1st XV - Report
Superb second half gives Sandal 5 point win
Tries Maguire, Frewin(2), Lig, Mulhern, Coad & L Norbury. Conversions Wood (4) & McCormack. Penalties Wood (1)
Sandal produced a controlled second half performance to deservedly take the points on a sunny but windy afternoon at Upper Park. With the Milnthorpe Green side playing into the conditions the home side took the lead in the first minute when a charged down kick was seized upon by centre Danny Rich who crossed wide out. Sandal lost flanker James Stewart to injury with Dave Martin replacing him and they leveled the score on seven minutes when winger Jake Mulhern broke clear on halfway before passing to supporting flanker Sean Maguire who outpaced the cover to cross in the top left hand corner. With Park using the wind to camp in their visitors twenty-two they regained the lead when hooker Stuart Brown was driven over the line by his fellow forwards from a five metre line out. Sandal continued to keep the ball in hand against the wind and were rewarded when centre Simon Frewin, recently returned from furthering his rugby career in New Zealand following a spell with Coventry in the Championship, stepped out of a tackle and went over from thirty metres with fly half Greg Wood converting to take a twelve point to ten lead on twenty-three minutes. The home side, though, returned to the attack with both centre Rich and hooker Brown getting their second tries, the first after a half break by fly half Handley and the second from another lineout close to the line with full back Hall converting once. Just before the break captain Greg Wood kicked a penalty to close the lead to one score.
The second half opened with Sandal going straight onto the attack and this was very much the pattern for the rest of the match. Two minutes into the half winger Stef Lig was put clear by a neat pass out of the back of his hand by fly half Wood for a try wide out with centre Dan McCormack converting whilst Wood was treated for an injury sustained in the act of passing. Fellow winger Jake Mulhern was then put in the clear on the opposite wing with his pace doing the rest with Wood this time converting. On the hour mark Sandal opened up a fourteen point gap when from a scrum close to the home line a well worked move put full back Tom Coad over under the posts without a finger being laid on him with Wood converting. Centre Frewin then bagged a deserved second try before prop Luke Norbury rounded off a man of the match performance to cross from ten metres out following a blind side break by scrum half Gareth Newman with Wood converting well from the touchline. The home side rallied though and had a final ten minute spell in their visitors twenty-two but determined and committed defence kept them out with young back row Piers Goodwill to the fore as his side rounded off a satisfying afternoons work with a five point haul.