A game that both clubs were looking forward to as they are in adjacent positions in the league.
Scunthorpe, without Nick Syddall through a rib injury had Chris Hewitt in the back row making his first league appearance of the season.
The early rain had cleared and following the alteration to the clocks at the autumn equinox, kick-off was at 2.15pm. Our referee for the day was Mr Ben Davis who was being assessed for higher things and seemed to be very quick on the whistle. Scunthorpe conceded a penalty after only 2 minutes of play and up stepped Ben Elliot to put the visitors in front by 3 points to nil. Scunthorpe made their first incursion to the opposition ‘22’, were awarded a penalty 5 metres out and the pack drove the ball over for a touchdown by Dave Garbutt. The conversion by Steve Johnson put The Greens in front by 7 points to 3 after 9 minutes.
In a fluid game, Scunthorpe were having the better of things and Johnson kicked a penalty on 17 minutes to extend their lead to 10 points to 3. Back came the Cheshire boys and from a penalty close to the home line, they drove the subsequent lineout over for a try. Elliot added the extras and the scoreboard showed the teams to be level. The game continued to ebb and flow without defences being breached until Johnson put the home team ahead with a penalty after 31 minutes by 13 points to 10 and so the score remained until the end of the first half. The visitors did have Chris Davenport sent to the bin for an infringement which was the result of the penalty.
The half-time refreshment had a greater effect on the visitors as with barely two minutes on the clock they caught The Greens with a lob sided defensive alignment and winger Jack Leach finding prop forward Matt Probert in front of him, made the most of things to run in the try. Elliot again added the extras to give his team a 17 points to 13 advantage. Virtually straight from the restart, Scunthorpe on the attack deep in Sandbach territory, contrived to give the ball to the opposition which resulted in a long range footrace which that man Elliot won. He failed with the conversion but the visitors were now in front by 22 points to 13. Scunthorpe, for once managed to retain the ball through several phases of play and send Rewiti Viamoso clear on the left from where he powered his way in. Johnson succeeded with a difficult conversion to put the home boys back in contention at 22 points to 20 after 15 minutes of the second period.
Little did the home supporters realise that this was as good as it was going to get as poor game management and ball retention conceded possession to the Cheshire boys and even though in some instances they were well within their own ‘22’ the pace with which they countered was such that additional tries resulted. First, from John Smith then Tom Whalley and of course that man Elliot again. He also succeeded with converting most of the tries as the scoreline moved on to the half century. Benny Elliot now resembled Billy Elliot with his dancing feet and the home team were heartily sick of the sight of him.
Scunthorpe did have period with game heads on when hard work and ball retention allowed hooker Gareth Mist to scamper over in the right hand corner. Johnson missed the conversion but with 5 minutes remaining, The Greens pushed hard for the all important 4th try but alas it was not to be with the final score reading a disappointing 50 points to 25.
Match Report by LWJClayton