Match Report by Tim Harper
Playing into the wind, the first half was always going to be a struggle but with Buster competing well at the breakdown, turnover ball provided opportunities for regular forays into the opposition half. With the line out performing well, a catch and 15 yard drive from the forwards took the ball over the line with Buster scoring a try, converted by Chidgey.
North Manchester(NM) forwards then came into their own and a series of well worked pick and goes saw them score a try close to the posts, which was converted. Following some questionable decisions from the referee, the opposition forced the ball deep into Manchester’s 22. A mix up in the line out saw the ball go loose over the try line to be touched down by a North Manchester forward, with the conversion missed the score at half time was 12v7.
The usual half time tongue lashing from the Hoff ensued, with many wondering, given its ferocity, whether he was on his period again.
After two tactical substitutions at half time and the wind behind Manchester knuckled down to push for the win.
With the refereeing decision now going Manchester’s way, constant pressure ensured that all the play was in the opposition half. From a penalty well into the 22, Big Ben used all his power and reach to score a try from a crash ball, the conversion was missed by Chidgey, 12v12.
The Manchester pack was now dominant and any attempts by NM to escape their half resulted in turnovers or penalties conceded on the ground. Play was largely confined to the NM 22. Having turned down one opportunity at goal a second chance closer in was accepted by the Hoff and slotted over by Chidgey, the score now 12v15 to Manchester.
As the clock was wound down, Manchester had a series of powerful drives culminating in Big Ben getting a second try in the left had corner to cap of a dominant display by the Manchester pack, with the conversion missed, the ref blew the final whistle with Manchester earning a well-deserved away win 20v12.
This was for you Nick and your ‘nose’.