First Half Display Sets Up Win
Telford 12 Walsall 52
Walsall, on their first visit to the Shropshire town, scored seven tries in securing a bonus point victory in an entertaining contest. The visitors started at a furious pace and this led to a 24 – 0 lead during the first quarter. Flanker Hickman ran in their first try after four minutes. He was quick to react to a loose ball and held off defenders on a thirty-meter run. It was a similar scenario eight minutes later. Hooker Tom Aston had made the initial burst before Hickman secured the ball and went through from fifteen meters. Captain Roger Weston converted both tries and then added a penalty. It was No 8 Hal Gozukucuk that scored Walsall’s third try after a good period of pressure and just before the half hour he went over for his second. Hennessey, Watkins and Sayce had combined together well before the Walsall No8 crashed through from ten meters and thus securing the bonus point. The visitors final try of the half came after front row forwards Aston and Taylor had made some powerful ball carries. This resulted in flanker Matt James, playing his first game after a seven-week layoff, going over near the posts. The final five minutes of the half saw the hosts become more competitive and as Walsall failed to maintain possession on a regular basis, the hosts pushed forward. Eventually, flanker Ian Badu made the final try scoring try.
Walsall were far less effective during the second half. They failed to get any great momentum into their play and were guilty of wasting possession on a regular basis. They did, however, score, the first try of the half as scrum half Dean Ainger sprinted clear from thirty-five meters. The hosts controlled possession for most of the second half with a yellow card for Walsall’s Simon Weaver giving them a numerical advantage for ten minutes. During this period they had a series of scrums close to the Walsall tryline with No8 Robertson eventually adjudged to have got the touch down for a try which Lewis converted.
The final quarter saw the visitors use all of their replacement with young student Zak Edwards making his Walsall debut and immeadately getting close to scoring. The final try was scored by full back Jack Crowhurst . The visitors put together some good passes before Crowhurst broke through. He then chipped over a defender, gathered the ball and scored near the corner flag. Captain Weston was again on target as he put over his seventh successive conversion.