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1st XV MATCH REPORT: Linley 18 - 18 Veseyans

Veseyans travelled up the M6 to Linley Rugby Club for the first time in the club’s history. Whilst the pitch was a bit heavy after all of the rain the day was perfect for rugby.

From the kick off Linley’s larger forwards took ball and attacked Veseyans who defended brilliantly and pinned Linley back into their 22, after a couple of phases the Veseyans were rewarded with a penalty The resulting shot at goal, unfortunately, went wide.

The game flowed well, even though Linley had the bigger pack the scrums were fairly even. The Veseyans number 8 took the ball in open field, broke a couple of tackles, giving Veseyans an attacking opportunity down the left side. Following a clever kick though the Linley defensive line, the ball bounced over the try line which Matt Johnson dotted down and Matt Gillick added the conversion to give Veseyans a 7-0 lead.

Veseyans pressure on the Linley 22 metre caused the home team to concede a penalty, which Gillick kicked to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.

Linley regrouped after a couple of phases, kicked to the corner won the lineout and their larger forwards managed to trundle over the line but the conversion was missed. Linley were then reduced to 14 men after an offence by their second row at a break down.

Veseyans again attacked the Linley try line and used the ball well, after a couple more forward phases they attacked the line, used the pick and goes with the good forward drives from which Andy Payne crashed over the line. The conversion was missed giving a half time score of 15-5 to the visitors.

Linley started the second half strongly. Using their forwards they drove towards the line, Veseyans defence managed to halt the drive, however Linley kept the pressure on and managed to crash over the line out wide. The conversion was missed but the lead was reduced to 15-10.

Linley had to dig deep and showed good determination to prevent Veseyans from scoring with some good forward drives up the middle from Josh Raby-Gordon, Courtney Cummings and Adam Mitchell.

Despite this, Linley had a good spell of dominance used their big forwards to drive into the V’s 22 metre area. Despite some great defence the visitors conceded a penalty, which Linley successfully kicked reducing the lead to 15-13.

Linley got themselves back into the V’s 22 metre area, after battering the try line again with their heavy forwards they got another try. Although they missed the conversion the home team was now leading by 18-15.

After a quick meeting behind the posts, Veseyans got back into the game, they used their forwards to drive deep into the Linley 22 metre area, using offloads and throwing the ball wide drove towards the try line, Linley’s defence managed to hold up the player, however the ref came back and gave Veseyans a penalty which Matt Gillick kicked bringing the scores level at 18-18 which is where it remained. A hard fought game which neither side deserved to lose so a draw seemed a fair result.

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