Mossley Hill 12
Garstang were left to rue what might have been as they let a 12-0 lead slip against a tenacious Mossley Hill side.
Remarkably when the two sides met in September the game followed the exact same pattern with Garstang conceding a 12-0 advantage and drawing 12-12.
This is Garstang’s third draw of the season which is frustrating as it shows that the team are competitive but they seem to struggle to finish teams off.
With the main pitch having several areas of standing water it was decided to play the game on the second pitch
Although that pitch looked in a better state it was soon obvious that the conditions were not going to be conducive to attractive open rugby.
The opening twenty minutes were difficult for both sides with the ball regularly getting spilled in contact which meant that the game was very stop-start.
The breakthrough came following a most unlikely bit of play from Skipper Orr.
As the ball broke free towards the touch line he swung his size 16 boot through it and hoofed it upfield.
The chasing pack swamped the opposition defender and secured the ball which eventually popped out to Nickson who raced through to score out wide.
The conditions were awful for kicking but Robinson struck the conversion nicely to take Garstang into a 7-0 lead. This score seemed to ignite Garstang and they started to get on top in all areas.
They reduced the error count and as a result managed to build a period of sustained pressure.
It has to be said that Mossley Hill are a tenacious defensive outfit and they managed to repel Garstang time after time.
However, they had a momentary lapse and this allowed Lambert to get through a gap at the side of the ruck to ghost through and score under the posts.
At this point the scoreboard monitor updated the score as 14-0 to Garstang in anticipation of the conversion.
However, much to his horror the conversion was missed as the ball fell off the kicking tee forcing Robinson into attempting a drop goal.
The outcome was something which will give him sleepless nights as the ball stuck in the mud and never left the ground!
That meant that the score was 12-0.
For the rest of the half Garstang maintained the pressure on the Mossley Hill line but they could not get the crucial third try.
They were seriously made to pay for this when they got done by a sucker punch on the stroke of half time.
The big Mossley Hill centre burst through the midfield and ran half the length of the field, just before he was caught he drew the final man and passed to his support runner who ran the ball in under the posts.
The conversion was added so Garstang took a slender 12-7 lead into the break.
The late score gave Mossley Hill renewed energy and they started to establish second half dominance in much the same way as Garstang had in the first period.
Garstang defended well for long periods but when Mossley Hill went over with fifteen minutes to play it had to be said it was coming.
Fortunately, the conversion went wide so the scores were locked at 12-12.
By this point Garstang had lost Slater who had to leave due to work commitments and they had suffered a couple of injuries so the team was looking a bit ragged.
However, for the last 10 minutes they dug deep and, although they never had any clear cut chances, they were the team most likely to score in the final few minutes. As it turned out neither team could get the decisive score and the game ended in yet another draw.
Garstang Team: Miller, Anscombe, Kenyon, Raby, Jolleys, Slater, O’Brien, Orr, Lambert, Robinson, I.Walling, M Walling, Bolton, Peck, Nickson. Replacements: Billington, Lee, Jones.
Match sponsor: Wyrebank
The Blues travelled to Aspull with just 14 men and they competed well for long periods before eventually going down 34-0.
On Saturday, December 22, the 1st XV play their final game of the year when they take on Trafford MV in a replay of the game which was abandoned in November.
The game will be sponsored by Steve Walker, and kicks off at 14.15.