Early Cup Exit for Walsall
Walsall 12 Earlsdon 17
Walsall have, once again, failed to progress further than the first round of the RFU Midlands Cup. They were beaten, for the second time in three years, by Earlsdon. It was a rather dour contest with the Coventry based team content to use their forward power to score three, match winning, tries.
The first half saw very little open rugby with the visitors having prolonged periods of pressure in the Walsall half. The hosts, however, were guilty of failing to clear the ball out of defence, thus allowing their opponents to launch several counter attacks. Indeed, nearly a quarter of the game had been played before Walsall secured an attacking position in Earlsdon territory. Winger Jordan Lay showed good speed and neat footwork to evade the defence with only an excellent tackle stopping him from going through. Ten minutes later, on their next foray into their opponent’s half, Walsall scored the first try of the game. A strong forward drive followed by some neat passing saw Weston and Angell combine well to send winger Brandon Sayce away on a twenty meters try scoring run. The visitors drew level just before half time, when flanker Gittings secured the touchdown after several forward drives. They repeated the tactic after only four minutes of the second half. Flanker Tom Bramwell eventually getting the touchdown on this occasion. During the final thirty minutes Walsall had far more control of the game and from a powerful lineout drive, scrum half Dean Ainger darted through for a try which Jordan Lay converted to give the hosts a two point lead. However, the home team were once again hit by further injuries. Debutant Tom Aston, was forced to leave the field with a leg injury and in a particularly unpleasant incident his replacemt Richard Wilson received a serious facial injury. The visitors managed one more forward led attack in the final ten minutes which resulted in prop forward Jack Brown being driven over for the try which Hicks converted. Despite further periods of Walsall pressure, the Warwickshire team held on to secure their place in the next round.