Cheshire beat East Midlands in Bill Beaumont Cup
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.”
Speedy service: Alistair Baker gets the Cheshire back line moving. Right: Joe Daniel kicks a conversion for the East Midlands