As in previous home games Manchester took some time in getting started, however, on this occasion the opponents capitalised on their early dominance, creating a healthy lead by half-time which Manchester never quite managed to clawback.
From the kick off Glossop showed good drill and exited their half quickly, forcing an early penalty at the ruck in the Manchester half, although the attempt at goal was missed, it was not long before Glossop were on the scoresheet.
A deep clearance kick by Manchester was caught cleanly and moved quickly to the left, where the defence was slow to come up, this allowed the Glossop 12 space to break through and go over for a try, conversion missed, 0v5.
The next ten minutes belonged to Glossop who broke through the Manchester defence on a number of occasions. Although held up just short of the line, the pressure told and Manchester were penalised at a ruck under the post, an easy kick 0v8.
From the restart Glossop were pinned back on their 22 line but a clever move down the blind side saw them overload the Manchester defence, although 4 valiant tackles were made by retreating Manchester players the extra man counted and Glossop went over for their second try, once again the conversion was missed.
Some twenty five minutes into the game Manchester finally had some possession in the Glossop half, forcing a penalty at the ruck, which was kicked to touch 5 metres out. Although the line out throw was missed, Glossop infringed again, a penalty under the post successfully kicked, got Manchester on the board 3v13.
It was Manchester’s turn to effect a good exit from the restart, Charlie Ding lofted the ball down the right touch line, Manchester secured the resultant ruck ball and a clever chip by Charlie D put Charlie J clear, where he showed good footballing skills to hack on and drop on the ball in the corner, conversion missed 8v13.
It seemed like Manchester were back in it as once again they forced play deep into the Glossop half. When Charlie D was stopped taking a quick tap penalty the referee issued a yellow card to the offending Glossop player. Down to 14 Glossop had to dig in as a
series of scrums were awarded deep in their 22. First Glossop were adjudged to have infringed at a scrum, then as Manchester looked to exert more pressure in the scrum, they were adjudged to have offended and from the resulting penalty Glossop cleared their lines.
As the half-time whistle approached, Manchester were penalised for hands in the ruck, Glossop kicked to touch 5 metres out. The ball was moved off the back of the line and third phase ball saw the Glossop 6 crash over, conversion kicked 8v20 as the sides changed ends. A great effort by Glossop with only 14 players on the park.
With three kicks missed by Glossop, Manchester were lucky to still be in the game.
Needing another dominant second half display to get them out of trouble, Manchester made the worse start possible to the second half; losing the ball in the tackle to Glossop who kicked through, with the ball stopping just short of the try line, Manchester’s clearance kick missed touch and went straight to a Glossop player. Two passes later Glossop crossed over wide right for their 4th try and a bonus point, conversion missed 8v25.
With a mountain to climb, Manchester’s forwards now started to dominate in the scrum, that along with the line out working better, allowed them to retain possession and keep play in the Glossop half.
A quick tap penalty by Charlie D and a neat reverse pass by Seb put Karl Higginson in the clear only to be held up over the line. The respite was short lived for Glossop, as from another quick tapped penalty the ball reached Brian Ndlovu who crossed for a try, conversion missed 13v25.
As Glossop kicked off at the restart they conceded a penalty for taking the man in the air; the ball was kicked to touch in the Glossop 22. A catch and drive was halted just short of the line but as the ball was moved right Harry Lewis scored under the posts, conversion kicked 20v25 and Manchester were back in the game.
The next ten minutes saw play move up and down the pitch with no real threat to either try line. However, with play in the Manchester half, the home team moved the ball of the back of a ruck, a long pass from the fly half position was well anticipated by the Glossop 7 who went over unopposed, conversion taken 20v32.
As Manchester re-started the Glossop 3 collected the ball and went off on a bullocking 40 yard dash, when finally brought down, Manchester offended at the ruck and conceded a penalty which was crucially converted 20v35.
With five minutes to go and three scores adrift, all that was left for Manchester was a chance to close the gap and earn some bonus points. Their chance came from the restart with another scrum penalty allowing them to take play deep into the Glossop half. A well worked move down the left saw James Graham over for the 3rd try, quickly converted by a drop goal by Seb the gap was down to 8 points.
Following a deliberate knock on, another Glossop player was shown a yellow card, the resultant penalty was kicked to touch. From the line out the ball was moved along the line first to the left and then back out to the right where Ollie Dickinson side stepped two Glossop players to touch down for a 4th try and bonus point, conversion missed, 32v35. However, time had run out and the final whistle blew.
Glossop deserved their win off the back of a dominant first half performance, the win drawing them within one point of Manchester at the top of the division, with a game in hand.
For Manchester it was once again a game of two halves, outscoring the opposition in the second half but this was not good enough against their promotion rivals. Some pride in the end in securing a try bonus and losing bonus point.