With the second team game conceded the 1st team were the only team to represent North Manchester at the weekend, but with only two subs it was always going to be a tough job.
North started on the back foot conceding an early unconverted try with the homes teams first attack of the afternoon. The restart was quickly won back by Garstang, who promptly pushed north back in to the own territory. A couple of good defensive stops by the visitors 3/4 line just delayed the inevitable. North were penalised at the break down but advantage was played for Garstang which came to nothing. The ball was quickly thrown back to the original offence where the scrambling visiting defense could do nothing about the quick tap and go for the home team to score under the post for the second score, this time converted.
North decided to turn up and shake of their travel legs from a hour in the cars. Hitting up, recycling the ball and pushing back in the the home teams's half. Isaac was the first to make the difference when he broke through a tight home defense, passed on to the oncoming forwards and when Ben Benson threw himself over the white wash to score, it was game on. The conversion was added and North were back in the game.
North second try was well worked and was the try of the match. From a line out, Isaac set up a catch and drive, pushed on by Phil Pugh and Tyron Boardman. With Garstang threatening to steal the ball, Alex Lily took control of the back of the driving maul and urged his pack to keep control. Tyron broke away, fighting to keep possession, went to ground. The ball was recycled and up popped Isaac to move the ball in filed. Almost lost by running away from the pack it was dale Wilkins who tided up before Alex Liley pushed the ball back out left. Pugh junior took the ball to the gain line and the ball again was recycled by Pugh senior. Big D took the ball to the 5 meter line before passing out to Matt Bramwell as link man to pass out to the on coming Tyron Boardman to pirouette over the white wash to score in the corner for an unconverted try.
The first have ended 15-12
After the turn, North failed to add to their score. The home team were better organised and well drilled. Their hitting up, actually crossed the gain line, their kicks turned the visitors on their heals. North's players being bigger and heavier were being bogged down with the heaviness of the pitch. The talent of the North players was evident, but a game of rugby is won by team work, preparation and by doing one job at a time. This is done on the training ground and brought out of the top drawer on a Saturday. On the few occasions that North played as a team they got the better of Garstang but with no coach, no club captain or vice captain on the field of play the North Manchester ship was directionless as a training night at Tudor Lodge. North played well but too many times had no determination to fight to get across the gain line, too many times the ball carriers ran sideways and too many unforced errors allowed to score to flatter Garstang. North dominated the Line outs and scrummage but could not make the possession count. Next week North will get some of the missing players back, lets hope it's also the same on training night. Final score 51-12