Garstang grab late, late draw

Brave: Garstang's last-minute efforts paid off to score a late equaliser against St Edward's
Brave: Garstang's last-minute efforts paid off to score a late equaliser against St Edward's
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Garstang 11

St Edward’s Old Boys 11

GARSTANG played out a dramatic game as they snatched a draw against high-flying St Edward’s Old Boys.

The performances over the past couple of weeks have been disappointing as the team battled against injuries and absent players but with a strong squad to pick from confidence was high that a win could be on the cards.

St Edward’s started strongly and went on the attack from the first whistle but Garstang managed to hold them off and they were soon on the front foot.

As the pressure built St Edward’s infringed and Garstang were awarded a penalty which John Robinson converted to give them the lead (3-0).

St Edward’s struck back and they should have scored the opening try of the game when they cut through the defence. Fortunately, the winger missed the equivalent of an open goal when he spilled the ball.

Garstang recovered and soon got themselves back in the opposition half. When St Edward’s offended and Garstang got a penalty things looked promising but the touch kick disastrously failed to go off the park and was run back at the home side.

Poor defending let the opposition into the Garstang half and moments later they broke through the line to score in the corner (3-5).

After a breathtaking opening the game started to settle down and became more of a midfield arm-wrestle as the conditions deteriorated.

St Edward’s number eight was an outstanding player and his breaks from the base of the scrum and breakdown caused Garstang problems.

Just before half time another infringement by Garstang was punished and St Edward’s kicked the penalty to lead 8-3.

Things tightened up further in the second half and when Garstang conceded again midway through to go 11-3 behind it looked like the game was slipping away.

But with 10 to go Garstang summoned something up. Line-out ten metres out. Catch and drive. Ball secure. Moved to the back. O’Brien goes over, 8-11 and game on.

The momentum was back with the home side, who went on the attack and with one minute to go secured a penalty. But Robinson failed to convert and sent it wide.

Then St Edward’s miss touch led to a final push by the Garstang pack and seconds before the whistle another penalty was awarded with Robinson determined to have the last say.

The crowd went wild as the side picked up the points to go level and secure the draw.

On December 1 there is a break from the league but both teams are in action playing in their respective cup competitions. The 1st XV are away at Sefton in the Lancashire Plate Quarter Finals while the Blues are at home to Burnley 2nds in the Second Round of the Raging Bull Shield. Both games kick off at 14:15.

GARSTANG: Miller, Anscombe, H.Jones, Johnston, Orr (Captain), Billington, Slater, O’Brien, Brown, Robinson, Peck, M.Walling, Bolton, I.Walling, Nickson. Replacements: Hindle, Raby, Smeaton.