Minchinhampton V Old Pats CC
Great cup win for U12’s
Minchinhampton vs Old Pats
A very cold and windy morning at Hollybush faced us as we prepared to take on Old Pats.
Starting facing up the hill the boys were well aware from last week how important it would be to defend well whilst the opposition have the advantage, keen to make amends for last week.
With a rallying team cry that would have given the All Blacks a run for their money, Minchinhampton were ready for the whistle.
Old Pats made an early break only to be stopped by Felix and Fin. Wilf stepped in and he and Hallam made a great drive forwards. We won a maul and Oliver showed great awareness in passing down the line, using the full width of the pitch until the ball found the fast footed Felix who pushed over for a try!
Old Pats came back from the reset with speed only to run into a hard tackle by James. As Old Pats won a scrum and got the ball away, Felix came in with a hard tackle and Hallam cleared the ball away for Minchinhampton. Jake H cleverly took it up and Oliver drove a long way forwards, being unlucky to be pushed into touch. Joseph came in with his full power, winning the ball and getting it away to Felix who made a great run, another try.2-0.
Olds Pats seemed to take this as a sign to step up their power in driving forwards and they made some good progress but were soon countered by Hallam and Freddie. Old Pats won a ruck, then Minchinhampton won one with Joseph and Toby N showing great driving. The ball was cleared by James, with Oliver and Fin waiting for the wide passes, confusing Old Pats by a clever change of direction. Both sides showed defensive lines with no gaps. As half time approached Jack and Tyler came on to inject some energy into the Minchinhampton line. Felix, supported by Fin and Jake got another breakaway but Old Pats were waiting this time and won back the ball. Countering with a side stepping break they made the try line. 2-1.
Tyler’s great tackle resulted in a scrum for Minchinhampton and after knock-ons from both sides, Minchinhampton had another scrum. It looked very promising as James got it away to Felix, to Charlie, to Tyler who was unlucky to be just forced into touch. As Old Pats came back, Joseph showed he could push into touch too. Todd caught a great ball and drove within an inch of the touchline before being just forced out and denied. The opposition made a big clearance kick which found the great catching arms of Charlie who had cleverly anticipated it and dropped back to receive it. Finding a pass to Jack, Minchinhampton drove strongly forwards again. There was an unlucky drop, but rescued by James, Joseph and Hallam were able to drive on again. A great tackle by Old pats won them back the ball but Wilf showed his tackling skills too and the ball went loose. It was collected by Todd who made another great run forwards, only to be pushed into touch again.
As it was remembrance Sunday, the two teams joined arms together across the pitch to mark a one minute’s silence. It was very touching to see all the boys in unity as a sign of respect.
As the whistle blew for the second half, Minchinhampton were facing downhill and raring to go.
We won an early scrum from Old Pats and there was fantastic driving over from Freddie and Wilf, supported by a great push from Toby N who drove all the way over for a try! 3-1.
Play continued strongly on both sides, with mauls won and lost and Minchinhampton being pulled up, having to remember that you can’t steal in from the side! There was a classic Minchinhampton scrum with a clearance kick by Felix, which was chased down by Fin. Toby N, followed by James made great tackles only to be pushed into touch by Old Pats. They came back hard, running into the full force of Wilf’s great tackling skills. Old pats really pushed on through though and managed to get over for a try. 3-2.
Minchinhampton were not going to take this comeback lying down and the pace revved up a gear. Todd made another fantastic break but Old Pats strong defensive line pushed Minchinhampton into touch again. Winning the scrum, James got the ball away to Oliver who made a big drive forwards. Joseph and Jack joined in strong in the tackling support.
The tough game and the cold were catching up with a few players and Old Pats had a couple of injuries. After a short time out we reset with James getting the ball away to Wilf who with full support behind him got his head down and literally drove the pack like a battery ram all the way for James to get an arm over the line (with the ball!) for try. 4-2.
Finlay came on and quickly got to work upping the pace, recycling the ball across the width of the pitch. Old Pats came close to another try but were stopped by a brilliant Felix tackle. Winning a maul, Todd cleverly stole the ball away and made a break down the line. Looking like Old Pats were going to push him into touch again, a perfectly timed pass to Felix got Minchinhampton through this time for another try. 5-2.
Toby B came on to add his power to the pack and Wilf led the way again, driving them hard forwards and over for another try! 6-2.
All credit must go to Old Pats as with minutes left to play, despite injuries and the cold they never looked like giving up. They kept up their speed and despite some classic tackles from James and Jack, Old Pats pushed on hard. Harris came on to help counter their power in the ruck. As Old Pats dangerously neared the try line, James made a sneaky steal and Finlay got the ball away to Charlie who kicked it clear, back into safe ground. Jack continued pushing back against a strong Old Pats attack and Finlay once again cleared the ball safely away, allowing Fin to make a break towards the Minchinhampton line. With Harris, Jack and Max making a strong driving force it looked we could hold our defence with seconds left to play. Old Pats were not going to go away quietly though and they pushed it over during the last play to make the final score 6-3.
A brilliant show of skill all round and a fantastic team effort in all areas by Minchinhampton. A well deserved win boys!