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Under 16

Walsall 10 - Sandbach 22

Sun 29 September 2002

An excellent first win of the season under new Captain James Brough. On arrival at Walsall both the players and coaches were a little 'peeved' to be playing on a pitch well away from the club which had no post protectors and flags on it by kick off time. There was also no ref!!

Unfortunately for both sides yours truly had to step in as Ref for the day, so there will be no comments about the quality of reffering this week !!

Sandbach played down hill first half and set off at an excellent pace with both forwards and backs running hard at their opposite numbers and making good ground. Good presuure eventually paid off when Andy Pipe drove over in typical fashion to put the first points on the board. Conversion by Carl WJ. The lads seem to loose their way for a period of time and the home side made some excellent charges up the field keeeping the ball in hand well and making good ground. There must also be a question mark over some of the loose defensive tackling during this period. From a Sandbach line which was not straight Walsall reacted quicker and capitalised on the advantage to score a converted try. This put them in front as they had scored a penalty 5 mins beforehand.

As we have seen many times before this stung the lads into action and we then had long periods of Sandbach pressure. This resulted in two more tries before half time, one from Liam Hunt from a excellent steal round the front of a line out and the other from a typical charing run from Rick Jones. Ricks try just before half time was converted.

Half time: Walsall 10 - Sandbach 19

Playing 'up-hill', and I mean up-hill, in the second half it was touch and go if we could hold onto a 'slender' lead. Sandbach defended superbly second half and the back row of Mike 'Egg', Phil Meir and Chris Gracie (Also Tom Arnold) were outstanding in their cover and support. As a spectacle the second half wasn't one, Walsall attacked from everywhere on the park and on the whole Sandbach defended well. There were a couple of indescretions which could have proved costly and the forwards need to be aware of the fine line between accetable aggression and 'thuggery' Walsall were by no means angels and the second half was a hard aggressive battle between two side keen to win. The only points scored in this half were from the boot of Fly Half Carl WJ from a penalty kick.

An excellent result against last years Staffs County losing finalists, some good performances all round.

My Man of the Match - Phil Meir

Chris Butler

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