CAPARO COLTS V WHEATLEY HILLS (26-09-10)
The Colts faced Wheatley Hills in what was to be their first fixture in the re-arranged structure due to several teams dropping out of the league this year.
Knowing that their fine victory over Malton & Norton 2 weeks earlier now was null and void the young greens hoped to start their league campaign in flying style.
Wheatley Hills had completed 2 games already in the season, a recent victory over York and a narrow defeat over league favourites Doncaster.
They came to Scunthorpe with a good reputation for good forward play and good movement in the back line.
On a slippery surface with the weather threatening at all times the young greens kicked off with purpose and forced an error from the Wheatley pack within 4mins of play starting .From the ensuing scrummage a penalty was conceded by the visitors but Lowden narrowly missed.
The weather conditions were never going to be conducive to free flowing rugby but after the play seemed to ebb and flow both ways in the first 15mins the visitors in their first real foray into green territory won a penalty for the green player going off his feet at the ruck.
Wheatley kicked to touch and now threatened with a line out inside the greens 22, securing ball the visitors attempted to maul forward only to be repelled by resolute green pack, but again were penalised for coming in at the side.
Wheatley converting the penalty to take a 3-0 lead.
From the kick off the greens again pressured but were repelled, on 23 mins after penalty the greens took it quickly and a rampaging Probert taking the ball at pace smashed through the defence to score. Lowden adding the extras to give a 7-3 lead.
Wheatley thought they had scored from a scrummage inside the greens 5m line but the final pass adjudged to be forward the greens cleared their lines.
No team seemed to be able to put together any sustained phases in the remaining time left in the first half with ball either going to ground or penalties being committed for infringements at the break downs.
Going in at half time with a narrow lead, changes were made in the line up Harrison stepping into scrum half, Welton into the fullback slot and Temperton in the front row.
Wheatley started the game with real purpose straight from the whistle and put the re-jigged line of the greens under a lot of pressure, with the greens old demons of giving away penalties starting to rear its head. From this Wheatley were able to close the score to 1 point with a penalty in front of the posts.
The greens did have quite a few purple patches of play with Dibdin and Lowden causing problems in the centre channels. Welton and the Burr Bros on either wing also having promising runs but with support waning these went amiss.
The greens did cross the line again in the second half from a well worked scrum / maul but the resolute Wheatley defence holding the ball up.
This seemed to frustrate the home team and the game fragmented into broken play only occasionally did either team put any fluent phases together.
The penalty count continued to rise as Wheatley threatened in the second half and luck being with the greens the visitors kicker having an off day missing with several chances.
With time running out Wheatley made one last concerted effort and were rewarded with a lineout 10m from the green line, from the ensuing maul the green were penalised for ‘in at the side’ and with the last kick of the game the visitors kicker had the chance to snatch the victory, but again the difficult kick was missed with the greens bundling the ball into touch to the final whistle.
A deserved win but work to be done for the next game away to a feisty York side next week.