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Lichfield RUFC 19 Old Halesonians RUFC 8

Lichfield RUFC finally put their indifferent home form behind them with this win, as they turned in easily their best performance of the season so far.

All of their points may have come in either the first or the last ten minutes but even when they weren’t scoring they were much sharper and more committed than on many previous occasions, and they deservedly beat a team that are a number of positions higher in the league.

The home team had the perfect start in the third minute when Tom Adams broke through in midfield before selflessly putting his fellow centre Greg Massey in under the posts.  Luke Massey added the simple conversion.

Then just minutes later another tremendous passage of play saw Old Hales pressurised into a poor relieving kick from which Lichfield counter-attacked through many pairs of hands to put Jack Sporcic clear.  Again the last man was drawn before he gave the inside pass to Will Cotterhill to race over.

With only ten minutes played the Myrtle Greens had already found themselves 12 points to the good.

Inevitably Old Halesonians then began to settle in to the game and came back strongly at the home team. Good defence held them out on a number of occasions before Lichfield strayed offside at a midfield ruck and full back Chris Hooper converted the resulting penalty kick.  This then prompted a further bout of pressure from the visitors which eventually culminated in them driving a maul over the line for their prop Richard Taylor to emerge with an unconverted try.

Despite conceding these two quick scores Lichfield maintained the belief gained from their strong start.  Led as always by Tom Paulson, the defence throughout the team was much more aggressive than in earlier games, and they comfortably matched their higher ranked opponents for the rest of the half.

Going in to the second period with a slender lead they continued to press but unfortunately could not convert any chances into points – so the game moved in to the final quarter still very finely balanced at 12-8.

The visitors stepped up the pressure and also came close themselves on a couple of occasions – one in particular when Luke Massey made a tremendous try-saving tackle by the corner flag.

By this point the normally dependable Lichfield scrum was also coming under some severe pressure and the home team were struggling to get back on to the offensive.

Just as the large home crowd were getting nervous, Lichfield stole some possession to break away from their own 22.  The ball was fed to winger Jack Sporcic who gained good ground before again finding his scrum half Will Cotterhill in support for him to just about make it to the corner.  Josh Massey this time took on the kicking duties and converted beautifully from the touchline.

Despite losing Derrick Squire to the sin bin the hosts managed to keep the visitors at bay for the final few minutes.

It was a very good win for Lichfield with some excellent performances throughout the team. This sets them up nicely for their next two league encounters. Next up this Saturday (November 27) is a trip to Old Laurentians, followed by Worcester Wanderers at home on December 4. Good results from these two games should see Lichfield well placed in the top five or six at the midway point in the league campaign.

Lichfield: Taylor, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Thompson, Burton, Paulson, W Cotterhill, L Massey, Sporcic, Adams, G Massey, Brear, J Massey. Reps: Savage, Finnemore and Butler.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.