the day. Alex and Jamie came in for this fixture and Evie made her debut on her first day with the Tigers. Manchester gave up two early turnovers and were 2-0 down soon after the start. From then on trys were traded as each team scored with each possession. At half time the teams turned Manchester 4 - Preston 6. Early in the second half Will K picked up an injury and Will H came in as sub. Soon after this Will H also picked up a knock, leaving Manchester to fight back from behind with 5 in the team. The brave Tigers fought back forcing two turnovers and scoring from the possession. Will K, knowing his team needed him, bravely fought back the pain to rejoin the fray as the scores drew level at 7 all! Each team scored 2 tries more and the final score was 9-9!. A great and brave fightback from a reduced team, great character! Scorers for Manchester - Alex 6, Zac 2, Jamie 1.
So another great day for the Tigers, 6 Games, 5 wins, 1 draw, and all the players having fun and getting as much playing time as possible. 62 tries were scored showing great evasive running and sense of space. Only 26 tries were conceded showing great, determined tagging, but most of all today the defence showed good awareness to close down space and push the opposing runners back, working as a team together to stop the oppsotion scoring. Great performances by everyone involved, Well Done!