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3rd Team




Leigh 5ths 54 - Sandbach 0

Sat 19 March 2005



Who would organise a rugby match on a Saturday when the BBC, at the start of the Easter Holidays, was showing some of the best rugby of the six nations championship?

By one o’clock things were looking bad for Sandbach’s Third team, with only 12 players, they were just about to make the call to Leigh to throw the fixture. Luckily for them (and not for Heaton Moor) the 4ths were all getting ready to travel to North Manchester. As this was the semi-final they decided that they would help out and eight 4th team players went along the East Lancs to take on Leigh 5ths. The remaining players staying to play with the seconds who were rumoured to have 14 men. (Sandbach 1sts taking no replacements to their friendly with Leek)

After such a poor start, Sandbach were in awe of Leigh 5ths and allowed them to dominate the initial stages of the match, allowing them to score three very quick tries. Sandbach’s Backs defended like demons against a well drill side who were used to playing together, Carey Prout and Phil Clifton tackled their hearts out, forcing the Leigh backs to make mistakes. Sandbach held their own in the resulting scrums, against their 8 wily opponents. But it was in the lineouts where Steve Jones and Nick Brown spoiled a great deal of ball.

Youngster Rob Astbury excelled in his first game for the third team, and was possibly the quickest of the Sandbach pack around the park. Leigh time and time again getting to the breakdowns first, and giving possession to their halfbacks who ran the game. Sandbach made their first replacement as Dan Faulkner (nursing a hang over!) came on to replace Robin Pipe.

Sandbach only ever came close to scoreing as they picked up the tempo in the last 15 minutes of the first half, and camped in Leigh’s 22m. The forwards with the line in sight made several attempts to cross it but were thwarted at every occasion.

At half time, Sandbach made several changes, Bringing on props, Dave Pipe and Darren Stonier, and swapping Stuart Milward for Ed Jones on the wing. The second half was more of the same as Sandbach battled away the best that they could, when Colin Stent could get the ball out to the backs’ through the experienced hands of Phil Clifton, Steve Smith, and Lee Thompson made some lovely breaks.

Next to be injured was Richard Pickford, which meant that Sandbach had to bring on their last replacement, Andy Bodych. This meant that Mark Bedford, in his first game back from injury moved into the front Row, Andy Ennis moving to the flank, and Nick Brown into second row, for Steve Jones who moved to number 8.

All of these alterations meant that at every scrum Sandbach were under pressure, but Steve Jones time and time again picked up the ball, and took it to Leigh. Sandbach had to make one final change, as Mark Bedford had to come off to be replaced by Steve Roe.

This stabilised the scrum, and Sandbach’s forwards were again able to give a platform, again they pushed up into Leigh’s 22m as Darren Stonier took the ball on in an almost solo run. But even this was not enough, and on the day the better team beat Sandbach.

Many thanks to those from the 4th team who came along to help out, Nick Brown, Phil Clifton, Carey Prout, Steve Smith, Mark Bedford, Darren Stonier, Ed Jones, & Andy Bodych. Plus apologies to Heaton Moor for crying off at the last moment.

Steve Roe, Andy Ennis, Andy Maddock, Steve Jones, Nick Brown, Rob Astbury, Robin Pipe, Richard Pickford, Colin Stent, Phil Clifton, Stuart Milward, Carey Prout, Lee Thompson, Steve Smith, Mark Bedford.

Replacements: Dave Pipe, Darren Stonier, Dan Faulkner, Ed Jones, Andy Bodych




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Acceptable IconU10: 01/05/2005 - SOUTHPORT FESTIVAL CHAMPIONS 0 - Sandbach 105
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Acceptable Icon2nd XV: 30/04/2005 - Burnley 0 - Sandbach 31 (L)
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Acceptable IconU16: 24/04/2005 - Wilmslow 8 - Sandbach 29 (C)
Unacceptable IconU14: 24/04/2005 - Pwhelli (Tour) 17 - Sandbach 10
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U10: 24/04/2005 - B Team Stoke Festival report 0 - Sandbach 0
Unacceptable IconU9: 24/04/2005 - Stoke Festival 1 - Sandbach 0



 
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