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2XV - Match centre

Sefton 2
New Brighton 2
Sat 17 Mar 15:00 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 2 South Full time

Mini Beast from the East

The rescheduled New Brighton game went ahead despite the harsh weather coming in from the East.

A mixture of second and third teamer’s were brought together, or better known as the ‘home’ team.

----------- Princess sHambling State of Mind -----------
Wailing Wall category 3. With the third team not having a match, and a home game on offer, sHambling had no problem raising a side, as the homies came out in force. Thus a fairly relaxed sHamling was on show.

As ever Princess approached this match, like he lives his life, full of rainbows, prancing horses, and fairy dust. He refused to name the starting team until the last minute. With Gorgeous left guessing if he would be scrum-half, stand-off, or both.

New Brighton brought a heavy set of forwards, but from the start it was clear they were unable to deal with Sefton in the scrums. They also failed to get any clean ball in the lineout, handing the ball back to Sefton on a number of times with inaccurate throws. Sefton had no problem in their own lineout’s, with Luke Griffiths leaping like a salmon and commanding the air. This is where Sefton got their first points, with Gorgeous kicking a penalty into the corner, and the subsequent lineout driven relentlessly towards the line. Two metres out and Matty Cunningham breaks off from the back and dives over the try line.

Another excursion into New Brighton’s half gives Sefton a scrum five metes out. The ball is controlled at the back by Paul Walker as the scrum was driven towards the line. Luke Griffiths was the player that reacted the fastest as the ball crossed the line, and after his second attempt managed to ground the ball. Gorgeous added the conversion.

It didn’t take long before Sefton were on the attack again. The now customary shout from Princess on the side line of “he’s a beast”, put everyone on edge, thinking the storm had finally arrived. However, it wasn’t the ‘mini beast from the East’, but the not so mini JP Ellis as he rampaged through the opposition defence. By the time he was pulled down, he was well inside the New Brighton half. Another kick for the corner gave Sefton another lineout close to the oppositions line and the same result unfolded. The steady drive for the line ending with Matty Cunningham again breaking from the back and going over unchallenged for his second try.

Sefton did have other chances, most notably Rob’s amazing run skimming close to the touch line as if he had illegal substances hidden upon him, avoiding the grasps of two defenders and going over the try line in the corner. Bizarrely, the hypoactive winger stops and seems to look around as if admiring his work, but doesn’t put the ball down. The covering defender comes in and manages to pull half his leg over the dead ball line as Rob suddenly realises he has to touch the ball down. With no TMO available for the ref to analyse, the try was disallowed. Now, why Rob didn’t put the ball down is a puzzling one, perhaps he thought he was playing American Football and merely had to step over the try line to register a score. I strongly recommend that next time we have someone in the dead ball area with a sign saying “PUT THE BALL DOWN”, to help the hapless winger.

Sefton spent the rest of the half within New Brighton’s twenty-two but couldn’t convert this into points.

In the second half, Sefton lost the influential prop Kiev Mainwaring, and had to go uncontested in the scrum. This must have been a great relief for New Brighton who were no longer on the back foot and finally got some clean ball. Added to this, the number of penalties against Sefton, it became very hard to get hold of the ball. Rob was particularly generous with the penalties, committing three high tackles in a row, and subsequently received a yellow card. However, the ref seemed to keep a blind eye to New Brighton's numerous high tackles.

The only thing that kept New Brighton away from Sefton’s try line was Jay Evans superb kicking, which punished them whenever they lost the ball. Many a time, dangerous runs into Sefton’s twenty-two were thwarted with a spilled ball and kick, resulting in New Brighton running back into their own half, having to start again.

A try by Gorgeous against the run of play eased the pressure on Sefton when he made a tackle in the centres as New Brighton went for another attack. Gorgeous somehow manages to rip the ball from his grasp and was able to run clear to score under the posts, adding the conversion himself.

The rest of the match was messy. New Brighton continually dived over in the rucks, and their angry hooker was repeatedly allowed to come round the side of rucks, taking people out (the uncontested scrum seemed to anger him, giving him nothing else to do). With tempers up on both sides Jay Evans resolve finally broke, and he was sent off for ten minutes for a dangerous tackle.

Tom Fletcher was given freedom to run in the centres, taking several defenders to stop him and was unlucky not to get through, and Luke Griffiths was also very close to scoring his second try, but was pulled down a metre short of the line. A commanding Phil Osborne bullied Alan Harper into making the tackles on the fringes whether he wanted to, or not.

With ten minutes to go, it felt like a try was inevitable for New Brighton as Sefton got penalised continually for various misdemeanours. Eventually scoring in the backs after Sefton’s brave stand within their twenty-two.

Another good performance by the second team with some star performances. Matty Cunningham having another good game, and Rob caused problems in the backs. Man of the match went to JP Ellis though with some strong, powerful runs that had the opposition scrambling back in defence.

Next week the seconds are away at Didsbury, and with the thirds also away there’s going to be a lot of homies without a game. I will order extra tissues for Princess sHambling.


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Whitchurch 2 24 61
8. Didsbury Toc H 2 24 60
9. Widnes 2 24 59
10. Winnington Park 2 24 45
11. New Brighton 2 24 40
12. Sefton 2 24 40
13. Capenhurst 1 24 31

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