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3rd Team




Sandbach 27 - Crewe & Nantwich 10

Sat 18 December 2004



With Rich Pickford unavailable due to work commitments, Robin Pipe on only his second game back, assumed captaincy of the 3rds for their local derby league clash with Crewe. Things did not bode well, as with a squad of only 12, and a couple of 'maybe's', at mid-day on Saturday Sandbach were struggling. Things improved with late calls to Paul Williams and Dave Pipe boosting the squad. The release of Mark Avis from the 4ths (thanks Brownie) and the late, unexpected arrival of Stu Butters enabled the 3rds to start with a squad of 17 and a reasonable looking side, despite 2 changes to the starting line up in the 10 minutes before kick off.
A short delay before kick, off as the captain had to dash home fully kitted and greased to find and inflate a couple of match balls to allow the seconds to play, and it was game on!
And what a game it was, fiercely and cleanly competitive from start to finish. Sandbach scored almost straight from the kick off when Simon Price popped up in the centre to float a chip kick into the corner that Paul Williams raced on to for the first try. This was followed by a try from the ever-improving Stuart Millward and a Stu Butters penalty. Crewe replied with a try of their own as Sandbach lost concentration in the middle fifteen minutes of the half. At half time Sandbach led 13-5.
The second half was less convincing as play moved from one end to the other, Crewe looking dangerous when they moved the ball out wide. Sandbach stuck to the task and added tries from Stu Butters and a second from Stuart Millward, both converted by Butters. Crewe replied with a solitary forward driven try from a line out.
The final score was 27-10 to Sandbach and both sides and referee agreed what a great game of rugby it had been. A far cry from some of the previous encounters with Crewe!
This was a solid team performance and whilst it is hard to single out individuals special mentions go to the front row of Pipe, Avis and Jervis, Steve Jones who still makes those hard yards, Jason Keeble for standing in at scrum half and Fraggle who travels at speeds far in excess for those which his body is built. The man who really stood out was newcomer Andy Lea in the second row who shone in the line-out and played a mobile aggressive game around the park.
An apology is due to Jed for not being able to get him on the park.
Team
D Pipe M Avis G jervis, R Pipe (P Standring), A Lea, S Astles, S Price, S Jones, J Keeble, M Read, S Millward, S Butters, A Green, P Kennedy, P Williams, Jed
Scorers
S Millward (2t) P Williams (1t), S Butters (1t, 1p, 2c)




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