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Lichfield RUFC 44 Bridgnorth RUFC 11

Lichfield RUFC took to the field against a young Bridgnorth RUFC side who had won three of their last four games, knowing that no game against this opposition could be taken likely.

And the point was proved when they struck within the first three minutes with a well taken try by their fly half for a deserved early lead.

Lichfield worked their way back into the game with a penalty from Greg Massey in the ninth minute but were still well short of their best with Bridgnorth showing a greater appetite for the game at this point being first to the break down and forcing a number of turnovers.

The Myrtle Greens eventually showed their class in the 13th minute when, after putting together a number of phases and showing the first glimpse of the threat they pose in so many departments, they put Gareth Brear into space and he needed no second invitation to race over in the corner to put them in front for the first time at 8-5.

This seemed to spark Lichfield into life and in the 19th minute Greg Massey scored a fine team try to put Lichfield further ahead at 13-5.

Bridgnorth were far from finished and punished a Lichfield infringement at the breakdown with a well struck penalty to keep them within a score at 13-8.

Lichfield’s forwards were beginning to get into the game and there were a number of promising drives from line outs that were slowly sapping the strength of their opponents.

Burton, Thompson and Williams were beginning to dominate the breakdown and give Lichfield the continuity they were missing and the tight five of Bassett, Gabbitass, Taylor, Hicks and Squire were gaining dominance in the tight and were now prominent in the loose.

In the 37th minute Tom Adams, who was causing the Bridgnorth midfield problems with some bullocking runs, scored a deserved try crashing over to give Lichfield an 18-8 half time lead.

The interval suited Bridgnorth and they tore into Lichfield from the restart but they were restricted to a penalty in the 43d minute to pull back to within a score at 18-11.

The forceful Thompson left the field injured to be replaced by Nick Smith and Sowden replaced Dan Taylor, who gave another committed performance, in the front row.

Mark Rose, who gave another assured performance at full back, was replaced by Jack Sporcic and Lichfield went into the final quarter knowing they could not relax against very committed opponents. Dave Butler and Luke Massey began to pull the strings and control the game and brother Greg was a constant thorn in the side for Bridgnorth.

Brear, Brown and Sporcic began to find space against a tiring Bridgnorth side and in the 54th minute Lichfield put together the best passage of play in the match. Lichfield countered from their own 22, Sporcic found space and set up ball for a quick ruck, Butler swept the ball away and after a series of quick rucks Tom Adams was put away for his second and Lichfield’s fourth try, converted by Massey for a 25-11 lead.

A sweet move at a five metre line out saw the Lichfield forwards deservedly get on the score sheet through Derrick Squire again converted by Massey and Lichfield were stretching clear at 32-11.

In the 75th minute Rich Burton ran a great line tearing open the Bridgnorth defence before laying off a fine pass to Gareth Brear to race in at the corner for a 37-11 lead.

The Massey brothers then combined in the 78th minute, Greg supplying Luke with the try scoring pass and converting the try himself to give Lichfield a hard fought 44-11 victory over a very committed and talented Bridgnorth outfit.

Lichfield play Worcester Wanderers this Saturday (February 27), kick-off 2pm, in the semi finals of the Midland Intermediate Cup at home. Worcester head up their league and are sure to present Lichfield with their toughest test for a long time.

Both teams will be keen to make the final and so local support will be vital for what is certain to be a tough and entertaining game.

Lichfield: Taylor, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Burton, Williams, Thompson; Butler, L Massey, Brear, Adams, G Massey, Brown, Rose. Subs: Sowden, Smith and Sporcic.

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