The Greens travelled without Guy Mychajluk, Dave Garbutt, Liam Brunt and David Hague who having just come back from injury, sustained another bad knock against Doncaster Phoenix, which may well keep him out for the rest of the season. Coming in to cover were Tom Hughes, Colin Chapman and eighteen years old Jack Brunt for his senior debut.
On a dank miserable afternoon both side attempted to throw the ball about but any progress was nullified by some tight defensive work. It took until the 17th minute before Scunthorpe conjured a miss move in the centre, where Jay Johnson sent Will Robinson through a cap on half-way, for a sprint to the line. Paul Cook added the conversion to give The Greens a 7 points to nil lead. The home boys continued to threaten with some expansive open rugby and the constant danger of the strong running Greg Massey at fullback. Massey did break through from inside his own half and just when a try looked certain, he was run down by Robinson.
The Staffordshire boys defended well when Scunthorpe took the attack right to their line and managed to get out of trouble through a Greens knock-on. They then went through multiple phases before a mid-field break put Charlie Milner in for the try. Massey added the extras and the sides were level at 7 points each, after 35 minutes. Scunthorpe struck back just before the half-time whistle when an infringement at the ruck allowed Cook to convert a penalty from 35 metres out, to give his side a 10 points to 7 advantage at the interval.
With the game so close at this point, the first score of the second period was always going to be vital. Seven minutes in and The Greens drove from a lineout on the home 10 metre line, the maul was illegally stopped and Tom Foster put the ball into touch within the home ‘22’. Once again the driving maul took play up to the home line and was pulled down illegally even though Ben Hyde managed to touch down, the referee went under the posts and awarded a penalty try. This changed the dynamic of the game as Lichfield also had the influential Tom Taylor yellow carded.
The momentum was now with the Greens and Scunthorpe continued to attack inside the home ‘22’ and when Nick Syddall was able to stand up in the tackle close to the line, his pack drove over for a try by Rory Rendall-Tyrell. Cook once more added the conversion and The Greens now led by 24 points to 7 after 17 minutes of the second half. Scunthorpe continued to attack and from a ruck on the home ‘22’ Nick Dyson executed his trade mark run, through the middle of the ruck to touchdown under the posts. Cook again added the extras and Scunthorpe were now looking good with a 31 points to 7 lead only 20 minutes into the second half. Jack Brunt who had come off the bench, made his presence felt with a powerful mid-field break to provide the field position for the try.
Lichfield boldly stuck to their game plan and moved the ball wide. They had an over-lap on the left when Cook knocked on in his attempt to intercept and was yellow carded in the 28th minute. The home boys now took advantage of their numerical superiority and from a set piece Luke Massey chipped ahead and with no fullback in place, it was a race for the ball which was won by Matt Woodhouse for the try. Greg Massey converted to reduce the arears to 31 points to 14 after 38 minutes. It was The Greens who finished the stronger and were only inches short of another try when the final whistle sounded.
Match Report by Louie Clayton