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Bridgnorth RFC 3 Lichfield RUFC 17

Lichfield were looking to bounce back after their disappointing result against Aston and knew they would have a tough test away against Bridgnorth.

The hosts were getting players back into the team after a horrendous run of injuries and were fresh from a promising display against Dixonians.

In wet and windy conditions and on a narrow pitch Lichfield were looking to put in a controlled performance.

Lichfield had Bridgnorth under pressure from the start and were controlling territory and possession well. The tight five of Bassett, Gabbitass, Bryant, Hicks and Axton were giving their opponents a torrid time in the tight and the pressure was rewarded in the seventh minute when Lichfield were awarded a penalty try for repeated infringements at a five metre scrum. Greg Massey added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Lichfield continued to press and were unlucky not to capitalise on good breaks from Massey and Clark and had to wait until the 40th minute for their next score, a neat move in the midfield opened up a gap for Massey which he gratefully accepted to increase the lead to 12-0.

A late Bridgnorth penalty narrowed the score to 12-3 at the break.

The second half continued in much the same vein. Lichfield centres Baker and Thomas were equally adept in defence and attack and were giving the back row of Burton, Upton and Perrins a good target to maintain continuity. The back row worked hard all game and gained more valuable experience against physical opponents and the back three of Brear, Ngoma and Sporcic were a constant threat, with half backs Clark and Massy controlled proceedings well.

Steve Knibbs, Luke Massey and Matt Brown, taking up an unfamiliar role in the back row, came on and added a fresh impetus to the team.

Bridgnorth remained exceptionally committed and only good defence repelled some promising attacks.

Lichfield finally broke through in the 65th minute, a looping pass from Baker taken by Sporcic who finished well in the corner to score his first and Lichfield’s last try of the game to make the final score 17-3 to the away side.

It’s cup action next for Lichfield as they take on Droitwich at home on Saturday (November 21) in the third round of the National Cup.

Lichfield: Bryant, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Axton, Upton, Burton, Perrins; Clark, G Massey, Sporcic, Baker, Thomas, Brear, Ngoma. Subs: Knibbs, Brown, L Massey.

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