[b]Acklam’s league season starts with a fine away win at Medicals
Both teams right from the start showed a willingness to play open and attacking rugby. Although both teams were guilty of early season nerves as errors were made throughout the game. Medicals led from the third minute of the game and didn’t surrender the lead until the 80th minute. The 8 minutes of injury time was the most intense rugby you would care to watch as Acklam hung onto their lead until the final whistle.
Medicals kicked the game off and Acklam fielded the ball in their 22 meters and attempted to run the ball back but pressure from the hosts results in an unconverted try. In the 11th minute a poor kick from Acklam allowed Medicals to pressurise the visitors defence and this resulted in a second try which was converted. Medicals were playing well but Acklam’s defence was very strong. Danny Ashton relieved some of the pressure when he kicked a penalty in the 15th minute, 12-3. In the 17th minute, Medicals went down to 14 men when winger Brad Gator had to leave the field from a high tackle, Tom Hughes came on as replacement. Tom with his first touch of the ball showed his pace as he cut through to score a converted try. The game was mostly been played in the Acklam half and in the 30th minute, a delightful chip over the defensive line resulted in Medicals touching down for an unconverted try. Medicals struck again in the 36th minute when Acklam’s defence was split open and a fine 60 meter run resulted in their bonus point try. Half-time 24-10.
In the second half the team roles reversed as Acklam anchored themselves in the hosts half and gradually began to dominate the game. However to many mistakes meant they couldn’t take advantage of their territorial advantage. In the 55th minute Acklam kicked a penalty to get the scoreline moving. However two minutes later a breakaway try by Medicals with their first visit into Acklam’s half since half-time made the score 29-13. Acklam struck back when Marcus Sudron made a strong break and offloaded to Jacob Robinson who scored out wide. Marcus nearly scored in the 66th minute but was held up over the line. This was immediately followed by Nathan Thompson and Skipper Bo-Bo jointly driving over the try line. In the 74th minus Danny kicked another penalty which meant Acklam trailed by 1 point with only 6 minutes left in normal time. Acklam’s never say die attitude prevailed as Josh Abraham scored under the posts for a converted try. The referee re-started the game in injury time and we played the longest 8 minuses possible as Medicals flung everything at Acklam……but Acklam’s defence stood strong. Full-time 29-35.
The young players must be mentioned as they played out of their skins, seconds row Riley, back row of Jacob Robinson, Theo Labonete, Sparky and young Bottomley. Excellent performance from Len Hogg, this being his first game for a year.