Rugby Union: Littleborough U14s 36 - 27 Preston Grasshoppers (B)

Date published: 05 March 2019

Upon conclusion of the pool stages of the Lancashire Cup fixtures, Littleborough under 14s were drawn at home against Preston Grasshoppers (B) in the quarter final of the Vase.

The weather, with heavy rain overnight and sporadic showers throughout the game, was not condusive to a free flowing brand of rugby. It was a game for tight one up runners, and in the early parts of the game the boys played the conditions perfectly. They were dominant in the forwards and as a result were able to control the game from both a possession and territory point of view.

The pressure that was put on the Preston defence told and the lads were able to run in 3 tries in the first 15 minutes of the game. The first of which came from a planned set piece move from an attacking lineout. The try scorers were Ruben Warburton, and Ben Crabtree (x2), of which two were converted by Jacob Brady.

The game however was far from over, and through a mixture of penalties and Preston gritting their teeth and showing their spirit, hit back in the latter part of the half with 2 (unconverted) tries of their own. At half time Boro held a slender lead of 19-10.

The fear was that the Preston tries in the latter stages of the first half would dent the lads confidence, and the visitors would be able to take the spoils. These fears were allayed, to some extent, when Jake Coupe crossed the line from close range. Jacob Brady added the extra 2 points with the conversion.

Preston however again hit back and scored another 2 tries (one of which was converted) to ensure that the game remained tight, and all was to play for. Boro however were able to strike immediately from the re-start of the second of these tries, after a deep kick from Jacob Brady was collected by Ben Crabtree, who muscled through the Preston tacklers to score (conversion missed). All this meant that Boro were leading 31-22 at this stage.

It was hoped that this score would finally put the game to bed, but that was not to be the case, as Preston again hit back to score once more (conversion missed). The score now read 31-27 to Boro, and the boys would have a nervy last 5 minutes grab that all important win.

Truth be told, in the final 5 minutes the boys controlled the game fantastically well, pinning Preston in their half for the remainder of the game. The pressure culminated with Ruben Warburton scoring the final try of the game (conversion missed). There was just enough time to re-start the game, and from the kick off the ball was collected by Boro and was promptly kicked off the field to signal the end of the game. 

The final score was 36-27 to Boro, ensuring the boys first win since November. The boys have played well in the intervening period, but a win has eluded them. Let’s hope the boys can now get on a roll and get a few more ticks in the win column before the end of the season.

Clubman of the week award was awarded to the team captain, Max Risby, for putting a typical hard working display, and for his leadership over the last few difficult months.

Next week the boys are due to play Waterloo at home.

Squad: Charlie Bell, Jacob Brady, Bradley Chrimes, Jake Coupe, Ben Crabtree, Harry Crabtree, James Devine, Ethan Dewhurst, James Furnell, Luke Jones, Olly Mills, Tyler Mills, Will Rawlinson, Max Risby, Ruben Warburton, Ben Williams, Ben Williamson.

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