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1st XV - Match centre

Sandal
Wirral
Tries
J Annetts, M Loon, M Williams, D Harvey
Conversions
J Annetts (3)
Sat 3 Feb 14:15 - Northern Division - Northern Premier Full time

Wirral Lose Out on Sandal Slope

A rejigged Wirral side find the heavy going too much in the second half.

Another long away trip this week to Sandal (near Wakefield) where the drizzle continued for the whole of the time we were there and the pitch was heavy at the start and was really churned up by the time the match ended.
Wirral made a number of changes following the injuries incurred over the last couple of games with Mark Williams moving to fly half and Craig Harvey moving to centre alongside his brother Dan, Mark Gidman coming in on the wing. Chris Hughes suffered a shoulder injury last week and was replaced by STEVE PENDERGAST. Paul Lewis came into the back row at No 8 with Matt Dowler moving to open side in place of the injured, ROB PEARL. The subs were Ryan Higginson, Ryan Stead and Chris Tyson.
Wirral played with the slope in the first half and were soon on the attack. After a number of phases of play in the Sandal 20m area, the breakthrough came in the 3rd minute when the ball was spun right and James Annetts in the line crossed close to the corner flag. The same player converted well from the touchline. It became apparent that Sandal themselves were looking to use their backs and were eager to get the ball out wide. In the 8th minute a promising move was brought to a halt when Matt Loon intercepted and had an unopposed run from 45m to score under the posts, which James Annetts converted- 0-14 (8minutes).
A kick through from Sandal troubled the Wirral defence but fortunately CRAIG was on hand to touch down but it showed that the home team were a threat even when playing up the slope. Wirral recovered and the ball went down the line, a half break from Matt Loon allowed him to put a grubber kick in field and Mark Williams following through won the race to kick over the line and touchdown giving James Annetts an easy conversion, 0-21 (14 minutes). Sandal now came into the game more and spent considerable time in the Wirral 20m area following a couple of incisive breaks but the Wirral defence was able to hold out.
A 60m penalty from Wirral trickled into touch 2m from the Sandal whitewash and was followed by a line out from the home team which was not straight. Wirral had two 5m scrums; the first was an attempted wheel which was reset. Although Wirral were advancing forward could not get the drive to get over the line. Penalties were given in Wirral’s favour but no yellow card! A number of thrusts were made towards the Sandal line, the ball was flung wide and back again where a short pass from Craig Harvey enabled brother, Dan to cross for the bonus point try, the conversion just failed, 0-26 (35 minutes). In the minutes before half time, a decisive break from Sandal split the Wirral defence and it was only good tackling that kept Sandal at bay. Chris Tyson came on for Matt Dowler (blood injury- gash to chin). Half time 0-26.
Craig Harvey did not come out for the second half, as he had a hamstring niggle, so Matt Dowler returned to the action with Ryan Higginson coming on for STEVE PENDERGAST. Wirral had to rejig the team following Craig’s departure. Wirral needed time to consolidate their lead and get the defence set up but within two minutes of the re-start Sandal were on the scoreboard when an inside pass enabled centre, Steve Nolson to cross, the conversion was missed.
Ryan Stead came on for HAYDN LONG. This first try gave Sandal the impetus and a kick downfield by Wirral did not find touch and taken by full back, Jack Townend who broke through the initial line of defence and raced clear to score under the posts, the try was converted by Greg Wood. 12-26 (46 minutes). All the pressure was coming from Sandal and the third try came after 58 minutes when poor tackling allowed prop, Alex Elder to score under the posts and duly converted by Wood, 19-26. As with Sandal in the first half, Wirral then had a spell of pressure up-field but the Sandal defence remained intact as the ground conditions became more difficult.
Sandal came back on the attack and a long kick downfield again put Wirral under pressure, the scrum collapsed, when Jack Yarker slipped. The referee then sent him to the sin bin- 68 minutes. One minute later, Sandal spun the ball out wide and Jack Townend had an easy run in for his second try and the conversion from Greg Wood equalised the score at 26 apiece. Sandal could see the win now and a long kick downfield was fielded 4m from the Wirral line, on clearing the ball was passed back over the line and unfortunately knocked on. From this position Sandal built pressure before scoring through No.8, Nick Carolan wide out- again the conversion was made by Wood. 33-26 -33 minutes.
Wirral strove to move up-field but play was held in midfield as the final minutes kicked. With the final play of the day, Sandal spun the ball down the line and DAN HARVEY almost caught the interception some 50m out with no one in front of him but it was not Wirral’s day. If there was any satisfaction they at least came away with 2 points.
There is no match next week as we prepare for the England v Wales clash.

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Stuart Gratton

Player of the Match

Stuart Gratton

Key moments

3:00
Try James Annetts scores for Wirral
3:00
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
8:00
Try Matt Loon scores for Wirral
8:00
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
14:00
Try Mark Williams scores for Wirral
14:00
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
35:00
Try Danny Harvey scores for Wirral

Highlights

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80:00 +0:02 Player of the Match
Stuart Gratton is awarded player of the match for Wirral
68:00 Yellow Card
Jack Yarker is yellow carded for Wirral
45:00 Sub Off
Hayden Long is substituted off for Wirral
45:00 Sub On
Ryan Stead is substituted on for Wirral
41:00 Sub Off
Craig Harvey is substituted off for Wirral
41:00 Sub On
Matt Dowler is substituted on for Wirral
41:00 Sub On
Matt Dowler is substituted on for Wirral
End of period 1
37:00 Sub On
Chris Tyson is substituted on for Wirral
37:00 Sub Off
Matt Dowler is substituted off for Wirral
35:00 Missed Conversion
James Annetts misses a conversion for Wirral
35:00 Try Assist
Craig Harvey makes an assist for Wirral
35:00 Try 0 - 26
Danny Harvey scores for Wirral
14:00 Try Assist
Matt Loon makes an assist for Wirral
14:00 Try 0 - 19
Mark Williams scores for Wirral
14:00 Conversion 0 - 21
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
8:00 Try 0 - 12
Matt Loon scores for Wirral
8:00 Conversion 0 - 14
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
3:00 Try 0 - 5
James Annetts scores for Wirral
3:00 Try Assist
Danny Harvey makes an assist for Wirral
3:00 Conversion 0 - 7
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Sandal
  • Wirral
  • 0
  • James Annetts Try 3:00'
  • Danny Harvey Try Assist 3:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 3:00'
  • Matt Loon Try 8:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 8:00'
  • Mark Williams Try 14:00'
  • Matt Loon Try Assist 14:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 14:00'
  • Danny Harvey Try 35:00'
  • Craig Harvey Try Assist 35:00'
  • Matt Dowler Sub Off 37:00'
  • Chris Tyson Sub On 37:00'
  • Craig Harvey Sub Off 41:00'
  • Matt Dowler Sub On 41:00'
  • Matt Dowler Sub On 41:00'
  • Hayden Long Sub Off 45:00'
  • Ryan Stead Sub On 45:00'
  • Jack Yarker Yellow Card 68:00'

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League round up

Other Northern Premier results

7
19
Hull
Lymm
21
7
Ilkley
28
22
Preston Grasshoppers
31
14

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Ilkley 25 62
8. Kirkby Lonsdale 26 57
9. Wirral 26 54
10. Kendal 26 53
11. Sandal 26 46
12. Birkenhead Park 26 33
13. Morley 26 31

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