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Match Report: Paviors 34 – 20 Tamworth

A number of First XV  and former academy players returned to the squad. 

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Midlands Two North – Round 21 Saturday March 23

This weekend Pavs welcomed Tamworth RFC to The Stump for the penultimate round of The Midlands Two North competition. The away fixture in January was a close affair in grim conditions with Tamworth winning by a single point. Some of the injury woes that have beset Pavs in recent week seem to be easing with the return of a number of First XV  and former academy players to the squad. 

On a refreshingly bright afternoon and with a lively crowd in attendance the game opened up with both sides playing expansive rugby. In the first quarter, Pavs made several forays to the line, but were kept out by stoic Tamworth defence. As these things go, Tamworth then opened the scoring with a well taken try on fifteen minutes. More was to come when a penalty put them 8-0 up on twenty minutes. Pavs started the fight back when scrum half Ben Taylor snaffled the ball from a driving maul before diving in to cross the line and with the George Billam extras to bring the score to 8-7 on twenty four minutes. Unfortunately, Jim Reeson seemed to upset the official who sent him for a rest on twenty seven minutes. Pavs kept pressing forward with Billam adding a penalty from the final play of the half to give Pavs the lead at 10-8 at the break. 

The start of the second half was much like the first with both playing entertaining rugby, always seeking to find the width. With forty five minutes on the clock front rower Kieran Wells used his great feet and ample dimensions to touch down following some excellent approach play. George Billam again added the extras to increase the lead to 17-8.

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Pavs began to ring the changes with returning lock Joe Crossland  replacing Alistair Plant on fifty minutes. Immediately, following and as a result of sustained period of pressure the increasingly influential Wells powered over for his second try to take the score to 24-8.

More was to come on fifty nine minutes as rampaging number 8, Phil Eggleshaw swept all opposition away to further extend the lead to 29-8.

Prop Jake Baldry replaced Owen Taylor almost at the same time as the game entered the last quarter. Tamworth fought back with a well executed try to narrow the home side’s lead to 29-15.

On sixty five minutes the versatile Harry Kerr suffered a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury to be replaced by returning student Danny Green. The last ten minutes was a fraught affair with players coming and going as the official brandished the  yellow card as if it was going out of fashion. Kieran Wells departed on seventy minutes to be followed by the unfortunate Baldry a minute later. Phil Eggleshaw then touched down following a dominant driving scrum from the pack on seventy three minutes to bring the score to 34-15. This was shortly followed by Joe Crossland taking the slow walk for a rest in the bin on seventy four minutes. Within a minute or so Tamworth went after a bonus try point and again struck back to bring them closer at 34-20. Owen Taylor returned as the game went into seven minutes of extra time and thankfully Pavs were able to see things out until the final whistle. 

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A bit of a “phew” resounded around the ground as both sets of players trooped off following a highly entertaining afternoon. With players returning, Pavs looked more like their middle season selves which saw them win nine of ten games. On April 6th Pavs make the very short trip up the road to Mellish RFC for  the final league of the season. As a local derby it is sure to be hotly contested !!! 

Starting XV: Dan Hyams, Owen Taylor *, Kieran Wells (2 tries) *, Alistair Plant *, Theo Collier (C), Jim Reeson, Bailey Mayo *, Phil Eggleshaw (2 tries) *, Ben Taylor (1 try), George Billam (3C ) *, Noah Bhatia *, Harry Kerr *, Morgan Jones, Alex Rimmington, Matt Molyneux *

Impacts: Jake Baldry (61 mins) *, Joe Crossland (50 mins) *, Danny Green (65 mins) *

* Former Pavs Junior and Academy Players 

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/ .

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