Rugby: Cleethorpes out to build on fine Vase victory
CLEETHORPES' first-XV put their cup aspirations on hold this weekend when they return to league action against Long Eaton.
A 27-10 victory at Manor Park last Saturday saw the Clee lads safely through to the Fourth Round of the RFU Junior Vase competition.
They made the long trip to Nuneaton without several big names through injury and other commitments – and were up against a side who had only lost once this season.
And, after the previous week's disappointing loss at home to Worksop, there were one or two players who had a point to prove to the coaching staff.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
IF WE CANNOT FIND YOU A TENANT WITHIN ONE MONTH WE WILL FIND YOU ONE FOR FREE, YES FREE, YOU WILL PAY NO FEES.
Terms: TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY.
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Matt Searle, pictured, kicked off and Cleethorpes were straight into their opposition, wining a penalty at the breakdown.
From the resulting line-out, Manor got the drive on and pushed the bigger Cleethorpes pack back at a rate of knots.
This knocked any complacency out of the away side and ensured that they took the game to Manor with a renewed vigour that clearly shocked their hosts.
The breakdown was a key area and Cleethorpes bossed this to a point where they were almost assured of winning ball.
From a turnover in midfield, the ball was spun out to Liam Williams who went round his opposite number with ease and evaded all chasers to score in the corner.
However, Searle missed the conversion.
The set piece was an even contest, but after 20 minutes, the Cleethorpes pack got the upper hand and began pushing the home side all round the park.
The away team should have been ten points to the good, but after Hyde had put Aaron Smith clear, somehow the winger had the ball robbed off him after he was already over the line.
It was not long before the lead was extended, though.
From the next phase of play, the away side's backs cut their opposition to pieces and McDade went over to make it 10-0.
This was soon 15-0 as Goodwin cut a swath through the already demoralised home side.
As the break approached, Manor at last got into the game and pinned Cleethorpes deep into their 22.
But the visitors held out and the half-time whistle went with the Cleethorpes line intact and an important psychological battle won.
Although they had been kept out in the first half, pinning the Meggies back for so long seemed to buoy Manor.
And it wasn't long before the hosts opened their account.
Several missed tackles in midfield created the overlap and Manor went over in the corner to get on the scoreboard.
The home side had their tails up and began to show just what a good team they are.
For 20 minutes they had their visitors on the ropes and the old Cleethorpes mentality came back as they seemed to implode and go into themselves. Manor got a second score during this period to make the score 10-15.
Cleethorpes also lost the influential McDade to injury and this saw the introduction of Knight.
His experience seemed to calm Clee and they soon got back on the front foot.
In the last ten minutes they never looked in danger and extended their lead to 27-10, to proceed to the next round ahead of Saturday's Midlands 4 East (North) clash at Long Eaton.
Both Grimsby and Market Rasen & Louth's first-XVs were without matches last weekend, but return to league action on Saturday.
The Blues host East Retford at Springfield Road in a Midlands 3 East (North) encounter (2.15pm).
The Red and Greens, meanwhile, are also on home turf.
They entertain sixth-placed Matlock in a Midlands 1 East match at Wintringham Road (2.15pm).
As reported, Grimsby's second-string were involved in a thrilling derby draw on Saturday.
Hosting local rivals Scunthorpe 6ths, the Blues battled to a 12-12 draw as honours ended even at Springfield Road.