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Under 16

Sandbach 30 - Manchester 7

Sun 3 November 2002

A superb second half display saw Sandbach run out easy winners against a very good Manchester side.

A last minute chage of Ref saw Graham Bird step in and carry out the job marvellously.

Sandbach started the game with a bang, with some excellent froward play of rolling mauls and close support play. This resulted in an early score for 'smoking' Rick Jones.

We then seemed to loose our way a little and whilst Sandbach always appeared to be on top we never quite turned our possesion into points. Manchester were oming back into it little by little and their inside centre (wearing No 10 ) proved a 'handful' on a number of occassions. Sandbach eventually turned pressure into points when Chris Gracie went over
for an unconverted try to give the home side a 10 point lead.

Just before half time the No 10 made an exellent break through the Sandbach backs and gave a well timed pass to the full back who went for the corner. Even though he was over the line he was tackled and passed to a supporting player to score the near the posts for an easier kick. The conversion successful the half time whistle went.

Sandbach 10 - Manchester 7

It was clear that the Manchester 10 was their only real threat and yet no-one had put in any 'big hits'against him. This was certainly mentioned at half time.

From the kick off Sandbach drove the ball back into the Manchester 22, the ball was turned over and a suicide pass given to the inside centre, the ball and Dan Butler got to him at the same time, the ball was sent back 5m the Sandbach pack was onto it and eventually the ball came out to Rick to score. Just the start we needed. The No 10 never really got back into the game after that.

From here on in it was very much one way traffic, with the Sandbach forwards making excellent ground with superb 'pop' passing and support play allround. The next three tries were 'right out of the top drawer'. The work that Graham has put in really showed as Ally MaC, Dan Butler and Tom Arnold scored tries that would have graced any ground. The handling and support play was outstanding and the new found confidence of the backs was evident for all to see.

There were further opertunities for Sandbach to put points on the board but a mixture of greed and over eagerness meant we failed at the final hurdle.

All 15 players had in my opinion their best games of the season so far, but mentions should go to Phil Meir and James Brough for the excellent driving in the second half and hooker Liam Hunt who had his best game for the Club and was totally dominant at the front of the line out area.

Due to County fixtures there is no training next week. We will try and get a game for the 17th.

Chris Butler

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