Walsall RFC

Walsall RFC

Stourbridge Minis and Junior Festival

by James Pearce

Walsall were up against Stourbridge, Bromsgrove, Worcester and Dudley Kingswinford in the festival at Stourton RFC.

Stourbridge Minis and Junior Festival
Game 1 vs Stourbridge
Walsall started this game against Stourbridge in the same manner they finished when they played them three weeks ago: quick ball from set-pieces to the backs and defending like their lives depended on it. Cory Selby ran in two excellent tries despite most of the Stourbridge team trying to bring him down and Ben Pitt baffled the defensive line with his sidestepping skills. Mo Perager, who tackled ferociously all day, finished off an excellent team try in the corner that he himself had started deep in his own half. Walsall couldn't seem to get going in the second half and conceded three tries without answer until James Rogers stepped up to steady the ship and ran in an incredible try from the restart, driving through the heart of the Stourbridge team. A try conceded late on couldn't stop Walsall making a winning start to the day. Result: Walsall 25 - 20 Stourbridge

Game 2 vs Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove offered a far sterner test to Walsall than any team this season. Their forwards were strong and they got the ball wide very quickly. Despite this, Walsall got to half time on level terms thanks again to Cory's strong carries getting him over the line and Ben Pitt running in a try early on from his own half. Brave tackling from Mo Perager, Kegan Highway and James Marris kept out several Bromsgrove attacks but with Walsall over-committing numbers to the breakdown, Bromsgrove scored two tries before the break. The second half carried on in the same vein with Bromsgrove throwing everything at Walsall but, in spite of several breaks from Alex Garton, Matt Howells and Joe Pearce, Bromsgrove scored two more tries to hand Walsall their first defeat of the day. Result: Walsall 10 - 20 Bromsgrove

Game 3 vs Dudley Kingswinford
It seemed that the defeat by Bromsgrove stung the boys into action and they recorded their biggest win of the season against DK. The first half saw Ben Stackhouse run in a deserved try and he was joined on the score sheet by Ben Pitt (2) and Cory Selby. Again and again DK found themselves up against a resolute Walsall defence who frequently won the ball in contact to set up their next attack. After the break, the introduction of five replacements saw Walsall's excellent form continue and a determined run from George Allbright set up a score for James Rogers. Alex Garton and Ben Stackhouse completed the scoring whilst the whole team defended superbly to keep a clean sheet. Result: Walsall 35 - 0 Dudley Kingswinford

Game 4 vs The Barbarians
This game saw Walsall up against a strong selection of players making up the Under 10 Barbarians, but an early score from Ben Pitt put Walsall on the front foot. Walsall's front row - which had functioned very well all day and often against much larger opposition - won another scrum and Kegan Highway cleverly fed Joe Pearce who broke two tackles to drive over for a try on the stroke of half time. The Barbarians defended superbly in the second half and were only undone by a try which could have come straight from the Leicester Tigers training pitch. With a minute to go and a line-out deep in the Walsall half, George Allbright's inch-perfect throw was flicked off the top by Joe Pearce straight into Will Adams' hands and he set off on a storming run, finally being brought down some 10 metres from the Baa-Baas line. Kegan Highway and Matt Howells arrived at the ruck quickly to provide quick ball and slick passing along the line saw Zak Somani go over in front of the delirious Walsall supporters. Result: Walsall 15 - 0 Barbarians

Game 5 vs Worcester
This was a game too far for Walsall who were up against some unlucky decisions and a determined Worcester side. Result: Walsall 0 - 15 Worcester

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Despite a bruising and disappointing finish to the day, all the players did Walsall proud and observed the rules and spirit of the game impeccably. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and deserved the medal they received for their efforts from the Mayor of Stourbridge.

Matchday Squad: Will Adams, George Allbright, Alex Garton, Kegan Highway, Matt Howells, James Marris, Joe Pearce, Mo Perager, Ben Pitt, James Rogers, Cory Selby, Zak Somani, Ben Stackhouse

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