1st XV - Report
Date: Saturday 6th October 2012 - Kick Off: 15:00
Midland Division - Midlands 1 West
Walsall Come Good Up North
Northwich 20 Walsall 36
This was Walsall’s first ever encounter against the Cheshire team. They travelled up the M6 determined to erase memories of last week’s heavy home defeat. But they did not start too well as a penalty was conceded in the tackle area and the hosts took a 3 – 0 lead after Lyne put over a thirty meter kick. But the visitors soon gained the initiative and a good lineout catch and drive saw Jody Lane crash over for a rare try for the popular prop forward. Fly half Matty Wood put over a difficult conversion to establish an early lead. But the careless habits of the previous week were evident from the restart as Walsall lost possession and had to defend desperately to keep their opponents at bay. A neat break out from defence by Wood saw him put Liam Lloyd away on a fifty meter run. When the young scrum half was stopped, the ball was passed quickly and Wood linked up with his midfield. Roger Weston and Chris Mould timed their passes well to put winger Alex Greenslade clear for a twenty meter run to score his first try of the season. Three minutes later and a Wood kick set up a good position and this time the same three players linked up to give left winger Paul Naylor the space to cross for a try near the corner flag. A superb touchline conversion by Wood established an encouraging 19 -3 lead for his team after only twenty minutes. The hosts, to their credit, tried hard to make progress through their forwards and backs and they cut the deficit when flanker Smith went over after a lineout close to the Walsall tryline. Captain Steve Halbert instigated the next score as he made good ground after a quickly taken penalty. Daniel Simpson supported well and delivered a well-executed pass to Naylor. The winger outpaced the defence and ran round to touchdown under the goal posts to give Wood an easy conversion. The visitors though, struggled to take advantage of further opportunities and it was the Cheshire team that secured the final score of the half. Walsall failed to control their scrummage ball and the hosts used their scrummage ball to good effect. Centre Walding caught his own kick ahead before touching down. Lyne’s conversion making it 15 – 26 at half-time.
The home team were gaining in confidence, especially as they saw their opponents struggle to get out of defence. Indeed, it seemed that Northwich were setting up a tense finish as their waves of attack saw winger Chubb go over in the corner. The 20 – 26 scoreline was a cause for concern amongst the travelling supporters. Finally a long clearance kick by Wood set up a good attacking position. No 8 Dickson was, once again, effective with his ball carries and with Simpson and Halbert in support they took play deep into opposition territory. Desperate defending resulted in the hosts conceding a penalty and Wood stepped up to kick another three points. The final minutes of the game saw the visitors continue to press and another powerful scrum resulted in several strong forward drives before lock forward Mark Reeves went over for a much celebrated try. Wood’s conversion was virtually the final action of the game.