Eds 20 - 8 Earlsdon
Onward and upward.
Nuneaton Old Eds 20 Earlsdon 8
The challenges faced by this Eds’ XV are ratcheting up week-by-week as fourth-placed Earlsdon visited Weddington Road. Eds met their match at scrum time and lost too many of their own line-outs for comfort. However, their general play around the park had both confidence and composure as they probed for opportunities.
The Eds’ were quickly into attacking action but were well-met by solid defence from the visitors. However, a spell of good movement and accurate passing culminated with a Tay Brown offload to put Eds’ No15 Sam Southall in for the try: 5-0 after 15 minutes. It was now the Eds’ turn to soak up pressure as Earlsdon launched their ball-carriers. A fifteen-phase attack saw Earlsdon score with the last action of the first half: 5-5.
A successful penalty kick early in the second half put Earlsdon into the lead: 5-8. This prompted the Eds to move up the gears – a long pass from No9 Brad Darlaston arrowed to Brown who beat 2 defenders and off-loaded to No8 Ryan Hatch on a fine support line, for his third try in the last 3 matches: 10-8.
All departments of the Eds’ team were involved as they patiently and relentlessly recycled possession. Another long ball to Brown drew the covering defence and completed a hat-trick of off-loads for No6 Brendan Carter to score: 15-8. Eds were now stretching the visitor’s defence from side to side. Hatch's line-out catch was backed up by a 10m drive - No9 Brad Darlaston’s long pass enabled No12 Ryan Southall, now at first-receiver, to deliver a well-weighted pass to Centre Craig Jones who carved through the defence to score from 25m out: 20-8, and a 4-try bonus point.
There is a real balance to this Eds’ side as they continue to pose a variety of attacking options from forwards and backs. Coach Jimmy Gopperth said, “It was a great effort from the lads today, the 1st half we weren’t quite playing to our standards but the 2nd 40 we played brilliantly at times and scored 3 very good try’s. The boys worked hard in defence to deny them a bonus point in the last play which shows how much the lads love to play for this team and for each other. Very proud of their efforts and it’s exciting as there’s still a lot to come from this group of men”.
Eds are now joint-second in Midlands 2 West (South).
Old Eds’ Scorers:
Tries: S Southall, R Hatch, B Carter, C Jones
Old Eds First Team: S Haberfield, G Parker, D McAdam, Z Cooper, R Singh, B Carter, P King, R Hatch, B Darlaston, M Loveday, J Darlaston, R Southall, T Brown, L Roberts, S Southall
Bench: G Cartwright, C Jones, P Levin