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Under 15

Sandbach 41 - Stoke 10

Sun 16 November 2003

The under 15's only lost four games during the whole of last season, one of which
was to Stoke- so it was time to avenge there defeat. And yet they gave away a simple try within seconds of the kick-off, after failing to chase up the drop out quickly enough, to allow Stokes ball receiver a virtually unopposed run to the try line. But two can play at that game, as Ben Phillips rapidly proved, and scored in almost exactly the same fashion within a couple of minutes to cancel out the early lead. A second try was to soon to follow as stand-off Ali B received the ball from the scrum, stepped inside his opposite number and grounded the ball, successfully converted by full back Will Cargill. Having by now grabbed the game by the scuff
of the neck, Sandbach spent more and more time in their opponents half and pressurised them into conceding a penalty within ten metres of the line. Time for a penalty move to be taken, as number 8 Ben Middleton and hooker Andy Nash lined up in position for one of their well practised moves. The tap was taken by Ben, and having appeared to have taken the ball, Andy ran at an angle to draw the defence across, only for Stoke to find that Ben was still in possession as he turned and headed for the try line. The Stoke defenders almost stopped him, but Ben just managed to stretch out a hand to place the ball over the line. Will Cargill did the honours with the conversion to bring the score to 19 points to 5 as the end of the first half approached. Sandbach collected their fourth score just before the whistle, following a fine dummy and side step by centre Luke Butler to increase the lead by a further 5 points.

So far so good- all they had to do now was to continue playing in the second half as they did in the first and the game was theirs for the taking. The Sandbach forwards were working well in the loose and providing plenty of ball for the backs to use, although Stoke were winning their fair share of ball to keep the tacklers busy. Luke put in some big hits, stopping the Stoke players who chose to take him on, in their tracks.
Open side flanker Ben Phillips (the under 15's answer to Neil Back!) added to his first half try in typical fashion, foraging for and stealing the ball from Stoke with apparent ease. But Stoke were not finished and pulled back one try as the game passed into the final 20 minutes, although this was never going to make any telling difference to the final result. Sandbach finished the game comfortably with tries from Andy Nash and right wing Sam Sherratt, and with one conversion landed, gave the home team a healthy winning margin of 31 points.

Man of the match was awarded to Luke Butler for an excellent all round performance in both attack and defence.

Lance Middleton

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Acceptable IconU9: 02/05/2004 - Southport Festival-Champions 0 - Sandbach 55
Unacceptable Icon2nd XV: 01/05/2004 - Aldwinians 1 - Sandbach 0 (L)
2nd XV: 01/05/2004 - Didsbury Toc H 1 - Sandbach 1 (L)
Unacceptable Icon4th XV: 01/05/2004 - Buxton 18 - Sandbach 11
U11: 01/05/2004 - Southport Festival 0 - Sandbach 0
Unacceptable IconU15: 25/04/2004 - Wilmslow 12 - Sandbach 10
Acceptable IconU14: 25/04/2004 - Sandbach 46 - Congleton 5
Acceptable IconU11: 25/04/2004 - Sandbach 40 - Stafford 0
Unacceptable Icon2nd XV: 24/04/2004 - Wigan 31 - Sandbach 15 (L)
Acceptable Icon3rd XV: 24/04/2004 - Sandbach 52 - Congleton 3rds 12

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