Knutsford went down to Congleton on Saturday on a chilly day, with the playing field a rainsoaked mudbath.
The game got underway and shortly into it there was an exchange of penalties with pressure from both teams. Mooney converted 2 of 3 attempts and Congleton responded with 3 points of their own, as neither side really took control of the game.
Knutsford then lost their influential centre Lindsay after what looked like a nasty head injury but thankfully was not as serious as first thought.
With a makeshift pack, Knutsford started to struggle at the set piece; in addition the muddy conditions combined with Congleton stretching the rulebook in regards to an early shove meant the home side benefited from a lot of possession.
Congleton’s set piece dominance eventually paid off as the half wore on when they capitalised and scored a converted try after a strong run from their backline to make the halftime score 10 points to 7.
The second half got underway with the Knutsford scrum looking more robust but once again Congleton made any possession they had count, firstly converting a penalty in front of the posts, then their number 8 scored from a push over try which was also converted.
This finally got the away side into action with them dominating both territory and possession and the last 20 minutes of the game saw them enjoying their best period of the game. Their hard work eventually paid off with 4 minutes remaining on the clock. After a number of pick and go’s, Knutsford reached the Congleton 5 metre line. Crawford collected from the base of yet another ruck and dived over for a try. Mooney’s conversion attempt went just wide.
Unfortunately it was all too little too late and the try was to be the final points of the game.
Despite a disappointing result, there were some positives from the game with Paige making a very positive debut in the front row and Crawford deputising well at No8.
Next week Knutsford have a double header at home. The seconds kick off at 1pm against Anselmians and the firsts play Parkonians in the Cheshire plate at 2.30pm. All support welcome with free drinks and chocolates laid on for any kids who are there on the day.