Rugby Sevens - Crewe & Nantwich RUFC player Eli Woodward

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC pushed last season’s runners up Bournville all the way in a classic encounter in Birmingham.

The hosts started strongly and Crewe allowed them too much space for a simple opening score, which was easily converted.

The size of the Bournville pack put pressure on Crewe’s stubborn and well organised defence.

But from a 5m lineout, the ball was efficiently moved out to the midfield, and a well worked move put the strong Bournville centre under the posts for another converted try and a 14-0 lead.

The hosts continued to pressure but Crewe’s defence showed determination to repel waves of attacks.

The back row of Elliot Alston, Josh Collins, and Oli Buckley were magnificent, as were the Crewe midfield of Ben Stelmaszek and Toby Russell Vick.

Bournville began to kick ball deep to gain field position, which allowed Crewe’s backs of Joe Gammage, Tom Roberts and Grant Coiley to combine in counter attacks.

Well marshalled by scrum half Alex Caldwell, Crewe began to take more control of the first half.

On the half hour, Coiley read a Bournville play and intercepted a wide pass to run in a try under the posts from the halfway line, duly converted by Jim Creighton for 14-7.

Crewe turned up the pressure in the remaining minutes of the first half, penning Bourneville back in their 22m.

Finally, Bourneville were forced to concede a penalty in front of their posts, which also earned a yellow card. Creighton took the points and Crewe trailed 14-10 at the break.

In the second half, the game was played at a high tempo, with both teams looking capable of scoring.

But it was Bourneville who struck first, with a well worked move that sent a centre in for a try, running a good line after Crewe had defended numerous phases.

Poor concentration in defence caught Crewe out for a fourth Bourneville try.

From a penalty, the quick-witted Bourneville 10 noticed his right winger wide out on Crewe’s left touchline, and put the ball in his hands with an excellent kick.

Tom Roberts excellent tackle almost prevented the try, but it was now 26-10 to the hosts.

A strong carry by Crewe’s Ben Stelmaszek resulted in a penalty just outside the Bourneville 22m.

And great support play around Stelmaszek saw the ball moved to Eli Woodward and the hooker ran the ball over the line for a try which Creighton converted for 26-17.

Bourneville added a fifth try from short range to make it 33-17.

With 11 minutes left, Crewe won a penalty in midfield.

An excellent touch kick from Creighton gave Crewe a 5m lineout.

The ball was worked to Josh Collins at the back of the maul and a powerful drive reached the Bourneville line.

The referee was in a great position to see Collins had touched down. Creighton knocked the conversion over, and Crewe were back to 33-24.

With four minutes left, Crewe launched an attack from right to left, and then swept the ball back to the right.

Centre Toby Russell-Vick put Joe Gammage into space down the right. He outpaced the scrambling defence to score in the corner.

Creighton’s conversion hit the post and bounced out, leaving the final score 33-29.

Crewe earned a 4-try bonus point and losing bonus point, despite remaining without a win from their first three league games.

Crewe & Nantwich Head Coach Andy Dudley said: “This is one of the most difficult away games of the season.

“Obviously I would have liked the win, and in many respects we deserved the win, but we’re happy with the two points.

“After our difficult start to the season, we showed today what this squad is capable of.

“New players take time to gel and build an understanding, and new structures and patterns take time to bed in.

“Very importantly we tightened up our exits, made friends with the referee, and played with much more patience.

“The lads are working hard, there’s a great feeling in the team, and we’re looking forward to the Burton game.”

Crewe & Nantwich’s next game is at home to leaders Burton on Saturday September 24, kick off 3pm.

Meanwhile, Crewe & Nantwich 2nds won 50-36 against Burnage 2nds, to move into third in the league table.

This sets up a tasty encounter with Broughton Park next Saturday.

One Comment

  1. George Cadbury says:

    It’s Bournville.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.