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1st XV - Match centre

Walsall
Tamworth
Sat 25 Nov 14:15 - Midlands Division - Midlands 2 West (North) Full time

Weston Kicks Crucial for Walsall

Walsall 14 Tamworth 7

Walsall notched up their fourth success of the season and preserved their unbeaten home record against a hard working Tamworth side. The game, at times, became an attritional battle at Delves Road with both teams strong in defence and evenly matched. The heavy Tamworth forward pack contained a number of strong runners and they made life very difficult for Walsall, especially at the breakdown.
The first twenty minutes was scoreless despite some strong carries from Rob Angell and JB Luzak. The hosts seemed to have gained an advantage after an illegal tackle on Rob Angell, however the penalty was reversed due to retaliation from another Walsall player.
The game was swinging back and forth into each other’s halves and after a period of pressure Tamworth found themselves deep in Walsall territory. They were quick to spot a mismatch of numbers on the blind side and after an offload from their number 8, Tamworth's winger Jimmy Carrol went under the post for a try with Dan Norton adding the conversion.
Walsall tried to regain a foothold in the game but with both sides giving away a number of penalties, the game became very disjointed. The hosts eventually found their rhythm after a number of successful line-outs, with expert throwing in the difficult conditions from Rod Dickson and willing jumpers in Matt James and Michael Lockett. This led to Tamworth making an infringement at a breakdown which allowed Roger Weston to put over a challenging penalty from thirty meters.
The half came to an end with the visitors missing a penalty from forty meters and also having a player sent to the sinbin.
Walsall started the second in much better fashion with greater purpose. Using the numerical advantage Roger Weston added two further penalties to his points tally. The second of his penalties was a superb touchline effort from nearly forty meters.
The constant physical contact was beginning to take its toll on both teams. Players were not as quick around the pitch and the game became more open. Further Tamworth ill-discipline was punished with another yellow card. Walsall began to monopolise possession with strong carries from Jamie Hickman, Simon Weaver and Rod Dickson. This gave the home side the platform to attack out wide. Dean Ainger showed good speed on the left wing and although Walsall lost possession, the resulting clearance was gathered by Sam Garbet. The young winger showed good speed and finishing skills to run in the try from thirty meters.
The rest of the game saw Walsall defend gallantly as Tamworth looked dangerous as they tried to level the scores. But they kept their opponents at bay, as they held on and managed to close out the game for a deserved victory.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Whitchurch 21 98
2. Crewe & Nantwich 22 80
3. Leek 21 69
4. Spartans (Midlands) 22 66
5. Ludlow 22 62
6. Veseyans 22 57
7. Walsall 22 53

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