DoR Postie delighted by team performance
Thom Clark sparkles
Northwich 21 Anselmians 13
This was a first for all players as the league campaign started at Vauxhall the temporary home for Anselmians. With plans for a new club well underway the hosts have a superb set-up in which to base themselves. The pitch was in great shape and all was set for league rugby to commence. Having played Anselmians in the cup the previous week the blacks were well aware of what to expect. Without the services of Houghton, Du Randt, Barber and James the way was paved for Thom Clark, Josh Wilkinson and the returning Mike Gough to step up to the 1st XV. Anselmians’ return to North West One, after an absence of five years, drew a respectable crowd to Vauxhalls curious to see how the new boys would fare in the new, albeit, temporary home. The previous week Saints had lost at Moss Farm and had been surprised by the pace of the game. They were determined to give a better account of themselves.
New boys, Anselmians took the early initiative and tested the blacks defense with some strong well controlled attacks. However on the 12th minute it was the visitors who took the lead. A penalty for an infringement at the ruck gave Poste the opportunity to take a quick tap and go on a charge his pass to Richard Dale lead to fine try which was converted by Baldwin. The home side came back hard but the blacks defense stood firm. Newcomer Clark was settling in well and produced a great defensive performance. On the 23rd minute some sparkling play proved decisive. A multi-phased attack eventually found Richard Dale in mid-field. Dale glided through a gap in the home defense to score his second try and provide Baldwin with the conversion to add the extras. The last 10 minutes of the half belonged to the home side as they kicked two penalties to close the half with a 14-6 lead for the blacks.
The second half began with the visitors on the offensive. For almost 10 minutes they pressured the Anselmians line only to meet a resolute defense. Carries from Maddocks, Balshaw, Lapniewski and the rest of the boys in the band could not find a way through. The pressure on the home side was relieved and they went on the attack. However, a spilled deep in the visitors half allowed Wilkinson to pounce and sprint 70 meters to score under the posts. Baldwin was again on target with the conversion. The rest of the half was a bit of an arm wrestle and the home side was rewarded in added time with a try. With injury and a yellow card Anselmians were unable to contest the scrums. This provided a great attacking platform and the blacks were unable to defend the final attack and conceded a well constructed try. The extras were added and the match drew to a close.
Director of Rugby Martin Poste was delighted with the performance. New boy Clark was man of the match but this was a team performance and all played their part. Anselmians will prove to be a strong side that will do well in this division.
1 Joe Maddocks 2 Conor Lapniewski 3 Adam Bennett 4 Chris Heywood 5 John Harrison 6 Martin Balshaw 7 Thom Clark 8 Sam Naylor 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Josh Wilkinson 12 Chris Dale 13 Richard Dale 14 Hayden Skinkis 15 James Underhill 16 Ben Ridgeway 17 Dave Farley 18 Mike Gough