Oldershaws 2nd team suffered a narrow 10-5 defeat to Anselmians 2nd XV in a friendly match designed to keep the legs fresh for the important league games ahead.
The 2s began with a front row of Brad, Rob Wright and Mark Eccles, Tom Stead and Jesus in the 2nd row, and a back row consisting of Jay Carter, Lally and Soppy. The backline began with a half back partnership of Josh Stead and JJ, Irish and Casper in the centres, and a back 3 of Sean, Banksy, and Jonno.
The first half began with Anselmians taking the game to Oldershaw and making a few ventures into the Oldershaw half. As the game progressed Oldershaw began to gain territorial advantage pinning Anselmians back into their own half with some good tactical kicking and strong running from the forwards and Irish at 12. Despite this, several mistakes at crucial times, plus a few not straight lineouts meant the territorial advantage was not converted into points. In a rare foray into the Oldershaw half Anselmians slotted a penalty to give themselves a 3-0 lead at half time.
Half Time: Oldershaw 0-3 Anselmians
After the half time break Alselmians began at a much quicker pace pinning Oldershaw in their own 22. Despite some brave defence including some brilliant tackling from Lally, Soppy, Irish and JJ, Anselmians eventually broke the line to score. The try was converted to give them a 10-0 lead. From the try Rob Wright had to leave the field of play due to a dislocated finger, leaving the scrums uncontested.
From then on the game returned to a similar pattern to the first half. Oldershaw held much of the territory but were unable to convert this into points due to poor decision making, leaving runners isolated, and making mistakes at key points. Oldershaw then found themselves down to 14 men due to a number on injuries. Despite this disadvantage Oldershaw managed to cross the line themselves. Jonno received the ball in open play and spotted the full back was awol. He kicked through, scooped up the ball and crossed the line with a slightly dodgy swan dive to bring Oldershaw within 5 points. However they could not cross the line again and the score remained the same for the rest of the game.
Full Time: Oldershaw 5-10 Anselmians
Despite the loss lots of positives can be taken from the game. Apart from a 5 minute period at the start of the second half Oldershaw were defensively sound and managed to maintain a lot of territorial advantage. There were also welcome returns for Lappo and Danny Mc to the field who will hopefully be playing regularly from now on.
The day was not without its negatives though. Jesus suffered a serious injury, confirmed as a break of the fibula and tibia today which may require surgery. He has been arguably the player of the season for the 2s this season and will be a massive loss. Get well soon mate.
On a more positive note, the man of the match ward was given to Irish for an outstanding performance in which he carried the ball, tackled and counter-rucked like a demon. Honourable mentions must also go to Brad and Jonno who both also had excellent games.