At 2:00pm on a Wednesday afternoon Durham’s 3rd team went up against a sizeable Manchester 1st team. The opening play of the game saw Durham caught off guard as Manchester regained their own kick off and made some ground putting immediate pressure on the Durham side. However, the defensive efforts from Durham were strong and after a few phases Durham were awarded a penalty and were able to relieve pressure.
After turning the heat on in attack and a long period of possession and pressure by Durham, a well-placed kick from Louis Treneman put Manchester on their 5-metre line. Manchester manage to exit, and the battle continues with the game going back and forwards from 22 to 22. After an unsuccessful penalty attempt, Durham became more and more determined to be the first to score. As Manchester are eventually unsuccessful in clearing from their 22m the Durham forwards seize their opportunity at the scrum and drive Manchester back. After a few phases from the back of the scrum Anthony Morris drives the ball on a pick and go and flops over the line to score the first points of the game, making the score 7-0
As the game continues to progress the possession is split very evenly between Durham and Manchester. As the half draws to a close the ball makes its way out to Durham’s back and a lovely inside ball from fly half Treneman is taken by Will Edwards who offloads it to Jacob Lineen to score Durham’s second try of the game. The conversion was unsuccessful, so the score stayed at 12-0
Right on the cusp of half time Manchester work the ball through the backs and a few offloads see them score their first try which is converted well, bringing the score to 14-7 at half time.
The match kicked off similarly in the second half and Manchester were able to keep possession as they made it to Durham’s 22-meter line. Durham continued to keep them out until they got the ball to the back line and some spacing issues caused several gaps for Manchester to run through. A high tackle over the line gave Manchester a penalty try and also sent Durham down to 14 men for 10 minutes. Durham defended well and were able to keep the score at 14-12.
After a long break due to a nasty injury the game was continued and Durham were able to continue to keep the pressure on and were rewarded with a penalty. This was successfully kicked by Sam Cavin, making the score 15-12 with 10 minutes to go which is how it remained until the final whistle.
A tough, close match but still a win and 1 of 4 teams to win on the day, which is an amazing achievement from the club. Let’s hope it continues onto next week with another 4 big fixtures.