Gutsy and Determined – Towcestrians 1st XV


Photo Mike Potter

Photo Mike Potter

EDF Senior Vase Quarter Final Towcestrians RFC 1st XV 32Pts vs Tyldesley RFC 1st XV 42Pts


Despite a gutsy and determined performance against Tyldesley , Towcestrians, the only Midlands side left in the EDF Senior Vase competition, bowed out of the EDF Senior Vase competition at the quarter final stage, and can rightfully hold their heads up and be congratulated on a string of cup performances of which they can be justly proud. Tyldesley travelled from Manchester for this match, and were beaten out of the blocks by a Towcestrians side which smashed their way up field and pushed the visitors deep into defence.

In this opening 15 minute period Towcestrians tested Tyldesley and despite a huge effort from both forwards and backs they were crucially only able to secure one penalty converted by Marc Yeates. Conversely, on their first visit into the Towcestrians half, Tyldesley were rewarded for their patience with a try from prop Damien Twizell and it was ‘game on’ from the restart. Tows forwards were competing very well against the heavier Tyldesley pack and the home front row contested every piece against the southern hemisphere Tyldesley front row. Then a yellow card offence saw Tows wing forward Joe Threlfall directed to the sin bin. This incident would have an impact on the result of the game as it prompted Tyldesley to take immediate advantage and drove back the seven man Tows pack over their own line for their second try. Yeates countered with a penalty, but during the next 10 minutes Tyldesley stretched the 14 man home side by scoring a further 2 unconverted tries. Threlfall returned as half time approached, and immediately found himself on hand to finish off a handling move and touch down for a try converted by Yeates to get Tows back into the game taking the score line to 13Pts to 22Pts at half time. The second half started disasterously for Tows. As the dependable Yeates was off loading a slip pass the Tyldesley No5 was on hand to strip the ball away and race over unapposed to score a ‘soft’ try.

Tows temporarily faltered, the conversion was soon followed by a dropped goal from Tyldesley fly half Ashley Worsfield and seemingly this provided a cushion to give Tyldesley safe passage to the semi-finals. A characteristic of the Tows side in recent weeks then ‘kicked in’ as they dragged themselves back into the game with ferocious tackling and all-out positive rugby. The Tows pack drove back the Tyldesley forwards and it was Chris Kirby who touched down. Tyldesley came back at Tows and the game began to see-saw from end to end. Tows got the next score as full back Jamie Cartwright was pulled back following his kick ahead over the Tyldesley line and was awarded a penalty try under the posts. Yeates’ conversion made the score 25Pts to 30Pts.

Then Tyldesley hit back with their second dropped goal from Worsfield. With time now running out, Tows continued on the offensive and whilst camped on the visitors line they retained possession through several phases to eventually see Threlfall get his second try. Yeates coolly converted, as the game entered the final minutes. Tows fought hard to a man and gave everything, but eventually the bigger Tyldesley side, through strong running in Rugby League style had the edge. The game ended 32PPts to 43Pts and Tows were left to rue the earlier mistakes which prevented them from securing their place in the semi finals – just one game from a Twickenham final.

Next week Towcestrians are back in League action, playing AWAY against Stewart & Lloyds RFC 1st XV.