Convincing victory for 2nd XV
CONGLETON RUFC 2ND XV 60
(Howell & Co Division Four West)
Congleton 2nds hosted Hoylake 2nd on Saturday on Hankinson’s Field for a return fixture.
With a few roles missing from their team line-up, Congleton loaned a couple of players to the visitors to ensure the scrums didn’t have to go uncontested.
The line-up was a mix of youth and experience as well as a blend of power in Ben Somers, Scott Thomson, Joe Brough, Steve Hassall and Pete McNicholas to name a few, along with the craft and guile of Stu Humphrey.
Congleton captain Andrew Simms won the toss and Congleton kicked off.
Scott Summerfield went haring down the pitch with a chip and chase, the Hoylake defence running after him all the way but, with some fancy footwork that even England’s Jonny May would be jealous of, Summerfield planted the ball safely down over the opposition try line between the posts and Congleton secured the first try of the match. It was converted by Andrew Simms to make the score Congleton 7, Hoylake 0.
Ten minutes later Ed Noone charged down the pitch. The ball went to Mark Wright then to Michael Broderick before finally coming to rest in the hands of Somerfield again. He sailed over the try line, giving the Congleton lads a further five points.
The fast footwork and quick thinking in defence meant Congleton got the ball back again. The combined strength and speed of Wright and Wynand Van Zyl resulted in another try for Congleton, 17-0.
Hoylake got the ball and looked aggressive in their approach but it slipped from their attacker’s hands and was scooped up by Wright. The ball moved along the Congleton attacking line through the experienced hands of Richard Burkard to Somers who crashed over the try line in the Hoylake corner and Congleton added to their fast growing lead.
No kicking T could be found for Simms as he stepped up to take the conversion so a drop kick was chosen. Everyone held their breath. The ball left his hands and plummeted towards the ground. Making contact with his boot, it flew into the distance and through the posts. With the try duly converted Congleton were well and truly in the lead.
Congleton took the restart and Tim Vos used his youth and agility to full advantage, racing down the field along with Simms. The two of them managed to notch up the try count even higher and Congleton now had a 31-0 lead. The excitement of the crowd was almost palpable.
With minutes to go before half-time, Wright picked up the ball from Congleton’s own 22 and ran the length of the pitch, charging through the Hoylake defence and diving over the try line. The conversion wasn’t completed but Congleton went in at half-time winning 36-0.
The second half took flight from Anthony Burkard’s boot and Summerfield picked up the ball on his way down the pitch swiftly passing it onto Olly Jarvis who picked up the pace and at lightning speed ran over the Hoylake try line. With his try converted, it was 43-0.
With the win in their sights Congleton lost pace and with it possession of the ball. Hoylake seized the opportunity and managed to get their first points of the game. No conversion but it meant they were back in the game.
Congleton substituted Ed Noone for Steve Hassall.
Buoyed by their recent score Hoylake managed another try and this time a conversion with it, giving them 12 points.
Hoylake were re-energised and, fighting back, carried the ball down the pitch and crashed through Congleton’s defence and over the line and for their efforts their try was converted; 43-19.
After the restart Anthony Burkard put some fast passes into play. Tom Wakefield was on the receiving end of an exact and speedy bit of handiwork and placed the ball over the line and Congleton were back on fire; 48-19.
Congleton’s Matt Hopkins raced down the side of the pitch nimbly managing to stay just inside the touch line and ploughed over the try line. Complaints from the opposition about the placing of Hopkins’ feet were overruled by the referee and the try stood. The conversion cemented the try and put Congleton further ahead; 55-19.
With mere minutes left of the match Congleton managed another try this time at the hands of Tom Coombs. The conversion sailed wide but Congleton were victorious.