Chorley RUFC 1st XV v Orrell RUFC 2nd XV Match Report Saturday 15th September 2018
By Tracy Monckton
Orrell 2s were looking to back up last week’s first home league victory over Leyland Warriors, with at the very least a solid performance and they didn’t disappoint.
A rearrangement of the squad due to injuries, work and holiday commitments meant that a slow start could have been forgiven but in fact Orrell started strongly and laid siege to the Chorley try line.
Some free-flowing rugby in the backs and a no-nonsense approach in the forwards, set the scene for a fantastic opening 40 minutes. Kelly, Stott and Garner ran the line outs and the front row of Anderson. Maguire and Statts kept the middles tight.
Free flowing rugby created numerous opportunities in the first half hour, but Chorley dug in and defended resolutely. On 32 minutes the deadlock was broken and the first points of game came by way of Harris. Billy Ashton had made the inspired substitution only moments before and with a fresh pair of legs the number eight skipped past two tired defenders and went under the posts. Ratciffe successfully converted for a seven-point lead.
Jordan Watts entered the field of play due to an injury, just before half time and it was the returning flying wingman that managed to squeeze in the left corner for the second try of the afternoon. Rattcliffe converted from the touchline for a fourteen-point half time lead and Orrell were in full control.
The travelling support were expecting more of the same in the second half, but Chorley had other ideas and they fired back right from the restart. Starting like men possessed they scored almost immediately and were back in the game.
The relatively easy conversion was missed but was made amends for with a sweetly struck penalty on 53 mins. Chorley then had sustained pressure and territory and when the black and ambers had a player sin binned on 64 mins, it looked like Chorley were going to convincingly win the game.
At this point Orrell could quite easily have given the game up but they didn’t, and they too started to act like men possessed, covering every blade of grass in defence, making several last-ditch tackles.
When the home side eventually scored on 72 minutes, for a few moments at least, Orrell looked done for…… However, Chorley missed the conversation and Orrell were left with a slim 13 – 14 lead.
With the lads back up to 15 players and looking reenergised, they then made significant headway into the Chorley half and although the defence scrambled well, the home aide made an infringement at the ruck and Rattcliffe coolly slotted the penalty from 40 yards out, giving the lads some breathing space at 13 – 17.
Orrell finished the game with some patient and cool-headed rugby and it resulted in a memorable first league win away from home. The game also doubled up as a cup game, so the lads now progress to the second round of the “Robinsons Brewery Bowl”.
The opponents are confirmed as Trafford MV 2nds and the tie will be played on the 06th October 2018.
Some notable performances came from Jack Johnson and Matthew Stafford, who had their first run outs at outside centre and scrum half respectively.
The return of the increasingly energetic Carlton Bramwell was a major plus and James Pearson putting on the shirt for the first time in a month, added some real bite to the bench.