Ramsey edge out Vagabonds
The day was cold but we were hot
It was a proper nail biter at the Mooragh Park with Ramsey battling their way to a hard fought 21-10 win against Vagabonds in Lancs/Cheshire Division 3. This was a full on local derby and an enthralling contest from start to finish. Ramsey as league leaders were the obvious favourites going into the game, but Vagabonds didn’t seem to care about that and showed that they weren’t there to make up the numbers.
It took quarter of an hour to break the deadlock. Ross McCulloch carried as Vagas attacked from inside their own half. He was felled by Ramsey wing Mikey Craine. The ball came loose and Ramsey’s leading try scorer Dan Bonwick was on hand to race down the right touchline for the opening score. The game then remained scoreless for twenty minutes and even when Vagas lost Steve Logan to the sin bin for a no arms tackle, Ramsey could only add a Fintan Cummins penalty to their tally just before the break, giving them an 8-0 half time lead.
Two minutes into the second half, Cummins added a second penalty after Vagas were caught offside. This gave Ramsey an 11-0 lead and with their engine spluttering on three cylinders it was difficult to see them adding to that. Four minutes later, the complexion of the game changed. Ross Pulman picked up for Vagas inside his own half. He shot down the left flank, sucked in the defence and then released Vagas flying machine Rob Pease who finished off in the corner to reduce the lead to 11-5. Cam Findley’s conversion came back off the upright.
With just under fifteen to play Vagas skipper James Clarke found himself in some space. He let the defence come up to him before chipping the ball in behind and arcing for the line. With the Vagas pack stampeding up behind him, Ramsey held the ball on the ground and conceded a penalty five metres out and dead centre of the field. Vagas elected for a scrummage and ran a set move to the left which put Pease in for his second of the afternoon. Findlay’s conversion was wide this time and Ramsey retained the lead but by a single point at 11-10.
They held their slender advantage until stoppage time at the end of the half when Fintan Cummins kicked his third penalty of the afternoon to steady the Ramsey ship. This quickly turned into a double whammy for Vagabonds. From the restart, Ramsey second row Matty Meechan found half a yard of space and he shot through the Vagas line with a runner either side of him and one man to beat. Meechan drew the tackle and offloaded to John F Watling who struck the killer blow. Cummins converted to make it 21-10.
There was however one last moment of drama from a game which had everything. Ramsey captain Henry Swithinbank broke clear down the left and was felled by an unlucky Cam Findlay who went high and fell foul of the new high tackle directive. He was shown a red card in what was the final play of the game and while it pleased the home crowd, it wasn’t malicious and had no effect on the game.
With a baby on the way, comfy shoes were the order of the day today for Mrs B. Luckily a glamourous grandma-to-be saved bootwatch with a fine pair of knee highs.