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3rd Team

Sandbach 0 - Marple 55

Sat 27 November 2004

Well you can see why Marple seconds are running away with the league, to date unbeaten and with a positive points difference of 350. They were fitter, younger and better drilled from Sandbach, and Sandbach were never in the game.

On Saturday Sandbach were under the cosh from the first minute of the game to the last. Again Injury and the Rugby International made Sandbach’s pre-match preparations a lot to be desired. But Marple were quickly into the Sandbach half putting them under a great lot of pressure. A one point reminiscing of the Alamo, as Sandbach held Marple on their 5m line sustaining attack after attack. The back row, of Simon Astles, Ian Plant and Richard Pickford tackling like demons. But something had to give and very quickly Sandbach were down by two tries.

Sandbach were denied of possession of the ball at all turns their only chance of getting possession was through scrummage ball, which was deftly passed through the centres hands to try and get the ball moving forward. Paul Kennedy did cross the gain line with one of his jinxing runs but no real penetration was achieved. The only time that Sandbach gained any meterage was when the forwards to the ball on short and at this point in the game they supported well, linking with centres Paul Kennedy and Frank Boughey.

Marple's defence was excellent and once in their territory the ball was unloaded and kicked down field for a lineout. With no line out specialists Sandbach had to rely on Ian Plant, and faired badly, especially on Marple’s ball when their young second row took every thing.

Two more tries were scored by Marple in the first half, through good support and keeping the ball alive. Sandbach committing men to the tackle but Marple’s players always unloaded at the last minute, to men in close support, thus creating overlap after overlap.

26-0 down at half time Sandbach made a replacement bringing on John Edmonstone at fly half. Now whether Marple took their foot off the gas or that Sandbach played better, but for the first 20 minutes of the second half Marple found it hard to score. Sandbach were helped on occasion when Marple failed to reach touch and wingers Lee Thompson and Dan Adams were able to make ground. Unfortunately the quick pace of the game was beginning to take its toll. With only the back row and on his third team debut Paul Standring, making it to the breakdowns.

The floodgates opened again in the last twenty minutes, (less because the match finished early due to bad light!) and Marple moved up a gear their fly half and centres were almost given free reign to run the ball where they liked, as it was said afterwards “there are only so many tackles you can make”.

With ten minutes to go Lee Thompson made a last dash down the wing but was bundled into touch sustaining an injury, which meant that Junior Colt Lee Hindson had to take his place. With the light fading and Marple passing the half-century the Referee decided to call it a day, the final score was 55-0, with the better side winning.

Steve Roe, Mick Caen, Andy Maddock, Jeff Shaw, Paul Standring, Simon Astles, Ian Plant, Richard Pickford, Jason Keeble, Simon Cawood, Lee Thompson, Frank Boughey, Paul Kennedy, Dan Adams, Andy Green

John Edmonstone, Lee Hindson

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