Match Report: Pershore 5 Wheats 36
By Gareth Windsor
Wheats win again!
After 2 weekends without a 1st XV fixture the boys were eagerly awaiting the trip to 3rd place Pershore on Saturday. After a great training session in the week on the Astro turf at Finbars club, selection for the game was extremely tough for Cheeks and Kai. With over 30 lads wanting to earn a place in the 1st XV squad tough decisions had to be made.
A strong squad of 20 made the trip to Pershore on a dry but windy day. The boys warmed up well under coach Kai Hartshorn with Cheeks away. Not a great warm up for fly half clark mccallum who dislocated his pinky during the warm up but got it strapped up and played through the pain with another brilliant performance.
Wheats started really strong and put instant pressure on the home side. With plenty of ball and territory it only took the Wheats 3 mins to get on the scoresheet. Some hard running lines from the forwards and centres James Hancox and Huw Edwards allowed quick ball for scrum half Richard Lowe. Phase after phase created space for Ben Craig to put a great pass into wingers Jamie Hutton’s path who juggled the ball for what seemed an age but managed to get the ball under control and touchdown in the corner.
Wheats continued the pressure straight after Hutton’s try with more line breaks from the hard running centres and winger Steven Pahal. In the opening 10 minutes Wheats dominated possession and found themselves 10 nil up in no time. Some more great phases from the forwards eventually rewarded Ben Craig with another try for the season in the same corner as Jamie Hutton’s try. Gareth Windsor hit the post from out wide.
Pershore managed to get some of the ball following the second try but solid Wheats defence stopped them making any serious ground in the game. A Wheats clearance kick found Pershores fullback who tried a kick of his own. Only for it to stick remarkable to Jamie Hutton’s hands in mid flight. The speedy winging won the race from his own half against the fullback and strode in for his 2nd of the game. With how Hutton caught the ball it really seemed to be the Wheats day.
Windsor added the east 2
An injury to ‘veteran’ Richard Lowe forced the scrum half off after just 30 minutes after starting the game really well. Sam Eaton was the perfect replacement from the bench.
Wheats continued to hammer at the defence and perhaps should of scored a couple more tries with all the pressure. The bonus point try came just on the half time whistle through centre Huw Thomas. Huw playing his first Wheats game since pre season due to a hamstring injury, hit a superb line and spilt the Pershore defence to score under the sticks. Windsor added the 2.
More of the same was the message from Kai at half time and be more clinical. A few silly mistakes and Pershore possession didn’t allow Wheats the start to the 2nd half that they wanted. Some good defence kept the home side at bay for a short period. Pershore battled their way over the whitewash to score in the corner which seemed to be held up but the referee saw otherwise.
The following 10 or so minutes turned very scrappy with Wheats with the slight upper hand. Some hard line breaks from Charlie Hands and James Przybek creates excellent field position. Camped in Pershore’s 22 some excellent hands from captain Liam McCrea put in Przybek and he crashed his way over under the posts. Windsor added the 2.
Wheats had an incredibly strong bench and those players came on and made big impacts in D. Mark Rawlings smashing anyone who came his way. Richard Saunders and Tom Brown carried strong and made metres for the Wheats.
Pershore had a man yellow carded just minutes before James Przybek was carded for a slightly high tackle. A sin binning each in a mad 5 minutes didn’treally change the game or the outcome. The final try of the day was scored by the top try scorer so far this season James Hancox. After another cracking performance by the centre he was finally able to cross the whitewash for his 10th try of the season out wide.
A really strong first half really dented Pershore’s hopes of getting anything from the game. Hard running and solid defence allowed Wheats to go 6 from 6 in the league.
Long distance away games are never easy. However, buoyed by good conditions and a wide pitch with short grass and no mud in sight, spirits were high and certainly optimistic. We started well, with strong powerful running from the usual suspects and seemingly inevitable early points. In the first 20 minutes there were real clear signs that some amount of the structure and ethos the team are trying to bring from training to the pitch were breaking through. Coupled with a vastly improved set piece it's the best collective play I've seen from the wheats for some time. 2nd and 3rd quarters were a more grounding dogged affair which saw a rise in tests of our defence but we held well and showed some grit to finish strongly with another flurry. By no means a perfect performance but the improvements are tangible and I might be a little less shouty at training this week.
UP THE WHEATS