Cleethorpes 2nds 46 Boston 2nds 7
Cleethorpes Second Team welcomed their Boston counterparts to Taylors Avenue for what promised to be a great encounter.
Cleethorpes were eager to put right the wrongs that led to defeat at Boston a few weeks ago, but they found themselves much changed from then.
In the forwards Liam McIntyre was welcomed back to the squad and stepped into the second row whilst Ross Jackson and Sam Pearson started at back row with skipper Nathan Phillips at number 8.
The backs were led by Steven Broderick at fly half and if he thought he lacked pace, the rest of the back line had it in buckets in the shape of Elliott Naylor, Robert Brice and wingers Ben Shaw and Ethan Fisher.
The game started with Boston’s much heavier and experienced forwards looking to impose themselves on the younger and lighter Clee opponents.
Time and again as they tried to advance Clee’s tackling stopped them in their tracks, and scrum half Jack Grey along with Steven Broderick were utilising the strong wind to pin Boston back with their clever kicking play.
Boston found themselves deep within their territory for the majority of the half but the question was could Clee capitalise? Initially Boston’s defence coupled with some rushed decision making by the home side saw Clee thwarted, but they remained patient and kept coming back for more and showed great team spirit when things went wrong.
Eventually the break in the defence had to come and after a period of possession and Clee recycling several times, Jack Grey sniped around the blind side of a ruck and fed Ross Jackson who cantered in to score the opening try of the match.
The blustery wind meant the conversion attempt was missed but Clee were up and running.
Boston as expected came straight back at Clee and there was no respite, and following a loose clearance kick the Boston outside centre danced his way through almost the entire Cleethorpes team and broke through several missed tackles to ground the ball under the posts and undo all of Clee’s hard work. The simplest of conversions was successfully added and from nowhere Clee found themselves trailing.
However, this was as good as it got for Boston, and it spurred Cleethorpes into action and some fantastic rugby which Boston just could not live with.
Clee were making advances across the gain line almost at will with hard carries by the forwards, notably Joe Tully and Sam Pearson making good ground repeatedly throughout the game, and Jack Grey was feeding the ball out quickly and accurately and allowing the backs time and space to run at their opponents who were struggling to maintain any organisation.
Grey was unlucky not to score himself after again sniping from the back of a ruck when Robert Brice had made a break into the opponents 22 yard area but his legs were just not quick enough to beat the scrambling Boston defence.
However his frustration was short lived and he got his try that his play deserved, going over in the corner after Steven Broderick picked up from the base of a ruck and fed Grey who had peeled to the blind side wing and went in totally unopposed. Again the conversion was missed but Clee were back on top 10-7.
From the kick off Clee went straight back at Boston with Joe Tully and Ross Jackson combining several times to make swift work of getting to Boston’s 22, but a slight knock on stopped them deep in their opponents territory.
Boston were struggling to cope with wave after wave of attack and full back Callum Williams was eager to get on the score sheet.
He showed his impressive pace and footwork to score 3 great tries in the first half including one where he was so focussed on the white try line he forgot to look up and ran into the post protector! With 2 of Williams’ 3 tries being converted by winger Ben Shaw, Cleethorpes ended a half that they had thoroughly dominated 29-7 to the good.
Half time saw some changes with Ollie Clegg coming on for the impressive Grey, Teddy Hanley replacing Robert Brice at outside centre, Lawrence Gillen returning from injury replaced Ethan Fisher on the wing and Shea Matthews replaced the tiring Liam McIntryre who had run himself into the ground within the first 40 minutes!
Sam Pearson joined Joe Senior in the second row and Matthews took up the role as open side flanker. These changes coupled with the change of ends saw Boston start on the front foot, utilising the wind similar to how Cleethorpes had in the first half.
However, Clee’s back 3 dealt with fielding the kicks far better than their opponents had done and generally returned the ball with interest. Clee’s forwards were still very willing runners and were making break after break, but a few infringements started to creep in with fatigue and penalties were helping Boston keep Cleethorpes in their own territory.
The collective experience of Boston’s pack meant that they had the upper hand in the scrum for almost the whole game and they elected for scrums at most of the penalty opportunities handed to them by the referee.
The front row of Joe Tully, Kevin Davidson and Danny Phillips battled tremendously but struggled against the heavier and more experienced pack, but when the ball came out the visitors could not breach the hard tackling Cleethorpes defence.
The tackling throughout the team was first class and was typified by Teddy Hanley at outside centre who frustrated the Boston try scorer with his ferocious tackling several times as he tried to repeat his try scoring feats.
Hanley capped off his excellent performance with a try of his own and with better handling could maybe have added a few more. Full back Callum Williams again bamboozled the defence with his fancy footwork and electrifying pace to score his fourth try of the day, and with the final play of the game Lawrence Gillen showed a clean pair of heels to the defence and to 3 dogs in the Boston try area to score underneath the posts.
Once the 4-legged spectators had been moved aside, number 8 Nathan Phillips showed his versatility and converted the try with a drop goal. The referee blew his whistle for the final time that day – not at prop Danny Phillips for a change! – and the final score read 46-7 in Clee’s favour.
Captain Nathan Phillips said afterwards
“This was a result that rightly reflected the excellent performance by the entire team today, and I could not be prouder of them all. Every one of the players excelled and bossed their opposite number, and for a team so young to do that against one so experienced is credit to them all. Hopefully we can take this performance level forward for the rest of the season.”
Cleethorpes Senior teams train at Oasis Wintringham on a Thursday evening from 630pm, and all are welcome to come along and join in. Contact Cleethorpes RUFC on Facebook for further details. #UTM