In an entertaining game of running rugby Beeches had the best of the first half, using their forwards to good effect with Pete Stockley at fly-half also bringing variety and width to the game with plenty of miss passes and loop moves in the backs.They went ahead following a series of penalties, which saw Banks retreating to their line as Beeches used their forwards to drive up the middle and, with decent second phase, to move the ball out wide for Harry Murphy to go over in the corner.Despite having the better possession, however, Beeches failed to turn it into more than one score, and the half ended 5-0 in their favour.The second half then started in exactly the same fashion as the first.
Both teams attempted to play expansive rugby but neither side could break down their opposition’s defensive wall.
Limited penetration meant that the game would almost certainly be won in the forwards, and as the ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other, the fitness of man-of-the-match Ed O’Brien and his flanker colleague Niall Brennan turned the game in Banks’ favour.
By securing and retaining more ball than Beeches throughout the second half, and with the introduction of impact player Matt Swan from the bench, the longer the game wore on the more that Banks managed to punch holes in the Beeches’ defence.
At the 60-minute mark Banks went over to level the game at 5-5.
The forwards broke the gain line and then the ball was quickly passed through the hands out to winger Phil Hand, who went round the outside to score in the corner.
Hand went on to score a similar try ten minutes later, taking the score to 10-5.And, although the Beeches threw everything at the opposition for the final ten minutes, a massive effort from the whole team, especially from the likes Harry Chamberlain, Tim de Gruchy and Roger Trower, ensured that Banks held on for the win.It was a good win to have under their belts and throws the league wide open with Banks, Jersey 2nds and Beeches all in with a title shout.