Brave Sharks give champs tough test

Hard-fought: Action from Myerscough College's Sale Sharks home clash with three-times champions Hartpury College
Hard-fought: Action from Myerscough College's Sale Sharks home clash with three-times champions Hartpury College
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Myerscough College Sale Sharks 5

Hartpury College 20

Myerscough College’s Sale Sharks Rugby Academy faced their sternest test of the season as they welcomed Gloucester AASE Academy (Hartpury College) for the seventh fixture in the 2012/2013 AASE season.

Hartpury College has somewhat monopolised the championship in recent years, winning the previous three championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Myerscough started strongly and immediately put their opponents on the back foot. As the half progressed the visiting side started to impose on the game but Myerscough held their own.

The second half saw Hartpury open up a narrow lead but Myerscough’s defence was the strongest it’s been all season.

Despite producing what was easily their best performance of the campaign, the visiting three-times champions edged out a 20-5 victory, with Myerscough’s Will Lees, 17, scoring Myerscough’s only points.

Despite their defeat, Sale Sharks Academy manager and head of rugby at Myerscough College Steve Gough was proud of his players.

He said: “I was delighted today that the guys fronted up against the strongest side in the AASE competition for the last four.

“The lads’ commitment and effort in what was a brutal game was absolutely commendable. Our performance today was the best defensive show that I have seen all season. Systems that have failed in earlier games finally clicked today.

“Hartpury came with a definite game play to bully up front and push the ball wide into soft areas. This did not happen. We matched their physicality although, over the course of the match, Hartpury probably had the slight edge, which probably saw them over the line.

“I was proud of the performance from our guys and hope that we are able to produce this effort week in week out and not just against the Hartpury’s of this league. We need to be stepping up to the plate again next week when we play away against Northampton. If we do I am sure we will get something out of the game”