relegation battle - Toby Ward, Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, versus Leek

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC notched a vital 24-20 win with a bonus point over Barker Butts.

But it was a disappointing performance in which both sides showed the effects of a two-week break with little training.

Crewe were the first to score from an early line break by full-back Toby Ward (pictured).

The ball was moved to Kirk Robinson and scrum-half Charlie Hutchings on the right before it was passed to winger Joe Gammage, who outpaced the cover  to score an unconverted try in the corner.

The Barker Butts flanker then scored in the right hand corner from quick service after a maul.

After 20 minutes, prop forward James Guy carried into the Barker Butts defence releasing Hutchings, who broke and fed wing Tim Cowap wide on the left.

Cowap charged 40m down the touch line handing off defenders to score a fine try.

After several phases of play, Cowap made another run and scored his second try for the score to be 17-5 at half-time.

In the second half, after a powerful drive in the scrum,  Crewe flanker Pat Fray disrupted the scrum-half who dropped the ball and it was fly hacked through by a Crewe player from 50m out.

Ward, continued the chase and scored a converted try as he dived on the loose ball over the Barker Butts line.

Barker Butts scored two consolation tries and also awarded two yellow cards to Crewe for mystery infringements.

Man of the match was 18-year-old second row Pat Fray, who was involved in the action all over the pitch.

However, Crewe gained five league points and are now in fifth position in Midlands 1 West, only eight points from second spot.

Crewe & Nantwich travel to Berkswell and Balsall Common RFC this Saturday January 10 to seek a first away win of the year.

“Berkswell beat second-placed Worcester last week, so it will be a real challenge for our boys,” said C&N director of rugby Andy Brown.

A bus departs for Berkswell at 10.30am, £5 per seat. Contact Andrew Brown on 07519 564978 to book a seat.

Meanwhile, Crewe & Nantwich 2nds and 4ths both notched valuable wins at the weekend and remain in contention for promotion in their leagues.

The 3rds are seeking their first win of the year this weekend at home under new captain Dylan Bratherton.

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