Extras battle to narrow loss in welcome return to action
MANOR Park’s Second XV return to action for the first time in a month with a commendable narrow defeat against Coventrians.
An unfavourable sequence of big away trips for the first team and late cry-offs from opponents meant Podge Everard’s men had missed on plenty of rugby in recent weeks.
This looked set to continue when Bedworth Bears announced midweek they could not field a side for the eagerly-anticipated local derby.
An eleventh hour offer from Coventrians ensured Everard’s efforts to assemble a squad were not in vain.
It was a calculated risk, with the men from the Black Pad enjoying a strong season, lying second in Midlands 4 West South and without a first-team game on Saturday afternoon due to the division having an odd amount of teams.
Park had suffered at the hands of Coventrians in early September, when the ultimate compliment was paid to Manor Park when their hosts cancelled a cup tie with Bedworth to instead pool resources to decimate Park’s depleted extras.
Fortunately, there was no such repeat on Saturday afternoon as Park welcomed back some senior players to the second team, as well as the welcome site of Jonny Hincks
after a period out of the area successfully training to become a firefighter.
Manor Park had been warming up for 20 minutes before the first Coventrians player emerged from the changing rooms and the game would ultimately kick off 30 minutes late and be reduced in length - chiefly due to the officials insistence that the game must start with even numbers – despite all players on the park willing and ready to kick off.
A good game was threatening to break out but handling errors cut short numerous attacks for both teams, while the match official embarked upon a series of lengthy discussions with both captains for a couple of off-the-ball handbags.
Moreover, the breakdown was rendered a lottery with any attempts to turnover possession being whistled out of the park.
scored a beautiful try for Park to get them on level terms after Coventrians rumbled over for an early score.
Ultimately it was Coventrians’ power up front that won them the game as a five-metre scrum rumbled over the try line for the number eight to dot down.
It was by no means a classic, but both teams benefitted from their afternoon’s endeavours with Park’s players returning to the Griff and Coton to hear their first team had claimed a brilliant 29-15 win over Woodrush in Midlands 3 West South.
Big credit goes to Mikey Smith and Steve Springate from Coventrians and Podge Everard from Manor Park for getting a game of extras rugby played.
PARK: Kerr, Fitzpatrick, Everard, Cancilla, Smith, Bridge, Slinn, N.Bennett, Emery, Davis, Garratt, Hincks, Taylor, Andrews, Williams. Subs; Dovey, Weaver, Cooper, Paterson, Kirton, D.Morris (all used).