Midlands 2 North Round 9 – November 11
This weekend Arnold‘s Pavs travelled over to an unseasonably sunny Matlock in Round 9 of the Midlands 2 North competition. The two clubs had not met for quite a while, but with Matlock displaying a highly competitive spirit in the league and Pavs on a good run of their own the gathered supporters were anticipative of an entertaining afternoon.
Pavs made a highly energetic start to the game, moving the ball through phase after phase. After five minutes speedy flanker Josh Flanagan rounded off a sweeping movement by jinking his way into score and give Pavs the lead at 5-0.
On twelve a similar play saw skipper Doug Billam do a similar thing and give Pavs a 10-0 lead. It was clear, however, that Matlock were not out of the game. From a dropped kick, they poured through before scoring near the posts and with the conversion redress matters and bring them in contention at 10-7 on twenty minutes.
More was to come for the Derbyshire side as they eased into the lead at 14-10 with another converted try on twenty five minutes. Pavs rallied somewhat and four minutes later, lock Tom Gladwin finished off another fine move to put Pavs back in front with George Billam extras at 17-14.
As was the nature of such a topsy turvy affair, Matlock finished off the half with another try to go back in front at 19-17.
At the break veteran Dan Mangham replaced youngster Dan Hodges who made the typically schoolboy error of wearing new boots for his first competitive start at 1st XV level and accordingly needed his blisters patching up!!
For the first thirty two minutes the action was shared between the two sides before Matlock pushed further forward with a try in the corner to give them a seemingly insurmountable lead at 24-17 with eight minutes left.
Dan Hodges re-emerged to stiffen up the scrum and Harry Kerr replaced wing Alex Rimmington.
This season Pavs have finished games strongly so when another youngster Morgan Jones scored on seventy six minutes they were firmly back in the game at 24-22 with the Billam extras and four minutes to go.
Joe Wilson replaced Theo Collier for the last minutes of the game. What followed was a series of passages of play that saw Pavs keep hold of the ball, moving right and left in seeking the winning score. A number of players went close before being stopped short by a stoic Matlock defence. It is testimony to Pavs growing maturity and confidence that they maintained their composure before replacement centre Harry Kerr darted through one of the gaps that emerged as Matlock tired to score on the final play and give Pavs the win with Billam extras at 29-24.
Pavs can be justifiably proud of the first quarter and an absolutely fabulous last eight minutes that saw them accrue 12 points. The last movement in itself was a spectacle for lovers of rugby. Possibly as many as twenty phases with both forwards and backs proving to be as skilled as each other in the handling stakes!! The coaching staff will have questions about what happened in the middle phase of the game, but they will be surely elated with the the style of play and the temerity that saw Pavs battle back from seven points down with eight minutes left!! No players of the match – again the collective was more important than any individual.
Pavs have now won the last four games which is excellent preparation as they welcome table topping Lichfield RFC to The Stump next Saturday 2.15 kick off.
Squad – Dan Hodges, Owen Taylor, Jake Baldry, Theo Collier, Tom Gladwin (1 try), Josh Flanagan (1 try), Josh Alton-Smith (VC),Phil Eggleshaw, Ben Taylor, George Billam (2 conv), Alex Rimmington, Doug Billam (C), Morgan Jones (1 try), Will Taylor, Matt Molyneux.
Rep – Dan Mangham (40 mins), Harry Kerr (60 mins, 1 try) , Joe Wilson (74 mins)
Paviors Rugby Club play at Burntstump Hill, Arnold, NG5 8PQ and the club runs over twenty teams.
New players are always welcome – girls, boys, men & women, there is a team for all.
Further information about the club including contact details can be found on http://www.paviorsrfc.co.uk/ .