Tamworth Too Good for Walsall
Walsall 0 Tamworth 23
Tamworth secured their first ever win over Walsall, in a game that showed why the Staffordshire team are the unbeaten league leaders. They displayed a positive commitment throughout the match and played with far more pace and determination than their Delves Road rivals. They challenged at every set piece and at every breakdown and were quick to utilise their possession. They also had, in flyhalf Norton and flanker Green, two players that made a huge contribution to the team’s eventual success. One must also sympathise with the Walsall team, who once again, suffered injuries early in the game which led to a significant reorganisation of the team. Injuries after five minutes to winger Jordan Lay and then scrum half Dean Ainger after 15 minutes resulted in captain Roger Weston moving to scrum half and Dan Simpson onto the wing position. The visitors had the advantage of a strong wind during the first half and took the lead after just six minutes. A Walsall clearance kick set up a counter attack opportunity. It was played with pace and good support which the home defence struggled to contain. Eventually prop forward Smith crashed over for the try which Norton converted. Ten minutes later Norton added a penalty as the home defence drifted offside. The sole scoring opportunity that the hosts had during the first forty minutes saw full back Crowhurst burst through on the right wing. But the final scoring pass was intercepted by a defender. A 0 – 10 deficit seemed to be a target that the hosts could overhaul with the benefit of the strong wind. Indeed, early pressure near the Tamworth tryline could have resulted in a score, but the host’s failed to secure the lineout possession. Walsall continued to press forward and the strong running Goukucuk, could, or maybe should, have got their first score. But he lost control of the ball as he was trying to force his way over. The league leaders worked their way up field with flanker Green making a strong run before Borthwick went through for the try. They then consolidated their advantage with another Norton penalty with ten minutes left to play. The end of the game summed up Walsall’s afternoon as Hennessey, Angell,Sayce and Lucak linked together well over sixty meters, but the ball was lost. This, of course, gave the visitors the opportunity to counter attack. They retained possession and supported well for over forty meters before No8 Dearne went over for the final score.