MGM 85 - Wirral 12
13 try demolition gets Machine back in the groove
For audio match report click here.
After a difficult few weeks against the league’s top teams, the MGM got back to winning ways with a barn-storming 13 try demolition of Wirral, on the first team pitch, in front of a vociferous home crowd.
Leading from the front, captain Dave “Dave” Bentham opened the scoring, crashing through the middle to cross the line, with the extras added by the almost impeccable Jonny Mulholland, who kicked 9 of 11 conversion attempts.
(In fact, if you excuse the quick digression, he actually kicked ten if you count the one from far out on the left that the ref made him kick again as he had missed it while chatting to the opposition skipper.)
Joe Spencer quickly scored a second, the first of a brace for him, as he pressured his opposite number into a fumble, which he flyhacked through to score.
And from then on it was something of a procession, with the Machine maintaining its intensity and composure to score at a fairly steady rate throughout both halves.
A lack of space and memory precludes a detailed description of each try but it is worth noting the scorers.
There were hat-tricks for young Nat and for Rich Bell, Tim Bell scored two, as did Joe Spencer, while Josh Spencer, Josh Goodhall and Benno chipped in with one apiece.
This was a much needed, morale-boosting victory for the Machine, which had slumped to a series of defeats against the league’s better teams.
And this win is a lot more reflective of the team’s potential. It was heartening to see so many young lads coming through. Joe Neary and James Cropper were everywhere in the back row, as was Tom Metcalfe, until a head injury forced his withdrawal. Tom in the second row was also immense and Nat is playing with increasing confidence every week, his pace and power making him a real handful for everyone the Machine faces.
In spite of the score it was not an easy game, with four or five players forced off with injuries, including Paul Harris, who was distraught to discover after 35 years of playing that he does actually own at least one hamstring, and two nasty head injuries. The Machine took all of these changes in its stride, and stuck to the task manfully, weathering Wirral’s mini-revival in the second half to finish the game definitively in control.
So, the Machine is back in the groove, with a full head of steam. Bring on the rest of the season. Vive le Machine.