Cheshire Cup (Wirral) 15 - Sandbach 35
Sun 14 March 2004
Squad: James Barry, Max Bonar-Law, Robert Coggon, John Guildford, Jake Harrison, Chris Jackson, Joseph Jackson, Kieran Leese, Charlie Rogerson, Joe Stock, Megan Standring, Thomas Stakes.
Reserves: Daniel Powell, Matthew Mangan.
On a damp and windy March morning, Sandbach U8s arrived at Wirral RUFC excited at the prospect of defending the Cheshire Cup for Sandbach.
The format for the day was a round robin league of 4 teams. In our league there was Wirral A, Caldy and Winnington Park.
Match 1: Sandbach 35 Wirral A 15
Tries scored by: James Barry, Chris Jackson, Kieran Leese 2, Thomas Stakes, Joseph Jackson, Charlie Rogerson.
James Barry got Sandbach off to a great start with a typical powerful charge for the corner flag. Wirral came back with some elusive running, but could not break the strong Sandbach defence.
Second half Sandbach really got into their stride and showed there is no defence against pace and power.
Great support running from Joe Stock and Megan Standring combined with excellent defensive work meant a relatively easy win for Sandbach.
Match 2: Sandbach 30 Winnington Park 30
Tries scored by: Chris Jackson, Kieran Leese 2, Thomas Stakes, Joseph Jackson.
What can we say. We were robbed. Despite challenging the score at half time the ref called this a draw. However, our expert score keeper Karen (who is never wrong – believe me, I know!!!) assures me this was a Sandbach win. Not to be deterred, Sandbach battled on and produced an excellent display of Rugby, with some tries, which the crowd could only stand and applaud. Defensively this game saw Sandbach pressurise Park into a number of errors and also, on a number of occasions, turn the ball over on the 7 tag rule. Excellent support and strong running from John Guildford and Thomas Stakes created gaps for our speedy runners out wide.
Match 3: Sandbach 25 Caldy A 35
Tries scored by: Chris Jackson , Kieran Leese 2, Joseph Jackson, Charlie Rogerson.
This game was played after lunch. Say no more!!! A little too much sausage roll and not enough pasta meant that Sandbach allowed Caldy the upper hand in a close contest. Joe Stock showing great support and strong running, which created gaps in attack. Unfortunately our defence was not quite up to scratch and we allowed Caldy back into the game and ultimately a two try lead. Charlie Rogerson also showing signs of our need for some contact rugby with a shoulder barge a-la Lawrence Dallaglio.
The final game of the round robin was to see Winnington Park defeat Wirral. Our official tournament statistician Simon Rogerson assured us that this meant Sandbach would not go through. However, the now resigned official statistician was proved wrong on a count back.
Quarter Final: Sandbach 15 Chester 15
Tries scored by: Kieran Leese, Joseph Jackson, Chris Jackson.
Hopes were high following our last ditch entry into the knock out stages. This was the best performance from Sandbach against a very strong Chester Team. Defensively, Sandbach showed what pressure and commitment could do by forcing turnovers on the 7 tag rule and mistakes from handling errors. In attack, sheer pace from Kieran Leese, Joseph Jackson and Chris Jackson combined with excellent support play from Thomas Stakes, Megan Standring and Jake Harrison out stripped the Chester defence on a number of occasions.
With the scores tied at the end (which was a fair result), the referee sought advice. The ruling being “first try scored” meant that Chester went through.
Overall, everyone enjoyed the days rugby and Sandbach can be very proud of the performances they put in, only being denied a place in the semi final by a ruling.