Cheshire beat East Mid­lands in Bill Beau­mont Cup

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By JAMIE RUS­SELL

CHESHIRE re­cov­ered from last week’s dis­ap­point­ing loss to York­shire with a win over newly pro­moted East Mid­lands.

It was a sim­i­lar story as one week prior but a dif­fer­ent re­sult with blind­side Har­ri­son Crowe scor­ing the mo­men­tum-shift­ing try and break­ing through the East Mids de­fence on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, to de­light of Cheshire chair­man Si­mon Wright.

He said: “We had a sim­i­lar prob­lem to last week where we had a dom­i­nant start and didn’t cap­i­talise. But I’m so proud of the lads for the way they re­sponded.

“The Caldy boys in the team cer­tainly helped at half-time – they knew they could come out and give the per­for­mance to win the game and the other boys got dragged along by it all.

“Har­ri­son Crowe and Derek Sal­is­bury were out­stand­ing, but ul­ti­mately the per­for­mance of the whole squad won us the game.”

Cheshire started the brighter but a dom­i­nant open­ing ten min­utes went un­re­warded as they made de­ci­sive mis­takes.

East Mid­lands, fresh off the back of a nar­row vic­tory over Eastern Coun­ties, came back into it and earned a 17-0 lead, af­ter stun­ning run­ning from the back-line led to Sam Baker go­ing over be­fore a fur­ther try from Sam Crookes in­creased the ad­van­tage.

But a quick penalty from Lewis Barker put Cheshire ten me­tres out and Caldy trio Jack Lavin, Derek Sal­is­bury and Har­ri­son Crowe linked su­perbly to fin­ish off the move.

Char­lie Ven­ables then went over, show­ing re­mark­able bal­ance and pace, giv­ing the hosts a much-needed con­fi­dence boost for the se­cond half.

And af­ter the break, Cheshire proved that the game can be won in the for­wards as tries from JJ Dick­in­son and Tom San­ders, as well as two penal­ties from Lavin, put Cheshire on top.

A late surge from East Mid­lands came as Cheshire flanker Mike Craven was sin-binned for the fi­nal ten min­utes but a try for cen­tre El­liot Reeder was too late for fight­back, leav­ing East Mid­lands’ team direc­tor Mark Lav­ery dis­ap­pointed.

“The bet­ter side won,” he said. “I thought at 17-0 we had our foot on their throat but, hav­ing played some poor rugby, we gave them be­lief and al­lowed

them to make it 17-12.

“In terms of the se­cond half, the open­ing 25 to 30 min­utes, they quite frankly blew us away. They de­served the win and I have no com­plaints.”

Fur­ther dis­ap­point­ment was the fail­ure to take another late chance.

“To­wards the end of the match, we had an op­por­tu­nity to take away a los­ing bonus point, and we de­cided to carry the ball into con­tact with four men out­side,” added Lav­ery.

“We need to go away and learn from this. This is our first time in this divi­sion, and we’ve proven we can com­pete.”

PIC­TURES: Ben Howells

Speedy ser­vice: Alis­tair Baker gets the Cheshire back line moving. Right: Joe Daniel kicks a con­ver­sion for the East Mid­lands

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