An Entertaining Encounter at Delves Road
Walsall 35 Vesyans 22
This latest Midlands League West proved to be an excellent contest between two very committed teams. The players from both teams showed some very good skills and a good size crowd were treated to an enjoyable game of rugby in the spring sunshine. The hosts showed their intent straight from the kick off. They won possession and maintained the pressure with a strong scrum before Hickman and Angell made good ball carries. Quick passing resulted in winger Nico Watkins having enough space to squeeze over for a try near the corner flag. Vesyans, however, hit back within eight minutes. Good support play saw them cover over fifty meters with Ward,Williams and flanker Dowdswell linking well before scrum half Slattery went over for the try which Baldock converted. It wasn’t long before Weston put Walsall back in the lead with a twenty five metre penalty after Benson made a strong defence breaking run. The next score was another Weston penalty kick with fine breaks by Hickman,Angell and Watkins forcing the visitors to concede penalties at the breakdown. The Walsall lead did not last long, as so often this season, they were guilty of making errors which resulted in penalties. This gave the visitors the opportunities to secure good field positions to set up their driving play from their lineouts. Eventually it was lock forward Mitchell that secured the touchdown. The first half finished with the hosts putting together several attacks but had to be content with another Weston penalty from twenty five meters giving his team a 14 – 12 advantage.
The second period saw the Delves Road team on the attack from the very first whistle. Mike Lockett took good lineout ball and after several good drives it was No 8 JB Lucak who went over for the try which Weston converted. The visitors then enjoyed a period of possession, mainly because of the hosts being penalised. V’s worked hard to run the ball and support each other. The home team, however, showed a tremendous commitment in defence with several players showing excellent tackling skills. The game was moving into the final quarter as Walsall regained control of the game and began to show some confidence in their handling skills. Quick passing and support play by Hennessey,Weston and Angell resulted in the latter giving a well-timed pass to Jordan McColl Once again the powerful Australian made an effective finish from twenty meters with Weston again adding the conversion. During the next ten minutes the hosts showed a growing confidence in their style of play and after good lineout work, the ball was moved wide. Good support by Hal Gozukucuk saw him link up and send Lucak over for his second try which Weston converted from near the touchline. Vesyans to their credit continued to try and press forward with every opportunity and were rewarded as prop forward Hateley broke through three would be tacklers for a try. Almost immediately afterwards, the visitors benefited from a rather dubious scrum violation, and after a quickly taken penalty prop forward Booth crashed over for his team’s deserved bonus point try to bring the game to an end.