Scunthorpe played their final home game of the season in front of a large crowd in pleasant playing conditions and managed to retain all players on the pitch this week. Without Oli Wood who was red carded at Bournville, also Ben Hyde who is injured and Tom Hughes who was unavailable, they produced an excellent performance against a very competent Bridgnorth side.
The opening minutes had both teams testing the other’s defences by moving the ball freely across the pitch and it was the Shropshire boys who got the first breakthrough after 10 minutes. They retained possession through multiple phases and eventually gained an opening out on the right wing for James Morgan to touch down. Llew Williams put over an excellent conversion for a 7 points to nil lead. This advantage did not last for long, as The Greens took play to the other end of the field by virtue of a great line break by Ollie Cole and the recycled ball was taken at pace by Will Harrison who crossed half-way out to the left of the posts. Paul Cook added the extras and the teams were level after 12 minutes.
Scunthorpe continued to have the upper hand and when Bridgnorth conceded a couple of penalties in quick succession, the ball was put into the right hand corner and the forwards did the rest with Cole making the touchdown. Cook converted with a great strike and Scunthorpe now had the lead by 14 points to 7 after 17 minutes. The visitors then had their moments of pressure but were held out and as the end of the half approached, it was The Greens that scored when Sam Morgan made a powerful run in mid-field to break through and score. Cook once more added the extras for a 21 points to 7 half-time lead.
The Greens were straight out of the blocks in the second half and it was again Morgan who showed great pace and power to bundle his way through to the line. Cook once more converted and the home boys were looking good with a 28 points to 7 advantage. They were now playing with much more freedom and as the pressure on Bridgnorth grew so did the penalty count and it was no surprise when the tireless Grant Elliott crossed the whitewash half-way out to the left of the posts. The conversion failed but the advantage was now 33 points to 7 to the home team, only 9 minutes into the second period.
To their credit, the visitors never gave up and producing some good running and support work. It was the home sides turn to concede penalties and the ball was put into touch in the right hand corner for the visitors to drive over, with Luis Evitt getting the try. Williams was unable to add the extras and the scoreboard now read 33 points to 12, fifteen minutes into the second half.
Scunthorpe had many moments of pressure as the half progressed but mistakes and poor finishing meant that there would be no more points until after 36 minutes. The ball was moved out to the right and Will Robinson produced a clever off-load out of the tackle to send Jakob Hardy over from 20 metres out. The conversion was missed but the scoreline was now 38 points to 12 after 36 minutes. The Greens were not yet done and it was Will Harrison who once more took the ball at pace, inside the visitors ‘22’ and burst through to score under the posts. Cook added the extras for the final score-line of 45 points to 12.
All now rests on the final fixture away at Coventry based, Broadstreet next Saturday. Still holding a two points advantage in the table over chasing Luctonians, The Greens require at least a win, disregarding any bonus points, to take the title. Broadstreet sit 4th in the table and will provide a tough test as they played at level 4 last season and are an experienced outfit. The boys will not lack for support as a bus will be leaving Heslam Park for those that do not wish to drive to Coventry.
Match Report by LWJ Clayton