Match report: Youthful Cleethorpes Rugby side suffer defeat against Sleaford
A youthful-looking Cleethorpes Rugby side fell to defeat at home to second-place Sleaford at the weekend.
These two sides have built up a bit of a rivalry over the past couple of seasons and, with a spicy encounter anticipated before the game, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Cleethorpes, whose team contained four teenagers due to pullouts on game day, started with the wind at their backs and the experienced McDaid ensured his side played the game in the right areas of the pitch, pushing Sleaford back deep into their own half at every opportunity.
From a Sleaford lineout 10 minutes into the contest, a shanked clearance dropped to Machon, before a break on the outside found Nabias entering the line, with the fullback showing a clean pair of heals to the Sleaford winger to score in the corner. The following conversion was missed.
Not to be deterred by this, the visitors kept the ball in hand and soon found the smaller Meggies forwards wanting in midfield. A breakthrough found Nabias facing three Sleaford players and his valiant effort to chase down the outside man just failed, as he went over under the posts to make the scoreline 5-7 at half-time.
Sleaford took advantage of having the wind at their backs in the second half and gradually started to wear down the home side, with the game becoming a one-sided affair.
The young Cleethorpes outfit defended stoutly and worked the occasional break-out, but the combative nature of the away side handed them the advantage.
Injuries started to mount up for the hosts and, with only two substitutes on the bench, coach Swan looked on nervously as a second appearance of the season was looming.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Sleaford led 12-5 and the Meggies were still in with a shout. Hyde went back on at scrum half to try and add some fluency to the breakdown, but having been restricted by his earlier injury, that only really compounded the slow recycle speed.
When Cleethorpes managed to get the ball away from the breakdown, McDaid looked a constant threat and the impressive Flint – making his debut – was always game.
But in the end, numbers and experience got the better of the hosts, as the final whistle went with the scoreline ending 22-5 in Sleaford’s favour.
Cleethorpes will feel there is much to work on, but they will be pleased to have got some more experience into the youngsters and will be looking to have some experienced players return for the trip to Southwell at the weekend.