Police Fight Back at Delves Road
Walsall XV 30 West Midlands Police 30
This annual encounter proved to be an entertaining contest under the floodlights at Delves Road. Walsall’s team was captained by Ian Bradshaw and was a mixture of experience and youth. Ian, and centre Harvey Wootton, were first team regulars that played the full game in order to prove their match fitness after recovering from recent injuries.
The Police team, who used this game as preparation for their divisional competition, led 13 – 20 at the interval. Former Walsall regular Richard Marsh, helped to create two of their tries with some incisive runs. While for the home team, young flanker Connor McGuirk crossed early on and then fly half Mitch Carless kicked a penalty .The team’s final score of the half came after Rod Dickson had made a fine run before linking up with Wootton, who then used his strength and speed to score wide out.
The hosts drew level after ten minutes of the second half after Connor Pitt made a neat break before giving a well-timed pass to Tony Lay. The Walsall centre showed good acceleration to maintain the attack and then find McGuirk in support. He finished off well from twenty meters with Carless adding the conversion. He then put over a penalty to give his team the advantage. But the Police scored again to establish a 25 – 23 lead with ten minutes left to play. Walsall then produced one of the best attacks of the game with Lay again making the initial break. He covered forty meters before delivering a pass to his son Jordan. The young winger showed good speed to run in the try from twenty five meters. The conversion made it 30 – 25, but with the last play of the game, the Police broke through the home defence and scored near the corner flag. The difficult conversion was missed and a drawn game was a very fair result.