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Acklam 26 Medicals 15

By Paul I'Anson

A very good comeback win for Acklam

Acklam turned round a half time deficit to earn a deserved 26 - 15 win against Medicals.
Acklam played into the stiff breeze in the first half. They took the kick off and looked to attack but after keeping possession for a couple of phases stand off Danny Ashton's chip was taken by Medicals who threatened and Acklam were caught offside in front of their posts. An easy penalty kick gave the visitors a quick 3-0 lead.
Acklam then made a couple of chances which they failed to take - second row Tim Savage made a strong run to set up an overlap but a poor pass caused a knock on. Then after Medicals cleared to touch Acklam launched another promising attack, but again the final pass didn't go to hand.
Acklam paid for these errors as the visitors speedy backs got into the game. Their winger was away on the left but his support couldn't take the pass back inside. However, from the resulting scrum Acklam lost the ball in midfield and this time Medicals made no mistake, putting the winger clear to score, converted to increase the lead to 10-0.
Midway through the half Acklam struck back. After number 8 Nathan Thompson picked up at the back of a scrum and made good ground the ball was recycled and eventually moved out wide. This time it was safely delivered into the hands of left winger John Hall who finished superbly, beating two men on the outside to score.
However, Medicals soon restored their 10 point lead - after having a try disallowed for a forward pass they won the ball back from the Acklam scrum and went over to score.
Acklam trailed 5-15 at the break and their supporters were wondering if they could use the wind to turn things around in the second half. Yes they could!
After Medicals were penalised Acklam kicked to touch and threatened the visitors' line. Winger Jacob Robinson was stopped as he drove for the line then Ashton was held up by some desperate defence. From the 5 metre scrum Acklam made no mistake - Paddy O'Brien picked up and the ball went swiftly through Nathan Faint's hands to centre Marcus Sudron who forced his way over, then kicked the conversion to make it 12-15.
Acklam had the wind in their sails now. They launched another strong attack and after back row Theo Labonette was stopped just short Danny Moss went through a couple of tackles to crash over the line. Sudron converted again and Acklam led for the first time.
Medicals were still fighting hard, making a dangerous break, but after it ended in a knock on Acklam went back downfield and Sudron was just wide with a long range penalty attempt. Acklam were managing to keep the play mostly in the visitors ' half and after an attack by the home team appeared to have broken down more strong play by Moss enabled them to keep the ball and Sudron to make a clean break and give a lovely switch back inside to replacement Andy Dunn who charged through to touch down. Sudron again added the extras to put Acklam 26-15 ahead with a 4 try bonus point.
Medicals spent the last 10 minutes desperately trying to get back in the game but determined defence by Acklam protected their lead and the game finished 26-15.
Once again the performance of Acklam's youngsters was a big positive - Theo Labonette gets better with every game and there were again valuable contributions from Nathan Faint, Jacob Robinson and Cameron Bottomley. Well done to them and the rest of the team for a very good comeback win. Although Acklam remain third from bottom they are clear of the relegation places and just behind a number of teams, including Medicals and also Barnard Castle who they visit next Saturday in a twice rearranged fixture.

Updated 12:51 - 10 Mar 2019 by Paul I'Anson

Where next?

Rugby Activities at Acklam Weekend 23rd/24th March 2019 Acklam travel to Westhartlepool for their next league game, Talbots and Hustlers are both at home.
Rugby Activities at Acklam Weekend 16th/17th March 2019 Acklam play the rearranged league game at Barnard Castle.

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