Capenhurst 24 - Anselmians 2nd XV 17
By Dan Jenner
Nerves setting in
The lads turned up to Helsby on Saturday after having a few weeks without a game and missing many players that have played this season. Even with these regular starters missing The Ducks really fancied their chances in Helsby against a Capenhurst team who put on a physical display earlier in the season.
The game started with an attack by Ducks from the off which resulted in a turnover, a Capenhurst player driven into touch and then ushered away injured. The first 10 minutes belonged to Anselmians with wave after wave of attack resulting in Tom Campbell breaking through and touching down between the posts. A great start we thought, however the referee, who made some questionable decisions all day, decided benefit of the doubt would not go with the attacking team as he was so far behind and he gave a defedning scrum allowing Capenhurst to clear their lines. I think from then it was obvious to everyone the way the game was heading, for the rest of the half Capenhurst attacked well around the fringes and carried and carried right up the middle of the field to score a try and then also score another right on the stroke of half time, albeit controversially. The referee this time allowing benefit to the attacking team regardless of the knock on that happened over the line because he couldn't see the ball due to being to far away from the play.
Halftime 12-0 down and all subs used due to injuries to Dan Jenner and Tom Campbell during the first half.
The second half started much more brightly and for 25 mins Anselmians were camped in the Capenhurst half, firstly kicking a penalty and then getting opportunities to capitalise in the same way with some ill-discipline from Capenhurst resulting in them being reduced to 14men. The positivity around the Ducks backline play this season and their dominance in the loose allowed them to kick for touch and take scrums when the penalties offered themselves, however today some misfiring in handling and a dominant defensive performance from Capenhurst restricted Saints to only 2 scores when it could very well have been many more. Capenhurst finished the game strongly scoring a couple of late tries to put the game beyond doubt.
Regardless of the loss some great performances in defence showed the quality that is there to be called upon when required. Dave Edge tackling everything in sight along with Tom Gilbert and Matt Thornton. Sean Hastewell dominant at the breakdown and should have been given many more turnovers than just the one in his favour. Solid tackling in midfield against two strong running centres and a very good cameo performance off the bench from Harrison Child who carried well and tackled everything that came near him.
A big cup game next week against Lymm is on the cards with League and Cup double still on.