Sat 02
Birmingham & Solihull
20
-
15
League
1st XV
Greens Lose their opening fixture at Portways

Greens Lose their opening fixture at Portways

By Peter Bright
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Close but not that close


The selected squad had a late change when Adam Middleton was ruled unfit and Jake Goodison stepped in at Scrum-half having only arrived back from his holidays on Friday. Another set-back was the failure of player registration for Tim Dunk which did not materialise prior to match day. So the squad was depleted by one. Tim Robinson gave league debuts to young players Ben Hyde, Morgan Davies and Bram Hollingsworth.

Following an indecisive start by both teams, The Greens were first on the board through a well struck penalty by Jake Goodison from 35 metres out and 10 metres in from the left hand touch-line. This gave Scunthorpe a 3 points to nil lead after 5 minutes of play. The Home boys, who had a winning pre-season, showed their credentials with some good ball retention and some quick ruck possession to put Scunthorpe under pressure and were rewarded when Steve Johns exploited an overlap on the left, to touch down for the try. Jack Jolly failed to convert but made amends after 20 minutes when he struck a penalty to increase the home teams advantage to 8 points to 3.

The Scunthorpe took some time to settle with their line-out failing to function although the scrum was as solid as ever and had won a couple of penalties. They were also guilty of some poor kicking and not retaining possession. The game continued to ebb and flow with the home boys having the better of the exchanges. Both kickers missed opportunities before a strong run from Dave Garbutt resulted in The Greens gaining a position close to the home line from where Ollie Cole drove over for a try. Goodison converted to give Scunthorpe a 10 points to 8 lead. Birmingham had two players binned in the series of attacks prior to the Scunthorpe try, with Guy Mychuiluk also having been dismissed in the 32nd minute.

Even though Scunthorpe had the man advantage it was the home team, once more through the pace of Johns who scored in the 4th minute of added time. Jolly missed adding the extras, but nontheless his team went into the break with a 13 points to 10 advantage.

It was the home side that were again first to settle into their rhythm and Scunthorpe had to do some hard defending. During this period Goodison was yellow carded (10th minute) which put Scunthorpe under even more pressure. Birmingham crossed again in the 21st Minute with Johns gaining his hat-trick and Jolly converting for a fairly comfortable 20 points to 10 lead. Scunthorpe gradually got their own game plan into action with a lot more ball retention and some close driving play from Garbutt and the Dyson brothers. Scunthorpe also gained a numeric advantage when home replacement, Matt Spink was red carded for foul play in the 35th minute. Hard work down the left hand touch-line by The Green pack resulted in debutant Morgan Davies squeezing into the corner. A valiant conversion attempt by Hyde resulted in the ball striking the right hand upright. But with only a few minutes to play, Scunthorpe once more drove up the park and whilst in the home ‘22’ the referee called proceeding to an end in what to the visiting supporters seemed rather early as he had not allowed any added time.

Tim Robinson will take some encouragement from the performance of a team that, in some ways is still new and with some established faces to return he will look forward to the visit of Newbold on Avon next week.

Louie Clayton

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Match details

Match date

Sat 02, Sep 2017

Kickoff

15:00

Competition

Midlands Premier

League position

3
Birmingham & Solihull
14
Scunthorpe