CHESHIRE v LANCASHIRE UNDER 15’S
WEDNESDAY 23RD MARCH 2016
VENUE – WILMSLOW RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB
STORY BY PHIL HANNAH
Lancashire went into this match knowing that the under 15’s had not won this fixture since 2009, so they knew this match would not be an easy one, but after their victory over Yorkshire the confidence is up.
Cheshire got the match under way kicking it off with a big kick.
The early stages of the game were being played in the middle of the field with determination coming from both teams.
The first action was Cheshire having a put in at the scrum following a knock on from a Lancashire attack.
Cheshire took the lead in the 5th minute of the match after putting some intense pressure on the Lancashire back line and managed to break through. They did not manage convert the following kick but now had the lead.
Lancashire had chances to get themselves back into the match but handling errors cost them.
Lancashire got more into the game as the time ticked by but had a chance to score but dropped it at the crucial time and handed the put in to Cheshire at the scrum.
The game went into the middle of the park again but this time both teams were making errors going back and forth with possession.
Cheshire were the most team likely to score and on the 25th minute they won a line out and with a good cross field move close to Lancashire’s posts they took over to double the lead. The conversion was missed again for Cheshire.
Lancashire did not bury their heads and carried on to threaten the Cheshire line but when they got close they made a mistake and gave a penalty away for Cheshire to get clear.
Lancashire did manage to get in the try area but before they could touch the ball down the attacking player dropped it.
This seemed to be the story of the first half for Lancashire and it was definitely one to forget for the away team.
Half time score was Cheshire 10, Lancashire 0.
Cheshire had all the possession in the first five minutes of the second half, but a great interception by Lancashire, a pass on to wing where Louis Houghton ran for about 70 yards to take the ball into the try area and get back into the game. Unfortunately Evan Powell missed the conversion confidence was restored.
Straight from the restart Lancashire broke away and Jake Pagen scored just under the posts to level the scores. Evan Powell scores the conversion to put Lancashire into the lead 10-12.
Lancashire were now brimming with confidence and keeping Cheshire confined to their own half controlling the match.
In the seventeenth minute of the second half the Cheshire forwards mustered their first chance of the half and took the ball over the line and once again are in front. The conversion was missed but Lancashire could not afford to switch off again.
From the kick-off Cheshire battled forward and again penetrated the Lancashire back line to extend their lead. The conversion was scored for the first time for Cheshire and they were firmly in charge in this match.
By now Cheshire were funning riot and try as they may Lancashire could not get a foothold and the errors started creeping back into their game which lead to Cheshire having most of the possession.
This lead to their fifth try with a fifty yard run and put under the posts. The conversion could not be missed and it looked as if the match was over.
Lancashire did not give up but if they did manage to score it would only be a consolation.
There was time for another try but unfortunately it was not for Lancashire as gaps were appearing to often in the back line and Cheshire capitalised on this to score in the dying seconds. The conversion went over and the ref blew and put an end to a miserable evening for Lancashire.
Lancashire head coach, Bill Nichol’s reaction was “We made too many errors in all areas at crucial times and Cheshire took all their opportunities, we were too lateral in the first half.”
Lancashire team: 15 Charlie Warren, 14 Louis Houghton, 13 Evan Powell, 12 Alex Clayton, 11 Joe Senior, 10 Massi Poli, 9 Rafael Quirk, 1 Josh Grundy, 2 Lewis Johnson (Captain), 3 Joe Simpson, 4 Ethan Hall-Lyon, 5 Josh Jones, 6 Will Gargett, 7 Jake Pagen, 8 James Harper.
Replacements: 16 Oliver Mutch, 17 Andrew Goodman, 18 Ryan Wolfenden, 19 Jacob Richardson, 20 Joseph Topping, 21 Tom Guest, 22 Oliver Richardson