With every good intention of playing this fixture at Oglesby Park, Burringham and thus preserving the pitch at Heslam Park. The Greens were undermined by circumstances beyond their control when the Longton bus broke down enroute. They were therefore faced with the tough decision of playing the fixture under the Heslam Park lights due to the late kick-off.
Scunthorpe welcomed back Ash Dibden into the centre, James Dyson in the back row and Tom Foster at fly-half from the team that played in the cup fixture at Spalding. Oli Wood however was unable to join the team due to the poor travelling conditions from Glasgow.
The game did not start well for the home boys as they seemed to be out of step with the referee, Sarah Toll, and conceded 4 penalties in the first 6 minutes including the yellow carding of Nick Syddall. It was therefore no surprise that Longton secured a position close to the home line from which they managed to drive over for the first try of the game. Lee Brogan converted with a good strike to give his side a 7 points to nil advantage after 8 minutes of play.
Longton continued to ask most of the questions and had the lions’ share of territory and possession. The Greens gradually gained a foot-hold in the visiting territory and from a line-out they drove the opposition over at great speed for James Dyson to claim the try. Steve Johnson added the extras and the home boys were level on 26 minutes.
This situation did not last long however, as 2 minutes later the Staffordshire boys were awarded a penalty near half-way and Brogan, with a clean strike, put the ball between the posts to give his team a 10 points to 7 lead. Scunthorpe had a great opportunity to go ahead once more when from a scrummage close in they drove their opponents over their own line only to lose control of the ball. The tight 5 probably doing their job to efficiently and moving too fast. The teams therefore went into the break with the Longton boys in front by 10 points to 7.
Scunthorpe came out for the second half looking like a different team and following several good drives, James Dyson was again on the scoresheet with a well constructed try. Johnson again did the necessary and the Heslam Park boys were ahead for the first time in the game by 14 points to 10. Scunthorpe continued to press but although many line-breaks were made they were unable to finish. It was on 20 minutes that again the ball was strongly carried and quickly recycled moving left until, with Johnson in the line, Colin Chapman made good use of the overlap to touchdown in the corner. Johnson once more converted with an excellent strike for a 21 points to 10 lead after 20 minutes.
Great pressure was now being exerted on the Visitors and from a scrummage close to their line they conceded a penalty try. So with the successful conversion they now had a 28 points to 10 lead on the half hour. Chapman was again the beneficiary of some excellent threequarter play with Johnson supplying the final pass for another touch-down on the left. Johnson, who was in very good kicking form, managed to add the extras for a score-line of 35 points to 10. There was time for a last piece of comedy/drama when Nick Dyson broke through the middle of a ruck on half-way and with the defence going for the supporting players rather than the ball carrier, he managed to make fully 50 metres before attempting to off-load to Jake Barron only for the ball to go astray with the line begging.
Tim Robinson will view the game as an eventual success once they had come to terms with the refereeing style and the difficult Longton defence. They travel to Newport (Salop) next Saturday and will hope that having now taken 2nd place in the league due to the defeat of Old Halesonions at Northampton, they can continue the good work.
Match Report by LWJClayton