U19s Hang On – Just!

SAINTS almost managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the Big Fellas Stadium on Saturday, writes Graham Henthorne.

They were 16 points up with only 8 minutes to go but were left hanging on as Rovers scored twice in a disastrous three minute spell at the death.

Eventually they came out with a 46-42 win.

All had started so well as the Saints raced into 12 point lead with two tries to Ben Parry in the left corner. The first came courtesy of quick hands from Dave Hewitt, Connor Dwyer and Matty Fleming giving the winger space to touch down. The second came via Dwyer’s miss pass to the winger.

But that was as good as it got as the home side came roaring back with four tries in a blistering 15 minute spell punishing poor tackling and indiscipline from the Saints.

The introduction of Tom Calland off the bench galvanised the Saints somewhat with some big hits leaving Rovers players holding their ribs in pain.

The turning point in the game came on the half hour as Rovers got a rather controversial penalty then with a certain justice missed the kick for touch. Like all good sides the Saints went straight down field and scored as Hewitt put Olly Davies through a huge gap 30 metres out.

The call at half time was to maintain that momentum and the Saints managed to get ahead with two well taken tries.

A great defensive set kept the home side at bay and from the restart Matty Fozard slipped through the line. Connor Dwyer was held short and from the play the ball Hewitt stabbed a delightful kick through which sat up perfectly for Calland to crown a great display with a try.

The second again came from a bench player scoring his first of the season as big Ross McCauley scored with his first touch of the game taking 3 players over with him from 15 metres out.

In between Lewis Galbraith showed his trademark desire with an 80 metre try saving cover tackle after the official had missed a blatant Rovers knock on.

The Saints were on top now forcing the home side into a drop out but it back fired as Rovers dropped out over everyone’s heads and the ball went into touch on the Saints 5 metre line. Poor tackling from the scrum allowed them to even the scores.

The Saints continued to turn the screw as Fozard’s big hit spilled the ball and two tackles later he finished the move jumping out at dummy half.

Drives from the unstoppable McAuley, Chris Webster and James Tilley put the Saints on the front foot. But a poor fifth tackle pass ended with the Saints going backwards. Dave Hewitt reacted quickest on the last spotting the gap down the left and it was his pass that put Matty Fleming in.

Two massive defensive sets forced another error from Rovers and Tilley charged over to give the Saints what should have been an unassailable 16 point lead, until they imploded in the final minutes.

This was one of the poorest displays from the Saints with very few emerging with any credit, but best on the day were Tom Calland and Ross McAuley, ably supported by Connor Dwyer and Lewis Galbraith.

Bigger and tougher teams await the Saints whose displays will have to improve if they are to move on.

Match Summary:

Tries: James Glover, Joe Caulfield, Lewis Young 2, Luke Teasdale, Jack Byrnes, Luke Cooper.
Goals: James Glover 7.

Tries: Matty Fleming, Ben Parry 2, James Tilley, Olly Davies, Matty Fozard, Tom Calland, Ross McCauley.
Goals: Dave Hewitt 7.

Half Time: 18-24
Full Time: 46-42


1. Kyran Johnson; 2. Joe Turton, 4. James Glover, 3. Liam Dodman, 5. Joe Caulfield; 6. Lewis Young, 7. Jordan Myers; 8. Jack Coventry, 9. Luke Teasdale, 10. Jack Byrnes, 11. Matty Brook, 12. Dave Robinson, 13. Ben Brailsford.
Subs: 14. Liam Lowson, 15. Charlie Ledger, 16. Luke Cooper, 17. Brad Cable.
1. Adam Saunders; 2. Lewis Galbraith, 4. Jack Ashworth, 3. Matty Fleming, 5. Ben Parry; 6.
Dave Hewitt, 7. Dan Abram; 8. Chris Webster, 9. Dom Speakman, 10. James Tilley, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Connor Dwyer, 13. Joe Ryan.
Subs: 14. Matty Fozard, 15. Adam Hesketh, 16. Tom Calland, 17. Ross McCauley.

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