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Under 16

Altrincham Kersal Cheshire Cup R2 13 - Sandbach 13

Sun 1 February 2009

Last year in the Cheshire Cup the 'independant' referree, who was also nominated by AK for this game, turned out to be their coach.
We went to great lengths to ensure we had a Society ref this year..... and nearly got our way. No issues though this season with the accepted ref, as despite him also being an AK club member there were two RFU assessors in attendance and he did a good job.
This season the AK gamesmanship was a little more subtle however, it must be said their approach to the ethos and spirit of rugby leaves a lot to be desired. A Cheshire County Cup Quarter Final was played with uncontested scrums throughout, which is farcical and at odds with the competition rules in other counties!
We have built a team around a solid and dominant pack - afterall, the scrum is a fundamental aspect of the game! We have received several emails and phone calls from independants and people within the RFU expressing their dismay and disbelief that this was allowed to happen - enough said!
The game itself was a spectacle of fine rugby played by two extremely talented and well organised teams. A halftime scoreline of 8-7 reflected how tight the game was with no quarter given by either side. We opened the second half with an early drop goal which took the score to 10-8 in our favour. The game ebbed and flowed with AK producing some solid and resolute defence and we stayed in front for a good 25 mins or so producing the most enterprising rugby of the two sides. We thought our change in personnel and tactics to accomodate the uncontested scrums had paid off - we thought we had trumped their Ace! But with 4 or 5 mins to go their coach/linesman was, seemingly, the only person in the crowd to think either the ball or a Sandbach foot had crossed the touchline, deep in our 22. The flag had been raised and so the ref had no choice but to go along with the decision and the game had to be temporarily stopped whilst the frustrated crowd were calmed down. The lineout unfortunately led to them scoring a try in the corner.
Sandbach were now 13-10 down, against the run of play, however the lads really turned the pressure up for the last 3 or 4 minutes. To be fair to the AK players they 'put on the tin lids', 'battened down the hatches' and defended for their lives. Sandbach scored another drop goal to level the score and in the final minute we all thought the right result would prevail when a Sandbach centre broke through the defensive line and headed for the posts. He was caught by a tremendous cover tackle, from behind, deep in the AK 22 and the offload in the tackle was knocked on allowing the ref to blow the final whistle.
The result was a 13-13 draw but AK went through to the semi finals due to scoring 1 more try than Sandbach.
Both the referree and the RFU assessor approached us after the game to volunteer that 'the best side lost'. This was clear to all who watched the game and such was the feeling in the crowd we have received several emails and phone calls from independants reassuring us of same.
AK have cancelled our game scheduled in 2 weeks time and so deprived us of revenge.
We now look forward to being drawn against them in the Caldy Festival.

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  Latest Match Reports 

Acceptable IconU14: 03/05/2009 - Sandbach 46 - Panmure RFC 22
Acceptable IconU12: 26/04/2009 - Telford Festival 0 - Sandbach 1 (C)
Unacceptable IconU9: 26/04/2009 - Telford Festival (C)
Unacceptable IconU8: 26/04/2009 - Telford Festival (C)
Acceptable IconU7: 26/04/2009 - Telford Festival (C)
Acceptable IconU16: 19/04/2009 - Eccleshall 0 - Sandbach 35
Acceptable IconU15: 19/04/2009 - Sandbach 49 - Leek (B Fixture) 29
Acceptable IconU14: 19/04/2009 - Sandbach 64 - Winnington Park 10
U11: 19/04/2009 - Whitchurch Festival (C)
Unacceptable IconU9: 19/04/2009 - Whitchurch Festival (C)

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