Sat 13
1st XV
Bridgenorth RFC  42  -  8  Sheffield RUFC

Bridgenorth RFC 42 - 8 Sheffield RUFC

By Roger Keegan
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Sheffield find little hospitality in the South West as Sheffield’s scratch team are beaten on the road

Bridgnorth RFC 42 - 8 Sheffield RUFC

Team Selection for Saturday, 13th April 2019

15 Danny Williams
14 Rupert Broadley
13 James Flint
12 Ben Parker
11 Ali Womack
10 Will Hodgson
9 Elliot Fisher

1 Tommy Marples
2 Michael Bradford
3 Joe Cooke
4 Dave Clayden
5 Dom Parsons
6 Conor Mullaney
7 Tom Womack
8 Jason Hignell
16 Rob Holland
17 James Hall
18 Kareem Eissa

Sheffield’s injury woes, which began way back in early march with the injuries sustained away to Nuneaton and which came brutally to the forefront for the long trip to Bridgnorth this weekend. The list of players either injured or unavailable for this match almost makes a team on its own, primarily including:-

Ben WhitneyProp forwardInjured
Dan RylanceProp forwardInjured
Ianto JonesHookerInjured
Angus HughesBack-RowUnavailable
Sean CaseyBack RowUnavailable
Steve DepledgeScrum HalfInjured
Matt LawFly halfInjured
Lewis BowmanCentreInjured
Jack HedleyWingUnavailable
Andy HodgsonFull backUnavailable
Jack HawleySecond rowUnavailable

There are others. So, for this match the coaching staff have had to dig deep and have called on a number of our colts to take on the mantle of first team rugby, welcome to Conor Mullaney, James Hall and Kareem Eissa. Additionally, our thanks go to old stalwarts Tommy Marples and Ron Holland.

On the first day of the season, Sheffield entertained Bridgnorth, coming out with a narrow, 18 point to 13 win. This match was always going to be a very tough encounter whatever team we were able to turn out. Sheffield began the match extremely well and were able to points on the board after just six minutes, when Sheffield were awarded a penalty just outside Bridgnorth’s 22-metre. Ben Parker converted and Sheffield led by 3 points to nil. Sheffield continued to have the better of the exchanges, but Bridgnorth’s defence was ferocious and kept Sheffield at bay until the fourteenth minute, when centre James Flint went over out on the left to score the first try. Unfortunately, Ben Parker’s conversion attempt went wide, but Sheffield led by 8 points to nil. Sheffield remained in control of events until we were almost three-quarters of our way through the first-half. Sheffield lost the services of both fly-half, Will Hodgson and scrum half Elliot Fisher to injury. Then when a kick to touch by Sheffield, from a penalty, failed to find touch and Bridgnorth came back strongly, gaining a couple of penalties of their own and Bridgnorth hooker Luis Evitt scored under the Sheffield Posts. An incident in the scoring of the try saw Sheffield’s Tommy Marples and Bridgnorth’s Callum Madden both on their way to the sin bin. Bridgnorth converted through Llewelyn Williams and the score was 7 points to 8 after 29 minutes. Strangely, Sheffield were awarded a penalty at the restart, with Ben Parker kicking to touch. What followed over the next few minutes can only be described as truly perverse. Bridgnorth secured the ball and began an attack down the right side of the field. However, they also managed to knock on several times, and include a few forward passes, which all went unnoticed, and after a kick forward to Sheffield’s 22-metre, Conor Mullaney found himself on his way to the sin bin. Bridgnorth scored their second try a minute or so later, once again through hooker Luis Evitt. Again, Llewelyn Williams added the conversion and Bridgnorth led by 14 points to 8 after 35 minutes. With time in the half running out, Sheffield had a penalty, but once again the kick to touch was missed and Bridgnorth set of on the attack. Sheffield secured yet another penalty, but again the kick went astray and Bridgnorth took full advantage with prop forward Jonah Boyce becoming the third try scorer, and with Llewelyn Williams adding the conversion, Bridgnorth led by 21 points to 8 at the interval.

The second half almost saw Sheffield get on the scoreboard again. Bridgnorth mounted an attack and as the ball went right, flanker Tom Womack intercepted and sped upfield. Unfortunately, as he reached the last defender, his off-load missed its target and the ball went harmlessly into touch. Bridgnorth secured the lineout ball and Sheffield’s defence went walkabout and left-wing Ted Parker scored the fourth try for Bridgnorth. Llewelyn Williams was unerringly accurate again to move the lead out to 28 points to 8 after forty-three minutes. Sheffield held the line again until we were in the last quarter. Sheffield secured a penalty after a break out by James flint, supported by Tom Womack, but a