Birthday boy Matthews helps Grimsby RUFC to away win
IN-FORM Grimsby put their away-day hoodoo to bed with a resounding 31-22 victory over East Retford.
The Blues now have three bonus-point wins in a row and look to maintain this momentum when they welcome high-flying West Bridgford to Springfield Road on Saturday.
With the weather more akin to a summer's day, the firm pitch suited both teams' running rugby style and made for an entertaining game.
Despite Grimsby's fast start, it was the home side that opened the try scoring after an early penalty for the Blues from Nathan Watson.
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A defensive lapse in midfield let the home side in for an early score and the buoyant crowd were thinking it was going to be a stroll.
The Blues snuffed out this notion and hit straight back with a surging pick-and-go from prop Colin Matthews, pictured, who celebrated his birthday with a score.
Grimsby hit again with one of many marauding runs from lock Luke Chaplin ended up with him crashing over for the try.
Clever tactical kicking from fly-half and captain Ben Pharaoh kept the home pack back-pedaling for the majority of the game.
From the start of the second half, Neil Corry turned a ball over at the ruck and his off-load fed Allan Oliver, who raced away – and the flanker bagged his score.
The next Blues try was a huge team effort. A clever pass from Pharaoh put Sam Vickers into the gap and he touched down. Watson's boot kept the score ticking over.
The Blues' final score came from a slick backs move. A wide pass from Pharaoh found winger Ryan Carr and he finished with aplomb.
A late rally from East Retford saw them cross the line twice to add respectability to the score.