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Match Report: Paviors RFC 26 – 27 Walsall

A difficult afternoon for Pavs following six good wins on the bounce.

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Midlands North 2 Round 11 – December 10

This weekend Pavs welcomed Walsall RFC to The Stump in round eleven of The Midlands 2 North competition. With Pavs in third and Walsall in fourth place, this was always going to be a tight game that hinged on the small things as opposed to individual skill.

Unfortunately, Arnold‘s Pavs had to make a number of changes following the excellent victory over Lichfield due to work and family commitments, but were able to give opportunities to youngsters Dan Hodges and Rohan Cates and welcome back Dan Flint and Kieran Wells to the squad.

The weather on the day was as variable as we have come to expect of late and the playing surface just about playable.

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Pavs received the kick off and set about moving the ball through the muck and mire. Unfortunately, on five minutes a wayward pass was snaffled by a Walsall centre who ran in under the posts to give the away side a 7-0 lead.

Pavs then upped their game to the sort of pace that they have been playing with in recent weeks. Scrum half Ben Taylor touched down after nineteen minutes and flanker Josh Alton-Smith finished off a fine forward drive on twenty eight minutes. George Billam converted both tries, one from the touch line to give Pavs a 14-7 lead.

Pavs then went into, what can only be called, ‘drift mode’. Walsall first added a penalty on twenty nine minutes, then two tries on thirty four and thirty seven minutes to give them a convincing lead of 22-14 at the break. 

Pavs seemed to wake up after the break and spent several minutes in Walsall’s half. On fifty five minutes, Phil Eggleshaw powered his way to the line before offloading to tight head prop Theo Collier who touched down in the corner to narrow the score to 22-19 in Walsall’s favour. Unfortunately, for him this was his last action of the day due to injury and he was replaced by nineteen year old Rohan Cates on the front row.

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More was to come on sixty three minutes when fly half George Billam ghosted in to score before adding the conversion to take Pavs in front at 26-22.

At this point, a storm of apocalyptic proportions swept down the pitch. Handling became impossible with torrential rain driving all but the hardiest of souls into the clubhouse. Alex Rimmington replaced Dan Flint and Harry Pritchard did the same for Tom Gladwin with seven minutes left.

On seventy three minutes, Pavs gave away a penalty. From the resulting lineout, Walsall’s skilful young fly half wisely kicked long. Given the conditions, it proved impossible to catch the ball and a scrum followed. Walsall worked their way forward, Pavs turned the ball over and likewise kicked to touch. Walsall were then able to secure the ball before piling over to give them the lead at 27-26. With minutes left Pavs tried their hardest, but with conditions proving impossible to overcome were unable to redress matters. 

So a difficult afternoon for Pavs following six good wins on the bounce. One has to roll out the  perennial ‘curate’s egg’ metaphor – a game good in parts, but nowhere near the standards they have set in recent weeks. Next weekend Pavs travel to Wolverhampton, hoping to restore matters before the Christmas break.

Squad- Dan Hodges, Kieran Wells, Theo Collier (1 try), Alastair Plant, Tom Gladwin, Josh Flanagan, Josh Alton-Smith (1 try), Josh Flanagan, Phil Eggleshaw, Ben Taylor (1 try), George Billam (1 try, 3c), Will Taylor, Doug Billam, Harry Kerr, Morgan Jones, Dan Flint.

Rep- Alex Rimmington (63 mins), Rohan Cates (55 mins), Harry Pritchard (75 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/ .

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