Due to insufficient numbers the vets competition this year has been cancelled.
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With a couple of injuries in the ranks over the past 2 weeks, and other commitments; some minor adjustments needed to be made to the Cheshire team for this semi final fixture.
The last time Cheshire hosted Lancs on 19/3/17 @ Lymm RUFC, the home team dominated performance, leading to the 41-7 result that importantly achieved the team’s primary objective in gaining promotion. A similar dominant Cestrian performance resulting in 35-5 win v Notts / Lincs / Derby on 2/4/17 at Wilmslow brought about this semi at Park against Lancs once more.
Not being complacent Cheshire knew Lancs would be ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ at this game bringing to Park, a very different team and a very different game plan. They did not disappoint. With 9 changes to the team sheet, again man for man the Cheshire forwards were against their larger counterparts, and a much more effective challenge from the refreshed Lancs back line who kept the ball alive searching for a channel as they put width on every ball as they sought out their play makers.
Once more however the young Cheshire forwards dominated the constantly reversing Lancashire scrum, Lancs lucky not to concede more penalties from their many set piece infringements as they ‘popped up’, ‘broke binds’ and generally could not compete loosing every contest. The line was a slightly more evenly met contest, but once again it was the Cestrian forwards who put down the mark to control this game and successfully impede the Lancs set piece
The game was played in true competitive spirit, two rival camps determined to commit to this cause. Both seeking the one ultimate prize. The W.
In 80 minutes Lancs secured 3 tries against the 4 of their hosts. In a far more challenging sequence of phases the defence of both teams was tested to the full, forced errors and lapse in ‘D’ allowing the breakthroughs on both sides. With Conversions / penalties the final score not only reinforced Cestrian promotion, but now places them in the Final against Dorset to be held at Worcester RUFC Six ways (Date / details TBC)
After the game Manager Ian Stanton in his assesment of the game said “Our first objective was promotion the guys achieved that back at Lymm, so there was no pressure on them today ..job done. We knew Lancs were smarting, and we knew they would make changes, maybe not so many, but they did .. So it was interesting to see their new back line perform against us today, Our guys played some great rugby, Once again the forwards set the control, they all used a pretty lively defence when required .The team was particularly looking forward to this fixture, but .. We had to make a few adjustments, and now they have their well deserved place in the final … they have gelled and it’s great to see them keep performing at this level. I’m very proud of the lads all of whom have ‘bought in’ to this years commitment.. but I must also mention the valuable coaching skills and drills instilled by Mike and Tom that were tested today. Now the guys are just focussing on Dorset so we’re all looking forward to that ! and were back in the training Paddock next week !! ”
A number of thanks must be made, firstly to the Cheshire squad players who trained and didn’t make selection; then to the guys recovering from injury a speedy resolve is wished to them, all remain an integral part of this year’s team. Birkenhead Park RUFC for its hospitality, and all the travelling Cheshire parents / supporters who once again gave great encouragement from the touch lines!
Cheshire Cup & Plate Finals
Plate Final ko 1PM
CUP Final ko 3pm
Saturday 15th April’17
At Wirral RFC, Memorial Ground, Thornton Common Road, Clatterbridge, Wirral, CH63 0LT
Cheshire Bowl & Vase Finals
BOWL FINAL K.O. 1.00PM
WINNINGTON PARK RFC
VASE FINAL K.O. 3.00PM
BIRKENHEAD PARK F.C.
Monday 17th APRIL
At Crewe & Nantwich RUFC
Newcastle Rd, Willaston, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 7EP
The A.G.M will be held at Lymm H.S .
Thurs 4 May 2017.
Everything changed this year. The RFU decided that the 15 group season should be completed by the middle of January squeezing everything in to the worst time of the year for weather. They also decided that no district rugby should be played and as a result of this it was impossible to see the boys playing at a competitive level beyond club and school. DPP district groups were in place and these were supposed to form the county squads. Bob Davies, Brendon Bailey and I spent some time watching the clubs and schools play and it became very obvious that there was a lot of talent that existed outside of the DPP squads. A trial was held for the boys not in the DPP and a group was chosen to play alongside the district squads at the Sale development day at Carrington in October.
After this day at Carrington a county squad of 48 was chosen to represent Cheshire at A and B level but very little time was allocated for training. Three sessions were organised at St Ambrose College before our first game against Yorkshire at A and B level on the 18th December. As only 3 dates were allowed for the county programme we had to play our games on 3G pitches. We played our home match against Yorkshire at Burnage RFC, a Lancashire club and our away game against Lancashire on January 3rd also at Burnage RFC. Our final match was played at Longton RFC against Staffordshire on January 15th.
Thanks go to Hugo Corbett, our lead coach, Ben Coulbeck, Noel Speed, Ryan Acton and Simon Ford for giving up their time and for developing the skills of the boys in the county squad. Our best wished go to Noel Speed in his new job as junior academy manager at Sale RFC.
Cheshire A and B v Yorkshire A and B at Burnage RFC on Sunday 18th December
- Cheshire B 19 points Yorkshire B 20 points
- Cheshire A 12 points Yorkshire A 17 points
Both games resulted in immense frustration for Cheshire. Cheshire B led 19 -0 at half-time only to allow Yorkshire B to reply with 20 points, scoring their winning try in injury time. The A game followed a similar pattern with Cheshire A leading into the second half with a 12 point advantage. Yorkshire replied with three tries in the second half and although Cheshire had many opportunities they failed to score any more tries. Both games were entertaining and were of a very high standard.
Cheshire A and B v Lancashire A and B at Burnage RFC on Tuesday 3rd January
- Cheshire B 17 points Lancashire B 24 points
- Cheshire A 5 points Lancashire A 29 points
The B game was highly competitive with both sides sharing the lead. Both sides had many opportunities to score tries but unfortunately it was Lancashire B who scored the winning try in the last play of the game. Cheshire and Lancashire A fought out a very competitive first half but Lancashire took the lead just before half-time to take a 10 -5 lead. Cheshire had quite a few chances to score tries at the beginning of the second half but like the Yorkshire match we failed to take our opportunities. Lancashire showed us how to take advantage of opportunities by scoring three late tries. As with the Yorkshire games these matches were of a very high standard and whilst Yorkshire was very lucky to beat us Lancashire fully deserved their win in the A game. This was their first win in an A match for seven years.
Cheshire V Staffordshire at Longton RFC on Sunday 15th January
- Cheshire 56 points
- Staffordshire 0
In appalling conditions Cheshire found their stride against Staffordshire and they scored some excellent team tries to finish off the season on an optimistic note.
Team manager 15 group