Cannock eventually shine in opening league fixture, Cannock travelled to Uttoxeter in their opening league game today. After Bowing out of the cup the week before against higher league Newcastle, the Lions were keen to start on a high in the league.
It was the visitors who started the brighter. Scott Pedley was making use of his forwards and backs and dictated the opening exchanges with competence. However it was he who attempted to force play and his pass was intercepted by the home sides fly half who dotted down for undeserved lead. 7-0
Cannock's heads had dropped and Uttoxeter gained momentum. Their fly half added 3 points after open side Stephen frost was judged off his feet at the break down. 10-0.
The Lions eventually picked themselves up and started applying pressure. Jord Pincombe and Jon Freeman was upping the ante with great forward play but Uttoxeter held strong. Eventually Cannock unlocked the door from a rolling maul and man of the match Jon Freeman as ever got his arm chair ride at the back to bowl over. 10-7.
The home side was awarded a penalty for a discrepancy at the breakdown. From the ensuing line out head coach Halil was sin binned for a very harsh 'barracking' call and Cannock was a man down.
Scott Pedley slotted 3 after a high tackle to reduce the deficit.
Uttoxeter added a further 3 penalties and went in at HT 19-10 to the good.
Pretty much de Ja Vu as last week the 2nd half saw Cannock liven up and also superior fitness shone through. The back row started to dominate contact areas with Josh Humphries and co in the backs started firing the way through gaps.
Matt Madsen started the comeback after good link play between Joe Brookes and Jay Barratt. The final pass from skipper Gareth Ley allowed Madsen to smash over. 19-15.
Cannock continued with ascendancy and again and applied pressure. The home sides blind side forgot his duties as ruck guard and stuck a right hook on Freeman giving Jim Cummins the space to pick and go to give the Lions a deserved lead. 19-22
The visitors was now in complete control. Debutant Neil Hilliage was causing havoc on the wing taking multiple defenders each time In contact. Kris Hampton was a demon in the breakdown areas and Uttoxeter couldn't compete with the pressure. Skipper Ley crossed over after a great 'off the training ground move' and Cannock was on the home straight. 19-29
The hosts were now tiring (shattered). Cannock dictated all proceedings. The last score came from a dominant scrum which drove over from 8 metres out. Freeman duly obliged to add another from his previous. 19-36.
The game ended with the excellent Pincombe adding another 3 points 19-39 FT.
Cannock now move forward and look to the visit of rivals Burntwood next week!
Thanks to all the sponsors and a special thanks to Mr Dalloway for the super photos.
Mentions to Bullet, man of the match Soccer, Alex and Neil for superb performances and debuts.