mossley hill 8
Garstang welcomed fellow North Lancs One rivals Mossley Hill to Hudson Park on Saturday in the first round of the Lancashire Plate.
The game was inevitably going to be a close affair as the teams had incredibly battled out two 12-12 draws in their league encounters last season.
This meeting was no different and the game was in the balance right up until Greg Billington crashed over the line to score a try with the last play of the game.
Preceding the thrilling climax to the match everyone had seen a tough, attritional game with both teams putting in fully committed performances with a fair share of errors being caused by the wet, slick conditions.
In the opening period Garstang had plenty of possession without really creating a decent scoring opportunity. Perhaps, as a result of this, a Garstang player tried to force a pass that wasn’t on and it was gleefully intercepted by the Mossley Hill centre who raced half the length of the field to dot down for the first try (0-5).
This score was a setback but Garstang didn’t panic and they soon established field position which led to a Mossley Hill penalty infringement. Jimmy MacLennan made no mistake with the shot at goal to narrow the gap to 5-3.
Almost straight from the kick off Garstang were on the scoreboard again as Ben Kelsall stole the ball and outpaced the defence to score from long range. Maclennan was again on hand to add the extras and Garstang had a 10-5 lead.
Before the half time interval both teams won penalties in kickable areas which they duly took to leave the score as 13-8 to Garstang at the break.
In the second period the game became disjointed, as both sides made changes to their personnel due to injuries, and scoring chances seemed to be at a premium. Garstang never really seemed to be under heavy pressure but as the clock ticked down the play became more nervy with the players knowing that one mistake, or one score, could prove to be fatal.
With time all but up Garstang had Mossley Hill pinned back on their line with a scrummage. Garstang won it against the head and Greg Billington was able to smash his way over the line despite the attentions of three Mossley Hill defenders. MacLennan added the extras with the last kick of the game to give Garstang a 20-8. The reward for the victory is a home quarter final tie against Collegiate RFC.
Team: Miller, Gunn, Hindle, Raby, Parkinson, Johnston, Kelsall (Capt), Billington, Brown, Dawson, Rowbottom, MacLennan, Chaplin, Riley, Nickson. Replacements: Barton, Jolleys, Robinson, Whitaker
This Saturday, September 14, is a big family day at the rugby club. The 1st team are in action in their opening league game against Heaton Moor and the Blues are playing against Wigan 3rds. Before the games the Mini-Rugby section will be having a training session with an exhibition game at the half time interval of the senior games. The club are also hosting a sausage and cider festival by the pitch and this will take place throughout the afternoon, starting at 2pm, and into the evening. The whole event and the matches are free so everybody is welcome to come down for a fun, family day out.
For anybody interested in joining any teams – mens, ladies or mini juniors please make yourself known or email join firstname.lastname@example.org.