Rossendale Free Press

Frustratio­n for seconds after Park encounter


THERE was probably very little sport played over the weekend due to the amount of rain that fell around the Country but credit to Rossendale RUFC groundsman Simon Bond – the number 1 rugby pitch at Marl Pits was in perfect working order thus allowing the Second team to take on near neighbours Sedgley Park in the latest round of the Cotton Traders premier league.

It was a game that Rossendale had been relishing to play in the build up during the week but once again the inability to have any continuity in the side that takes the field on match day puts the team on the back foot from word go.

Nonetheles­s Dale still fielded a reasonably strong team but the first ten minutes of the game saw Dale completely on the back foot with Sedgley opening the scoring with two tries and looking like they may put a cricket score on us.

It took that opening period for the Dale lads to gather some composure and get a better understand­ing of those playing together in the team for the first time before they started to respond.

Strong pressure in the visitors 22 led to a penalty just out around the five yard mark.

A quick tap and offload by Tom Wareing to prop Leighton Taylor who did what he does best from a short distance out and crashed through the Park defense with a trademark mid flight twist and turn to shake any remaining defenders off him.

Dale were now in the ascendancy and Park were finding it all the more difficult to contain them especially when the home side kept the ball tight.

Dale then had chances open things up a bit wider and off the back of some great work on the nearside the ball found its way into the hands of hooker Tom Coe who stepped inside the defense and dive over the line to bring the scores to 10-14 which it remained until half time.

Unfortunat­ely for Rossendale however things took a turn for the worst when they lost one of their main play makers through injury just before the half time hooter and with no substitute­s available on the day they had to play the second half a man down which was compounded by a yellow card to a player early into the half on the back of a very unutilized rule, replicated later in the game as well against another Dale player.

Sedgley took advantage of the two man advantage and the game swung back into their favour at 10-21.

Rossendale once again composed themselves and returned to keeping the ball tight and working it patiently up the field.

Some fantastic forward work was rewarded with good ball coming out to the backs and with ball in hand centre Lewis Patterson danced and weaved his way through defenders before scoring under the sticks which enabled Haydon Wells to add the extras.

Game back on at 17-21 and on resumption from the kick off it was more of the same.

Constant phase after phase with drive after drive made the big yards up field for Dale.

The play came into Parks 22 and the big Rossendale forwards set themselves up for more big drives to get over the line. Sedgley defenders reading the plays bunched in to prevent any further advance and in doing so created the big overlap out to the left. Lewis Patterson swung a delightful ball out past the last Park defender and Josh Glamp gratefully accepted an easy put down to enable Rossendale to take the lead for the first time in the game at 22-21.

With possession of the ball in the middle of the field and only four minutes to go Rossendale just needed to keep their composure and lock the game down.

Frustratin­gly and as had been the case at the critical moment numerous times throughout this match the team came up with an error , lost the ball and subsequent­ly lost the game when Sedgley Park ran it through hands out maneuverin­g Rossendale’s trailing defenders.

It’s a fine margin between winning and losing and Rossendale have to cut down on the errors and some bad decision making to get back to winning ways. So the game finished at 22-26 to the visitors. For the neutrals, the Referee and the Park supporters it was a magnificen­t game to watch and take part in.

From the Rossendale perspectiv­e it was another big effort from the lads that competed but it was a game that was there for the winning and the feeling of frustratio­n was perhaps more attributab­le to our outlook post game.

 ?? John Bridge ?? ●●Rossendale RUFC Second team in action against Sedgley Park at the weekend
John Bridge ●●Rossendale RUFC Second team in action against Sedgley Park at the weekend

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