Away Win in the Cold
Tough Encounter at Trentham Field
The Greens travelled without Will Robinson and Sam Morgan in their threequarter line-up, so, Tim Robinson moved Tom Hughes from the back row into the centre and Mick Dunk came in from the second team onto the right wing.
Conditions were quite miserable with continued light drizzle and a cold biting wind. Scunthorpe had first use of the slope and the breeze. The home boys were first to go through the phases but were held out by strong defence. Once possession was turned over, a long kick by Tom Foster was followed by Colin Chapman catching the home full-back in possession, giving his team the platform from which Foster made the break for the try after only three minutes of play. Paul Cook added the extras for a 7 points to nil advantage.
The Staffordshire boys gradually got themselves back into the game and used their big mid-field runners to good effect. They eventually got themselves on the score-board after 17 minutes with a score from close-in. Home full-back Jack Newton-Taylor missed the conversion, so Scunthorpe still held a 7 points to 5 advantage. The Greens were stringing together some excellent play but poor handling from time to time plagued their game. They were further handicapped when hooker Gareth Mist left the field not having fully recovered from his bout of flu earlier in the week. Cook struck a long range penalty after 29 minutes for a 10 points to 5 lead and settled things down whilst his pack regrouped.
Foster once more put the ball deep into the home half and Ben Hyde managed to steal the ball against the throw. From a subsequent phase, Oli Wood ran an excellent line which took him clean through the home defence for a try half-way out to the right of the posts. Cook again converted for a 17 points to 5 lead, five minutes short of the half-time break. Scunthorpe were not done yet as Cook once more put the ball between the posts to round off the half in added time for a 20 points to 5 advantage to his team.
Turning and playing up the slope and into the breeze, Scunthorpe were pegged back into their own half for long periods with only the occasional foray into home territory. As in the first half, great work at the break-down helped to turn the ball over and stop the Longton momentum. Home pressure did lead to the yellow carding of David Haig 26 minutes into the second period. The Staffordshire boys eventually got some reward for their pressure when they drove over from close range for a try in the 37th minute. An excellent strike from Newton-Taylor added the extras to bring his team back into the game a 20 points to 12.
Another clean break by Wood took The Greens back into home territory from where a penalty was won in the final minute of normal time. Cook once more did the honours to give his team a 23 points to 12 lead. There was still time for late drama as Longton broke through in the Scunthorpe ‘22’ only for the ball to be spilled with the last play of the game. Scunthorpe thus came back up the motorway with a four point win and continue their winning streak.
Match Report by LWJClayton