A Wilmslow 2nd team struggling for numbers were the visitors to Knutsford who fielded a record 6 junior players who have graduated from Colts into first team rugby this season.
Knutsford were in desperate need of a gutsy performance and victory to get their season back on track after a continuous disruption to the consistency of the starting XV has wreaked havoc on recent results.
The game was spirited but in a really good way, both teams going at it right from the start and both packs looking strong with Wilmslow arguably having the edge in terms of ball in hand forward phase play.
However it was the team as a whole that showed why Knutsford were deserving victors on the day, Joachim Marques scoring his first season hat trick got the boys in blue off the mark with a sniping try scored from a few yards out after excellent phase ball from the forwards punching lines through the Wilmslow defence. Alex Davies added the extras
Marques scored 2 more before half time, another from inside the 22 beating 2 men and the third to take the match ball home was from a quick penalty beating 2 men to touch down out wide in the corner
The forwards continued to provide great platforms from attack but Wilmslow were able to come back in slightly due to poor discipline and weak tackling to even up the game mid way through the 2nd half but the forwards rallied. Some superb running with ball in hand from Matt Cornes and Giles Robertson ensured a dynamic pod of Chris Isherwood, Declan Mcloughlan and Tom Copsey could wreak havoc in midfield and Stefano Spinola made it 2 in 2 games with a try under the posts after the relentless pressure proved too much.
Some interesting handling from the backs showed some out of form rustiness and more opportunities went begging so Knutsford will have to address this in training but this was put right in the 2nd half as not once did the heads go down.
Jim Southall at 12 made yards all day long, devastating runs from midfield time and again opened up space and Alex Fielding on the wing came off his line to provide great support time after time.
Cook managed a brace to make it 4 in 2 after his return to the starting line up, the first of which was a strong run from just outside Knutsfords own 22 after a great back of the scrum pass from Tom Copsey at 8. Cook dummied 2 and finished the try off fending off the last defender. He followed this up with a cutting line through the midfield in the latter part of the game after a strong lineout from jumper Declan Mcloughlin.
Alex Davies pace out wide was the final say of the match, another well worked phase of play through the forwards saw a pod in the midfield, Jan Minarcik expertly and deftly found flyhalf Cook who released the backs and no-one was catching Davies as he flew past 2 on the outside to close the game out confidently for Knutsford.
A weeks break this week for our 'Try Rugby' event (see website events for further details) but Knutsford are next in action at home to Buxton on the 26th November and all support is very much welcome