Aston Old Edwardians RUFC 13 Lichfield RUFC 18

Lichfield RUFC went into this fixture determined but not over confident knowing that victory would go a long way to establishing them firmly at the top of the league.

Aston welcomed back a number of players from injury, including player coach Alan Mitchell, and so Lichfield were aware that this game had been targeted as a means of getting Astons season back on track.

Lichfield started the game at a ferocious pace, the Lichfield midfield of Luke and Greg Massey and Tom Adams proved a real handful in the first quarter and provided a target for the mobile and effective back row unit of Thompson, Burton and Albutt.

The tight five of Bassett, Gabbitass, Sowden, Squire and Hicks were imposing throughout and their efforts in the tight were not always recognised by the referee.

The pace of the back three of Brear, Rose and Sporcic were a potent threat and Lichfield should have had far more than the 14th minute penalty from Greg Massey to show for their early domination.

Aston replied with a Bennett penalty in the 19th minute and somehow the scores were level after the first quarter.
In the 23d minute Greg Massey converted another penalty to give the visitors a deserved lead at 6-3 in the 23d minute, then on the stroke of half time Lichfield’s pressure and enterprise was rewarded with Gareth Brear rounding off a fine move to score an excellent team try, Massey converting and Lichfield went into the break 13-3 in front.

Lichfield turned around to face the slope and the elements and knew that Aston would be confident of utilising these advantages to increase the pressure on the Lichfield team.

The Myrtle Greens weathered an early storm with some strong aggressive defence and in the 55th minute they were rewarded with a fine try by skipper Bassett after an excellent sniping run by Will Cotterhill, who had a commanding game at scrum half, and Lichfield were stretching away at 18-3.

This stirred the Aston team into a quick response. They were now playing to keep their promotion hopes alive and in the 60th minute scored a deserved try from Bennett, who also converted the score and Aston were only two scores away.

Aston, remembering their comeback at Lichfield early on in then season when they had been comprehensively outplayed for large parts of the game, threw everything at Lichfield in an attempt to turn the tables.

Lichfield introduced fresh legs in the shape of Taylor and Brown and with the exception of a penalty in the 70th minute, Lichfield stood firm for the last quarter.

It was fitting that it was Lichfield, who after turning Aston over after another frenetic attack, showed real composure winning their scrum and then putting the ball out of play for a deserved victory against a team that gave Lichfield their toughest test for a number of months.

Despite not playing at their best and gaining a victory that puts them firmly in charge at the top of Midlands 2, they know that the season is far from finished but after a real test of their credentials they can face the rest season with a real sense of optimism.

Lichfield: Sowden, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Burton, Albutt, Thompson; W Cotterhill, L Massey, Sporcic, Adams, G Massey, Brear, Rose. Subs: Taylor, Axton and Brown.

Advertisements