To those spectators who were at Saturdays first team match, this game restored a great deal of belief to those who have any feelings for the Club . The number of points scored by the Greens being exactly the same as conceded the previous day.
If last years inaugural contest was a great advertisement for fast open attacking rugby, this was not far behind, although possibly the Under 20`s team was perhaps not quite as strong as last year’s squad, allowing the Foresters to dominate certain parts of the play.
The Foresters, turning out a fairly strong side, eventually proved just too street wise for the Yorkshire side and after strong performance by the forwards, they produced a powerful drive resulting in Steve Graham, replacing the injured Dan Solomi, going over for a try, converted by James Druce. Soon after, Solomi now back on, went in for one of his customary pick up and go tries again converted by Druce. Solomi, worryingly went off again, once again came Graham on and then Tom Baines went off with a neck injury to be replaced by Jake Starkey.
The Under 20`s during a spell of sloppy play responded with a push over try of their own which was not converted but bringing them , to a certain extent, back into the game. The Foresters though are a mentally strong side and fired back with a terrific push over try, dropped on by Graham and converted by Druce. Continuing with this pack domination in the vicinity of the Yorkshire line, the Greens produced the best push over try of the match, shunting the opposition backwards from some twenty metres before Graham went in for his hat trick, which was not converted but extending the lead to 26-5. Please don`t think this was just sheer power advantage, as the visitors had several large units on display.
The front row of George Altham, Jake Parkinson and Matt Beesley were clinically efficient ably supported by locks Sam Smith and Starkey, the latter after the departure of Baines. The bBack row of Matt Hall, Tom Whyte and Graham, (Solomi off) was energetic and eager to retrieve any loose ball. Whyte claimed some very good line out ball, as also did Sam Smith. All the forwards played well. Scott Rogers replaced Harry Catley, who along with centres Druce and Will Davidson provided good link work throughout and Max Bell at scrum half with his partner Will Bell also contributed to good passing movements amongst the backs and of course full back Maxine Labasse showed some fine bursts of speed on his forays forward, keeping the opposition on their toes.
Snappy back play initially proved beneficial to Altham who scored a try which was converted by Druce. Then came another sublime moment when Will Bell gave a lovely flick pass to Wellock who deservedly, as he had provided several telling thrustful runs on the wing, went in under the posts. Druce again converted. During the final last minutes of the contest that old warrior Andy Hodgson appeared at full back. The other veteran on the bench, Rob Burnett, stayed there! All replacements used carried out their job to a high standard.
At the very end, Will Bell came up with a clever cross field kick snapped up by Catley, making a final score of 45-5.
Once more praise to coaching staff Hedley Verity, Andy Hodgson and Rob Burnett and at this game thank you to physiotherapist Jill Alexander, replacing Verity on this occasion .
Maxine Labasse, Harris Catley, James Druce, Will Davidson, Ralph Wellock, Will Bell, Max Bell, Tom Whyte (c) , Dan Solomi, Matt Hall, Tom Baines, Sam Smith, Matt Beesley, Jake Parkinson, George Altham.
Jake Starkey, Steve Graham, Rob Burnett, Scott Rogers, Andrew Hodgson