Sandal Cougars travelled to fellow strugglers Hull this Saturday but with high expectations of continuing their recent good run.
The Cougars started well enough and good pressure forced Hull to give away a penalty in front of the posts so up stepped Captain Ben Brindley to slot over a relatively easy penalty on 6mins. However despite having the majority of possession and territory Sandal were guilty of over eagerness in key areas and at key times. That coupled with Hulls dogged defence frustrated Sandal and we then started to give away silly penalties. But Sandal continued to press and quick hands put left wing Luke Jackson away up the blind side, he beat the cover and rounded under the posts for an excellent wingers try and an easy conversion for Brindley to make the score 0-10 on 36 mins but then Hull struck just before half time to make the score 7-10 not really a great reward for Sandals dominance.
The Cougars needed the halftime break to re gather and get back to the game plan. Piers Goodwill came off with a tweaked shoulder to be replaced by Gill Kilgudde and Sandal started the second half with renewed vigour. We didn’t have to wait long when with the second half barely a minute old, a lovely break resulted in Mike Brown executing a deft chip & chase to touch down by the posts, Brindley added the extras and that started the ball rolling. Chris Carroll was next on the score sheet down the right hand side bumping off would be tacklers to break free to race in under the posts Brindley again adding the conversion 7-24 after 45mins. Another break out down the left saw Luke Jackson take a heavy hit but still had the wherewithal to make the second effort to score another excellent try to take the scores to 7-31. Brindley just missed the conversion from the touch line.
Sandal were now rampant with forwards & backs working together and on 58mins Tom Proctor showed good strength to force his way over. Ben Brindly was successful with the kick to take the scores to 7-38.
Chris Kelly then entered the fray for Harry Cotterill but still Sandal bombarded the opposition with powerful carries from pack leader Tom Hirst and Aaron Tasker setting up the next try for Center Jonny Matthews to crash over in the corner on 62 minutes. Ben Brindley then struck an excellent touch line conversion to increase the lead further to 7-45. Jonny then gave way to Ben Mitchell and Sandal were almost scoring at will. The next to cross was Josh Whitely with 10mins to go and Brindly struck another excellent conversion from wide out 7-52. With job done, Hirst was replaced by Will Russell-Smith who kept the momentum going and finally Luke Jackson completed a fine second half rout leaving two tacklers prostrate to complete a fine hatrick. Final score Hull 7- Sandal 55
MOTM went to the whole team but special mention goes to veteran Dave Bott who answered a front row SOS on the morning of the match to be a thorne in the Hull packs side.