CANDY LEAGUE 1
Northern Wanderers 12 - 50 Percy Park Lions
Pre match craic...
8 changes to last week's victorious starting team: lock, back row x2, fly half, both centres, wing and full back meant introductions were again required.
A young squad, 12 under 19s including 5 colts ( Andrew, Steven, Josh, Harry and Travis) bolstered by vets Paul and Wes.
Thomas T was sponsoring the 1xv game meaning management duties fell to Tom G.
On the pitch...
The game started at pace with Park initially struggling to retain possession and Northern struggling to use the possession they had. The Park pack had the better of the early exchanges against a heavy Northern pack in the tight, but struggled to retain possession at the breakdown.
The first 30 minutes resulted in stalemate. Park fluffed a number of scoring opportunities - a forward pass denying Harry on the wing and Ben's toe in touch keeping Northern in the game; however Northern also came close - Aaron's steal at a 5m lineout keeping Northern at bay.
The breakthrough came when Park introduced Colts Harry and Travis to the wings Josh to lock and 18 yr old James P to the centres; young Aaron stole a lineout, quick ball released Harry who rounded the defence and offloaded to fellow Colt Andrew Walker who scampered in for the first try.
A sloppy ruck at the restart saw Park penalised for holding on, Northern kicked to the corner and after some stiff resistance rumbled over 5-7.
Having realised that they had the gas out wide to pose problems Park looked to exploit the space, strong carries by Mark S, Dan W and Wes created space and Harry went from provider to scorer, a well timed break leaving the Northern defence in tatters.
HT 5 -12
Park started the 2nd half brightly and pushed for an early score, pressure on a Northern scrum saw a loose kick fielded by Ben A who outstripped the defence for the third try. 5-17.
Northern then had their best period of play, camped on the Park line they battered away eventually crossing for their 2nd and final try. 12-17.
Ciaran Wrightson returned to the field at 7 and Dan G at 4; meaning all 12 under 19s were on the park together, the speed of recycling increased and momentum swung back to Park. From one ruck on the Park 10 Ciaran burst through the middle and outpaced the Northern defence for a great try. 12-24.
Things then fell in to place for Park, from the kick off Joe collected the ball set up a quick ruck that released Harry who put on the afterburners for another spectacular score. 12-29. Three further quick tries followed as Northern ran out of steam: Ben Anderson under the posts; from the resultant kick off Paul Love burst through the centre field and as lungs and legs gave way he put Joe in. The final score went to Jimmy B who had directed things in midfield all game, a great long range effort.
Final score Northern 12- Percy Park 50.