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Home > News > Garstang 22 - Birchfield 15
Your News Garstang 22 - Birchfield 15


Garstang finally got their season up and running when they recorded their first league win of the season against Birchfield.

The weather on match day was awful but as kick off approached the rain relented and the game was able to start in relatively good conditions. Garstang immediately took the game to the opposition with Ainsley Pye receiving the kick off and running at the heart of the defence. He was ably tackled but set up quick, clean ball. Newcomer Rob Charles, who was to have an excellent game at scrum half, spread the ball out and Garstang were in a prime attacking position.

With ten minutes played Garstang finally got the score that their attacking enterprise deserved. Jimmy MacLennan, making his 1st XV league debut, sucked in a couple of defenders which created an overlap, tball was then spun wide and Mark Gorst slid over in the corner (5-0).

Birchfield came roaring back and it wasnt long before they had Garstang under pressure. At this point Ben Greenwood got his obligatory yellow card to put the home side under further pressure. Birchfield were able to make their field position tell and they squeezed over in the corner to level the match.

Garstang did not let their heads drop with this score and went down to the other end and put pressure on the visitors. This soon told as a Birchfield player also received a yellow card for foul play. From the resultant penalty Jimmy MacLennan went for goal but the ball struck the left hand post and bounced back into play. This turned into an excellent chance for Garstang but they did not react quickly enough and Birchfield scrambled the ball to safety.

Just before half time Ainsley Pye did some excellent work and he got the ball out to Mark Gorst on the twenty two. There was still plenty of work to do but Gorsty was able to round his man and win the race for the corner (10-5).

Garstang had played the first half with the best of the conditions and they knew that they would have to put in a big effort to convert the lead into a win.

Both teams started the half tentatively but Garstang started to impose themselves on the game and it was no surprise that they scored the first try of the half. Ainsley Pye and Simon Whittingham did a neat piece of interplay which got them to within a whisker of the try line. From the resultant set piece Ben Greenwood picked up and forced himself over the try line. Mark Gorst added the extras (17-5).

This score gave Garstang a bit of breathing space and should have been the signal to close the game down. However, straight from the kick off they made a mistake which gave Birchfield an attacking scrum. From this Birchfield launched an attack and scored in the corner. It was a very soft try and put Garstang under unnecessary pressure.

Birchfield took heart from this and camped themselves in the Garstang half. The home defence looked to be creaking and they were further hampered when skipper John Robinson went down with a knee injury.

Garstang eventually relieved the pressure with a raking kick into midfield. Adam Nickson got to the ball first and got a kick on it. He was followed by Mark Gorst who skilfully dribbled the ball over the line and scored the try to claim his hat-trick (22-10).

This try effectively sealed the win and Garstang were able to ring the changes with Dave Miller, Adam Gardner and Pat Woods coming on for Nick Smith, Stuart Rigby and Keith Yates respectively.

With time all but up Birchfield launched one last attack. The ball went out wide and the winger crashed over in the corner. The new ELVs deem that a try has been scored if the player hits the flag in the act of scoring but I am not sure that they allow him to have his legs in touch! Despite this being the case the touch judge kept his flag down and the referee awarded the try. Fortunately this was the last play and Garstang had the win they desperately wanted.

After the game skipper John Robinson said The hard work has finally paid off! Training has been good this week and all the lads have been working hard which paid off today. We played simple rugby and got the result. Hopefully this is the turning point; the atmosphere in the changing rooms was brilliant but we now need to build on this and ensure we keep making progress.

Team: N.Smith, R.Cross, M.Everest, R.Orr, K.Yates, G.Slater, A.Pye, B.Greenwood, R.Charles, J.Robinson (C), A.Nickson, J.Maclennan, M.Gorst, S.Rigby, S.Whittingham. Replacements: D.Miller, P.Woods, A.Gardner, H.Jones.

The Blues had a disappointing game when they were beaten by 24-10 against Rossendale 3rd XV. Following last weeks cracking win against Bolton 3rds. Rossendale put out a very accomplished side and they controlled the game for large parts. Two late scores from Garstang were reward for their efforts but they came as mere consolations.

On Saturday 11th October the First XV are away at Trafford MV, the Blues are at home to Wigan 3rd XV and the Lions are away against Bolton 4ths. All the games kick off at 15;00 and the Blues game will be sponsored by Barkers Pet Shop.

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