Mammoth trip south takes toll on Ben's battling Blues
IT'S a return to Midlands 3 East (North) action for the Blues this weekend with a trip to take on Nottingham Moderns.
Ben Pharaoh's men crashed out of the Midlands Senior Vase at the first hurdle last weekend thanks to a 32-14 defeat at Stewart's & Lloyd's (Corby).
The visitors struggled to get the arduous long journey out of their system, but began to produce the goods late on.
In a draw that is supposed to be regionalised, the Blues found themselves having to make a 200-mile plus round trip to Northamptonshire, and the lengthy journey time was still in their legs for a large proportion of the game.
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Grimsby, however, did start well and the ease of their dominance in the first ten minutes caused them to sit back, thinking the job was done.
Barracking runs from Allan Oliver and Mike Newman caused problems along with excellent counter-rucking from Justyn Hill and Neil Corry.
The away side's scrummage was on top for large periods of the game, but it was the home team's impressive catch and drive from line-outs that was their only weapon – and they used it with aplomb, scoring all of their four tries from this source.
Grimsby's indiscipline in the ruck cost them field position and possession time and time again, and it was from these field positions that the home side launched their main weapon.
Stern words from Pharaoh at half-time galvanised the Blues, and strong running from Ashley and Adam Waterman, pictured left, in the centres started to get Grimsby back into the game.
One such run from Adam Waterman came as a result of a sumptuous one-handed off-load from Pharaoh – Waterman went close and then a lovely inside pass from Ben Nutting saw Newman waltz through to score under the posts. Brad Watson added the extras.
This fired the home team up and they struck back with another impressive catch and drive off a line-out deep in Grimsby territory.
Winger Lewis Newsum again had an impressive game, along with the strong running number eight Sam Vickers, and good runs from the both of them set Grimsby up for the next score.
Second row Luke Chaplin pressurised the home team and from the turnover winger Scott McCreath made some great yards forward.
The Waterman brothers then combined well and from a lovely weighted grubber kick from Adam, brother Ashley touched down. Watson again slotted the conversion.
The Blues had their tails up and Newman, Vickers, Hill and Corry all went close along with replacement prop Colin Mathews.
But it was to no avail as the home defence held out against the barrage and held on for a well earned victory as time ran out.