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Help for heros: Rugby with Cheshire Police
Game 1: With rain on the cards numbers for the Police fell slightly before kick off, luckily half of Knutsford turned out for their local outfit and were more than happy to supply a couple of players to make the game 15 a side.
With the smell of Karl’s world famous BBQ wafting throughout Mereheath Lane, Cheshire Police started the day playing Knutsford ‘Blue’.
It became clear from the start that Cheshire were up against it. Knutsford Blue were well organised and retained the ball well. Cheshire, who had never played together before this game did well to break down play but struggled to keep possession.
Toogood and Newman were putting in some big tackles, made worse by the hard pitch. It wasn’t long though before Knutsford scored there first points. Having found the Cheshire weakness between the 9 and 10 channel Knutsford ran through to score, they also converted.
Keen to get back into the game Cheshire pressed on. Clarke at scrum half was providing some good ball the Macey at 10 who was able to break the tackle well and get the ball out wide to Vass.
Unfortunately the Knutsford were all over Cheshire like a swarm and the attack came to nothing. Quick turnover ball and a lack of men out wide saw Knutsford soon run in another two tries. Cheshire’s lack of experience showed again, and conceded again before the full time whistle.
Knutsford Blue 22
Cheshire Police 0
After losing the first game Cheshire were determined to make amends in their second game against Knutsford ‘White’. After a well earned rest and a burger or two Cheshire were ready to get started.
The game started well for Cheshire. The earlier defeat had inspired some strong running from the Cheshire backs. Macey, Vass and Dolan made some good ground before some inspiring driving from the forwards saw Cheshire go over to score. Macey converted.
Knutsford as in the previous game were running well and their pacey backs were causing all sorts of problems for the Cheshire defence. It wasn’t soon before Knutsford ran in two unconverted tries. Cheshire needed something special, a piece of skill that would turn the game on its head and steer Cheshire to victory, what they got was Phil Macey.
Tucked up in his own 22 Macey cut through the Knutsford defence like butter and sprinted down the centre of the pitch. Both Knutsford wingers fearing the worse gave chase but they were no match for Macey’s pace and skill. With the try line fast approaching Macey decided to chip the ball over the last defender. Maybe it was the wind, maybe it was the sheer excitement of scoring. Either way to kick bounced awkwardly and spilled out of his hands only to be picked up by the relieved Knutsford defence.
The rest of the Cheshire team who had been stood watching Macey in amazement failed to wake up in time for the oncoming Knutsford attack and conceded yet another unconverted try.
Cheshire responded immediately with some fantastic work by the Cheshire forwards. Lamb, Newman and Toogood were recycling the ball well which gave the Cheshire backs the space to attack at pace. Toogood had several chances to get on the scoreboard but was overwhelmed by the Knutsford defence.
Cheshire were next on the scoreboard when Macey shipped out a wide ball to Matt Ambrose who touched down, left of the posts allowing Macey to convert.
With their heads up and victory in sight Cheshire continued to pile on the pressure and it wasn’t long before Newman crashed through to score to make it 21-10 to Cheshire.
Unfortunately Knutsford’s experience shone through in the final 10 minutes with a penalty and two unconverted tries to seal victory for the Knutsford White.
Knutsford White 23
Cheshire Police 21
A fantastic performance by Cheshire overall, with money being raised for a great cause. Thank you to Knutsford Rugby Club for hosting the event and also to Jonathan Farber for taking some fantastic photos.
Special mention has to go to Andy Dolan who made his Rugby Union debut for Cheshire and unfortunately sustained a broken thumb after the first game. The strange thing is he played better in the second game with the broken thumb!
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