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3rd Team




Sandbach 10 - Knutsford 20

Sat 9 October 2004



Before this match neither team had suffered a defeat in League rugby, as Sandbach thirds took on newly formed Knutsford. Knutsford was formed last year after a town meeting organised by Cllr Colin Hurrell, and helped by a visit by the world cup in February. Knutsford has over 40 adult members and is now putting out a second team. Players come from a wide age range, some being lured back into action by having a club in their own town, some coming straight from school and others from neighbouring clubs such as Wilmslow.

Two weeks ago Sandbach were able to field five teams comfortably, this week however this was not the case. The second team had to travel to Rossendale with 14 men, and immediately prior to the game Sandbach could only field 13 men. Junior Colt Lee Hinson was sent home to get his kit and kit was scrounged together for Chris, who had just come down to watch the match with his two young sons. It was in the backs that Sandbach were lacking as flacker Paul Jackson had to move to outside centre and second row Steve Marchant moved to full back

With the poor preparations for the game Sandbach were caught on the hop, as Knutsford started strongly. From a scrum on half way, Sandbach were unable to kick the ball over the ten, they pushed Sandbach back into their own 22. some very good rucking by Knutsford meant that Sandbach were drawn in allowing their pacey winger to score in the corner.

Sandbach then rallied and put Knutsford under pressure. The Sandbach forwards in the guise of second rows Steve Jones and Ian Lovall, along with Richard Pickford, took the ball forward with the Sandbach pack in support. The pressure paid off as Sandbach were awarded a lineout 5m meters out from the Knutsford line. For once Andy Ennis’ lineout throwing was on target and second jumper Steve Jones caught the ball, to be driven over the line to even the score.

The game then entered a stalemate as each side tried to break through the others defence, Knutsford making no headway thanks to the tenacious tackling by Frank Boughey and Paul Jackson, but it was the tackles being but in by Chris the fly half that were delighting the Sandbach side as nothing got past him. Sandbach tackled like Trojans, at one point tight head prop Andy Maddock, even caught Knutsford’s flighty winger. the On the other Jack McEvoy at centre just did not have the pace to evade his opposite number, and the two junior Colts Dan Adams and Lee Hinson, were being boxed in each time that they got the ball. Unfortunately for Chris he made one tackle two many and had to leave the pitch injured. Sandbach were then reduced to 13 men 8 minutes before half time as Captain Richard Pickford was sin binned.

At half time Sandbach were bolstered as Richard Jones who had played the first half for the 4th team came on to the wing, and Dan Adams was moved to outside centre. Knutsford also made several changes, and put Sandbach under a great deal of pressure, pinning them down in their own 22. this pressure finally paid off as from a ruck 5m out Knutsford’s scrum half surged through to score.

Sandbach did not have there own way in the lineouts, as Knutsford won their own ball, unfortunately their blocking was not too tight and Sandbach on several occasions were able to come through the line and take their well won ball. Sandbach’s next try came from one of these instances. From a lineout on Sandbach’s 22m line Frank Boughey broke through, and picked up a loose ball. He then took the ball on before being stopped, with the Sandbach back row in support the ball was shipped to Dan Adams, who ran through to score.

Knutsford continued to put Sandbach under pressure and their makeshift back line performed well, terrier like Lee Hinson putting in some cracking tackles on p[layers twice his size. Unfortunately for Sandbach the pressure told on Paul Jackson, who had to be replaced by veteran Tim Birtles.

The Sandbach pack dominated most of the scrummage ball, with hooker Andy Ennis winning one or two against the head. Unfortunately Knutsford next try came from a Sandbach scrum. Sandbach won the ball cleanly, but instead of kicking for touch the ball was won by Knutsford who went trough to increase their lead.

With this score Sandbach never really got back in the game, and Knutsford were again on the score sheet when using the wind they kicked through, catching the Sandbach backs is such disarray that they easily scored in the corner.

Next weekend the thirds have their first game in the Halbro Plate when they take on Wigan thirds at Bradwall road

Mick Butters, Andy Ennis, Andy Maddock, Ian Lovall, Steve Jones, Pete McCrearey, Frank Boughey, Rick Pickford (Capt.) Colin Stent, Chris ?, (Richard Jones), Dan Adams, Jack McEvoy, Paul Jackson, (Tim Birtles) Lee Hinson, Steve Marchant.




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