1st XV - Report
Date: Saturday 15th September 2012 - Kick Off: 15:00
Midland Division - Midlands 1 West
Massey Too Good for Walsall
Walsall 16 Lichfield 23
Walsall, at times, dominated this game, especially during the first half. But they always found it difficult to break the Lichfield defence. The visitors, in contrast, were always keen to use their speedy back division at every opportunity. They were all very effective runners, but in full back Greg Massey they had a player that caused panic whenever he was in possession. He was allowed some space on two separate occasions and he was quick to show a remarkable change of pace as he cut through the home defence on try scoring runs.
The hosts started strongly and were working hard to prevent their opponents playing their usual high tempo style of play. They were rewarded after just two minutes as Lichfield conceded a penalty when caught in possession. Outside half Matty Wood put over a fine kick to give his team an early lead. Wood nearly doubled the score two minutes later, but he was just inches wide from fifty meters. Walsall continued to press for further scores, but a rare piece of possession saw Massey run through the home defence from forty meters for Lichfield’s opening try. The visitors extended their lead within five minutes. A well-executed move saw winger Josh Massey race over for a try near the corner flag, and he then stepped up and put over the conversion from the touchline.
Walsall continued to dominate, and they monopolised possession in the scrums, and the lineouts to a certain extent. Centre Andy Turner made a strong thirty meter run which forced Lichfield to concede another penalty in the resulting ruck. Wood put over the twenty five meter kick. The home team had their best period of play during this time and it was not long before they got their first try. A classic catch and drive from a lineout saw the Walsall pack cover twenty meters before hooker Dan Clarke secured the touchdown. A yellow card just before half time tended to deflate the Walsall attack, but they had battled back well to make it 11 – 12 at the interval.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts made an excellent start to the second half. They had an early score when captain Siteve Halbert made a strong run towards the opposition tryline, there was then a series of short drives before the dependable Rod Dickson forced his way over the line. The lead however was short lived as a wayward clearance kick was caught by Massey. Another defence splitting run saw him get another touchdown. A penalty by his brother Josh saw Lichfield establish a 20 – 16 advantage with the game going into the final quarter. Indeed, the visitors came very close to scoring further tries, but superb cover tackles by Alex Greenslade and Chris Mould denied the visitors of their bonus point score. Massey kicked another penalty after the referee deemed that Dickson and Williamson had handled the ball after a particularly effective tackle. The hosts could, and maybe should have scored some tries late in the game. But the final pass was often poorly delivered. It was therefore Lichfield that remained unbeaten after this latest encounter.