It was a clear afternoon at the Morgan ground and Cannock were gearing up to face promotion contenders Ludlow. The warm up went well as Cannock prepared for a fight for points.
Some changes were made with skipper obi ley moving back to flanker, josh Humphreys back in at 12 and eel moving to full back. Also, a first start at 10 for clarkey.
Eel got the game started and with a great chase from the Cannock pack Ludlow managed to secure the ball and set for the scrum half to box kick for the winger to chase. For the first half, this would become a regular move for Ludlow noticing the Cannock full back was taking the restarts so they would exploit the space.
After some good carrying from the Cannock pack Ludlow managed to turn over and got the ball across the backs and finding a gap managed to get the first points of the afternoon. Converted.
Cannock restarted the with a high ball from eel giving the pack a chance of the turnover Ludlow secured and another box kick saw Cannock knock on and put under pressure. Ludlow shipped the ball left and then right and managed to dot the ball down in the corner. Converted.
Cannock showing lots of heart throughout the first half started to get into the game but with nothing yet to show for their efforts. Noticing that from the restarts Ludlow were kicking the ball where eel should be Cannock dropped clarkey into full back for the return kick to cut down the Ludlow threat.
Although Cannock were not playing too badly a ten-minute spell saw Ludlow score 4 more tries by finding gaps due to missed tackles from Cannock. Two more of these tries were converted leaving the half time score at.
Cannock gathered around skipper obi at half time knowing that they were playing well. With a call for calm heads and harder tackles to avoid a repeat score from away result.
Ludlow restarted and straight away Cannock had stepped up a gear strong running from joe Brookes, matt Madsen and Daniel Blake saw Cannock starting to make good ground. Finally, Cannock were getting a good platform for bullet to ship the ball to clarkey and the backs to make some ground.
Fast ball down the blind side saw eel go through a gap and draw the full back. A great pass to Neil hillage who showed his pace and managed to ground the ball in the corner only for the Ludlow winger to roll him over by the time the ref got to the line. Held up scrum down. From the resulting scrum the Cannock pack with a great drive managed to first draw the penalty and the soccer to pick and drive over the line. Unconverted.
Ludlow restarted and Cannock were now starting to find their feet. Great carries from the pack manged to see Cannock starting to make meters again.
However, a quick breakaway from their own half saw Ludlow break away and increase their lead.
Cannock still not letting their heads drop managed to work their way down the pitch and find a good platform to work off manged to win a penalty and see eel dance through a gap and score with an easy conversion opportunity. Converted.
From the restart a clearance from Cannock saw Ludlow with a quick counter attack add to their lead.
From the restart Cannock now looking for a try bonus point started to see some crunching tackles come in with clarkey managing to catch their winger and throw him into touch.
Cannock started to see Larry come searching for the ball and with a break through the first tackle followed by an offload nearly saw Cannock get a third try. Ludlow managed to break away and get another try.
Cannock restarted and saw Ludlow coming straight back saw clarkey tackle their flanker who knocked on. Cannock used their advantage well and saw josh Humphries skip around a few defenders holding his ribs. Followed by strong carries from jay Barret and obi ley. Saw Cannock win a penalty by the line. A quick tap from soccer saw Cannock add a third try and a chance for the bonus point. Unconverted.
Another high restart from Cannock saw Ludlow secure the ball and manage to quickly break away up the opposite wing where Alex turner had not seen much action all afternoon. They managed to score the last play of the game.
The score does not reflect the performance and every player that pulled on the Cannock shirt should be proud. Great heart, determination and attitude saw a great performance gents that we will carry into the next game.
Man, of the match went to Skipper Obi Ley, for his hard work at the breakdowns and around the park. But this must have been a tough decision as every single one of us could have been chosen.
Thank you to all our sponsors, Wakelake, NMB, DGL