First Team Sub
Jan 12, 2013, 5:29 PM
Saturday 12/01/13 – Midlands 2 West (North)
Re: [Ostrich] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION
Tamworth RUFC 10 Wolverhampton RUFC 7
Admission: free, no programmes
Refreshments: Ł1.20 mug of coffee and Mars bar in the clubhouse
Attendance: 63 (h/c)
Plan A today was Redditch United v Bedford but I didn’t fancy a rail replacement coach south of Birmingham, so scoured the fixture lists and came up with this gem – a bottom-of-the-table v top-of the table clash that didn’t exactly go by the form book.
Tamworth’s clubhouse is at the end of Solway Close, through a housing estate off the Burton on Trent road north of the town centre. There’s an old, converted two storey house which serves as the clubhouse, to which a changing room and function room block have been added, adjacent to parking for around 50 cars. The clubhouse is a bit faded in appearance, although enhanced by two wide-screens showing QPR v Spurs, and the bar is small, but the folk were friendly and a hot coffee was soon rustled up.
The whereabouts of the pitch, however, is not immediately apparent from the clubhouse and turned out to be over a hill and down a slope about Ľ away, at the bottom end of Wiggington Park (a public park), adjacent to the West Coast main line, and therefore quite a haven for railway buffs into Pendolinos, mind you only one freight was sighted all afternoon. Freightliner 90043, if you’re interested. There are three pitches in a line, the main pitch being the central one, which is railed (mostly!) on the two sides, and there is also a small floodlit training area.
As for the match, it was quite an epic. I suppose you could say mud is a great leveller, but let’s take nothing away from lowly Tamworth here, they deserved this! They spent the first half hanging on to their composure and their sanity in the face of relentless Wolverhampton pressure and a series of strange refereeing decisions. The league leaders could have taken the lead after 2m with a penalty dead in front of the posts for offside, but W.13 inexplicably put it wide. It took Tamworth 17 minutes to get out of their half, but then they did have a long period of possession but couldn’t crack the away defence. Wolverhampton were reduced to attempting a penalty from the half way line that fell well short, but just when it looked like Tamworth had successfully navigated a scoreless first half, right on the interval, Wolverhampton broke through on the right and W.7 took the ball over, the try being well converted from wide by W.10.
Into the second half, it was Tamworth’s turn to pressurise, and on 47m, they missed a golden opportunity to score when T.11, on the end of a long cross-field movement, failed to hold the final pass and dropped the ball about 5 yards out with an empty try line beckoning him. Much clutching of heads in the vociferous crowd!
But Tamworth continued taking the game to Wolverhampton and were eventually rewarded on 67m when T.12 went over after the ball had been worked out to the right hand corner, with T.15 notching the equalising conversion. Could this be Tamworth’s day? One final effort, and after 81m, T.15 held his nerve to put over a fine penalty, wide from the left – 10-7 and Tamworth duly survived the remainder of play.
The Tamworth coach was so delighted at the end, he shook everyone’s hand, including the Ostrich . A well-deserved victory indeed!
(This post was edited by Ostrich on Jan 12, 2013, 5:31 PM)