With the game well into added time, Will Robinson lined up the kick that could level the scores. He was striking into a sharp, cold cross wind and from ten metres inside the left hand touch-line. The ball looked to be going through the uprights when it veered slightly to the right, striking the post and falling down onto the crossbar before dropping over into the in-goal area, to the great delight of the travelling support.
For their third consecutive away trip, The Greens were without 5 of their regular squad. Absent from the pack were Nick Dyson, Ben Hyde and David Haig, Whilst the threequarters were missing Paul Cook and Oli Wood. All these influential players had organised others activities for what should have been a non playing weekend. As replacements Tim Robinson brought in some young faces in Danny Bournes, Eddie Newsum, Jay Johnson, Kane Linklater, Adam Middleton and Liam Brunt.
The game kicked off in bright sunny but very cold conditions. Scunthorpe had first use of the ball and from an outside break by Will Robinson they set up a ruck on the home ‘22’ and gained a penalty. Tom Hughes reacted quickly, to tap the ball and go over virtually unopposed. Robinson added the extras and the Scunthorpe boys were up and running. Scunthorpe lost fullback Bournes through injury shortly thereafter and had to shuffle their recources, with Adam Middleton coming on at fullback.
The Nuns gradually got back into the game with some wide passing moves which caused the Scunthorpe cover some problems. Although The Greens had the initial upper hand in the scrums, the home boys managed to stabilise things, giving better quality ball. It was from a scrummage on the right hand side of the pitch that Nuns centre Elliott Brown found a hole in the visiting defence to touch down close to the posts. His own conversion levelled the scores at 7 points all, on the half hour mark.
With both sides having a fair share of possession, it was some sloppy handling and passing by The Greens that stopped capital being made from this. It was the home team that eventually broke the deadlock when winger Jackson Hughes broke several tackles on half-way and burst through to the Scunthorpe ‘22’ and put No. 8 Adie Hall in for the try. The conversion was unsuccessful but the home team were now in front after 38 minutes. From the kick-off, Scunthorpe managed to gain possession and win a penalty that Robinson converted and the teams went into the break with the home boys leading by 12 points to 10.
Now facing the elements, The Greens kept the ball tight and managed to take play into the home ‘22’ and from a penalty at the breakdown, Robinson slotted the kick to put Scunthorpe ahead by 13 points to 12 after 10 minutes. This lead only lasted 2 minutes as The Nuns attacked in The Greens ‘22’ going right and a chip ahead bounced kindly for Ben Kirby to score. The conversion struck the upright and the score board show the home boys leading by 17 points to 12.
Play remained fairly even with only mistakes on the ball giving away possession and position. Adam Middleton made some solid ball catching and driving from fullback whilst Colin Chapman made some strong runs down the left flank. It was the home boys however that gained a penalty in the Scunthorpe half which was converted by Huw Thomas for a 20 points to 13 score-line after 34 minutes of the second half. The Scunthorpe pack now took the game to their opponents and managed several promising positions close to the home line. All came to naught until well into injury time when the pack drove over from close range with Nick Syddall getting the touch-down. It now rested on the kick, which with the help of the upright and crossbar put Scunthorpe level.
Although there was still time left after the last score, the game finished with The Greens attacking and looking for that winning margin.
Scunthorpe at last will be playing at home next Saturday, weather permitting, when they have a first time league fixture at Heslam Park against Doncaster Phoenix.
Match Report by LWJClayton DSO & Bar None