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Published on January 11th, 2017 | by voxx


Scunthorpe 4ths Give Cleethorpes Tough Test


Cleethorpes made the trip to Scunthorpe hoping to blow away the festive cobwebs with a team that showed a blend of youth and experience – and five front row players!

The journey clearly took its toll, as from the kick off, Scunthorpe’s number 8 took the ball and ran three-quarters of the pitch with barely a touch on him. A try soon followed which the number ten duly converted with an impressive drop kick (even more impressive for a 4th team player).

Cleethorpes lost two players to injury very soon into the match. Kevin Davidson limped off after about one and a half minutes and Olli Nance went off after a head injury, which meant that there was some reshuffling to do. John Marris came into the front row, Jason Nutting moved to hooker, and Peter Horrobin came into the back row.

This didn’t seem to help things initially but Cleethorpes gradually started to wake from their slumber and had a period in the opposition half. However, a fumbled ball led to a kick downfield and from the side of a ruck on the five-metre line and the opposition flanker managed to squirm his way over. This drop kick narrowly missed the target.

Cleethorpes started to play and tackle better and turned this pressure into points as Scunthorpe gave away a penalty directly in front of their posts which Joe Barker duly converted.

Straight back on the attack, Cleethorpes continued to press, and from a scrum in their 22, Matty Searle rolled back the years and out stripped their blind-side defence to go in at the corner. This left Joe Barker a very difficult conversion attempt, but clearly he got some kicking boots for Christmas as this one sailed through the uprights.

Cleethorpes remained on the attack for the remainder of the half but the stubborn Scunthorpe defence and handling errors meant the half time score was 12-10 to Scunthorpe, which, considering the start, was a good result so far.

Cleethorpes took heart from this and started the second half where they left off – attacking Scunthorpe. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t find a way through until a chipped ball into the 22 was misfielded by two defenders and dropped to Phill Stark. He duly drew the covering defence before unselfishly passing to the rampaging winger Simon Layzell, who went over to score in the corner. The resulting conversion was another tricky one and this time it was narrowly missed, and Scuntorpe breathed a sigh of relief.

With Cleethorpes now in front, Scunthorpe stepped up their game. Clee were not found wanting in their efforts and kept them at bay but the pressure told and they scored another converted try. A penalty from Joe Barker brought the scores to 17-18 in favour of the visitors, but in the closing minutes from a scrum deep in their own 22 the ball was not cleared and the resultant ruck was won by Scunthorpe. They rumbled over for an unconvertd try and that ended the scoring at 22-18.

This hard-fought match was played by both teams in excellent spirit and this goes for the referee also, who had a great game. Clee can take a lot of heart from this, especially the young lads making the step up – the second row partnership of Lloyd Jones and Joe Senior proved more than a match for their more experienced opposition and Clee still dominated the scrums thanks in no small part to their efforts.

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