Cannock travelled to Rugeley for the 1st round of the Owen Cup this weekend looking for a good run to erase the memories up their cup final defeat last season. After an excellent pre-season schedule Cannock were confident that the hard work of the players and new coach Paul Buckley would pay off, and after an aggressive high tempo start Cannock were rewarded with a try in the corner for Phil Pedley (unconverted).
Against an always strong Rugeley pack the Cannock front row more than handled themselves after being dominated last season supported by an impressive debut for second row Jason Wood./ Scott Pedley played well in his first ever game in the number 10 shirt and soon fed in Brian Yates for Cannock’s 2nd try, under the posts, which Pedley then converted. From the resulting restart Cannock mounted further pressure on Rugeley pinning them back into their own 22, a jinking run from debutant Will Jukes ended with a deft offload to John Shirley who strode in untouched for the final 15 meters; 0 - 19 at half time.
Rugeley, never a team to capitulate under opposition pressure, came back strong in the second half quickly scoring a converted try and penalty. However Cannock finally settled into the second half and strong carries from Jukes and Gunter put Cannock in good field position, the backs used the ball effectively with good support from the Cannock back row, Freeman drove for the line and appeared to be held up, yet the Rugeley prop, keen for ‘extras’ throughout the game, thoughtlessly dragged the Cannock skipper over the line to assist in the try that put Cannock 14 points clear and effectively sealed the game, 10 – 24. Rugeley rallied and ill-discipline from Cannock gave Rugeley a succession of penalties which resulted in the home team skipper (man-of-the-match for Rugeley) scoring in the near corner, unconverted. Final score 15 – 24. Man-of-the-match for Cannock, in his first game as skipper, was Jon Freeman.
Rugeley were excellent hosts and Cannock look forward to their league encounters later in the season.
Next week the 1st XV are home playing Tenbury Wells and the 2nd XV travel to Barton, training will continue on Wednesdays at the Morgan ground 7:00 - 8:30 all players, young & old Experienced or new to the game, are welcome.
Junior rugby training continues at the club on Saturday mornings and young players are always welcome