Anselmians rack up the points


In different circumstances, a game in which there were no less than fourteen tries scored could only be described as exciting.

However, this was anything but!

St Benedicts were coming to Eastham off the back of a convincing win versus Leigh whom Saints had found to be very tough opponents just a couple of weeks earlier. The home team were still buzzing from their magnificent Cup win against higher-division Birkenhead Park. So, the stage was set for a challenging contest.

However, such are the vagaries of the current league structures where more than 60 Community Club first teams, from former RFU South Lancs – Cheshire divisions, have been allowed to opt for the ADM and Halbro Leagues, which now means that teams need to travel up to 3 hours, several times per season, to compete at lowly level 7. So it was that St Benedicts travelled to Eastham on Saturday, under-manned and were over-powered by a full-strength Saints squad.

Saints scored 11 tries to dispatch their opponents, dominating set pieces and with the backs, always on the front foot, carving gaps in the stretched Benedict’s defences. There should have been another half-dozen or so tries scored from breakaways but slack passing, under little pressure, kept the score down to two figures.

St Benedicts, though, did battle bravely in very difficult conditions for them and it is to their great credit that they did not elect for non-contested scrums when under such great pressure and with no bench. They even struck back with three tries of their own although these were the product of lack of attention by Saints’ defence.

Despite the plethora of mistakes and missed opportunities, there were some fine performances by home players. In particular, Tom Gilbert, who continues to improve, was Saints’ Man of the Match. His back row colleagues, Will Grabe and Paul Sherlock, also impressed. Craig Jones was a little dynamo going forward and Niall Cavanagh also took his opportunities to make good ground. A special mention for loosehead prop, John Bonner, who gave a very industrious performance and must have challenged Tom Gilbert for the MOM accolade.

15 Andrew Cummings
14 James Whitehouse
13 Thomas Banks
12 Ransford Otutaha
11 Adam Bramhall
10 David Morley
9 Liam Sadler
1 Jonathan Bonner
2 Craig Jones
3 Derek Salisbury
4 Niall Cavanagh
5 Jack Richards
6 Paul Sherlock
7 Thomas Gilbert
8 William Grabe
S1 Stephen Brooks
S2 Daniel Salisbury
S3 Ewan Nolan

St Benedicts
15 Ryan Fisher
14 Daniel Appleton
13 Jordan Burns
12 Connor Holliday
11 Name withheld
10 Jack Kellett
9 Aiden Pirie
1 Joshua Jenkinson
2 Andrew Dutton
3 James Taylor
4 James Finnegan
5 Callan McGrady
6 Ryan Corlett
7 Ross Anderson
8 Aaron Turnbull

Anselmians 1st XV’s next game is away at Southport on Saturday 27 November 2021 for a 2.15pm kick-off.

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

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