Manchester 2nds Vs Caldy 3rds
To use an old cliché this was most defiantly a game of 2 halves as Manchester hosted Caldy 3rd XV at Grove Park.
Caldy were the dominant of the 2 sides in the first half using their stronger forward pack to great effect and it wasn’t long before the visitors got off the mark. Manchester struggled throughout the first half and barely got hands on the ball for the first 15 minutes. The game plan of keeping the ball away from the bigger and better drilled Caldy pack seemed to have been thrown out the window as Caldy extended their lead with a catch and drive from a line out. The 1st talking point of the game came when the Caldy wing knocked the ball on over the Manchester line, the ref then for reasons only known to him awarded the visitors the put in and the Caldy pack pushed the lighter Manchester pack over the line for a try leaving the ref apologising to the bemused Manchester players for the error.
Manchester did eventually get on the score sheet when centre and former colt Will Chance fly hacked a loose ball forward and gather the ball to get Manchester off the mark.
The second talking point came just before the end of the first half with the Caldy winger racing down the touch line Cries from the crowd that he was in fact in touch where not noted by the touch judge. Unsure the ref asked the advice of his TJ who said he didn’t see if the winger was in touch or not. He then asking the winger who said he wasn’t in touch leaving the ref had no option but to award the try leaving a half time score of 45-5 to the visitors.
Manchester struggled at set piece all afternoon and the second half began similar to the first half and with some sloppy tackling from the Manchester defence it wasn’t long before Caldy added to their first half score. This seemed to be the catalyst for Manchester to get their act together. The home side started to execute their game plan and it wasn’t long before No 8 Brian Ndlovu crashed over the line, the conversion slotted over by Fly Half Chris Lloyd. With the line out not functioning the home side opted to run every penalty and with carries from Ndlovu, prop Kiki Vatikiotis and skipper Paul Farrington the home side started to make inroads into a tiring Caldy. Manchester dropped heads started to rise and their next try came when Full Back Ant Walker fielded a clearing Caldy kick deep in his own half. Scything through a tiring defense the former Manchester colt went over under the post, the successful conversion from Llyod. By now Manchester appeared to be the fitter of the 2 teams and with 8 minutes on the clock the ball was sent out to Chance who raced down the pitch only to be held up short of the line. Fortunately centre Gareth Bridgeman (another one of last year’s colts) was on hand to score probably the easiest try of his career to date when he picked the ball up and place it over the line. A superb touch line conversion from Lloyd added to the score. Unfortunately Manchester were left with too much to do and too little time to do it in. The final score Manchester 26- Caldy 52.
Squad: 1) Matt Wilde, 2) Zee Khan, 3) Kiki Vatikiotis, 4) Lucas Shelbourne, 5) Paul Farrington (c), 6) Dom Thomas, 7) Ed Laing (Y), 8) Brian Ndlovu (1T), 9) James Hoggard 10) Chris Lloyd (3C), 11) Josh Wilde, 12) Matt Coglan, 13) Will Chance (1T), 14) Dan Reece, 15) Ant Walker (1T, MoM).
Subs: 16) Ben Gordon (for Vatikiotis (10-40min) & Wilde.M ), 17) Gareth Bridgman (1T)(for Reece).