eli woodward for Crewe v Dronfield

Crewe & Nantwich 1sts earned a morale-boosting victory over visitors Dronfield thanks to hat-trick hero Eli Woodward to progress in the Midlands Intermediate Cup.

The hosts put their struggles in the league behind them in what coach John Farr called a “confidence boost” ahead of the league clash with leaders Ludlow.

But Dronfield made sure this was no easy win, and with the wind behind early on had Crewe under pressure, keeping the ball alive and eventually allowing there number 8 to go over near posts 0-7.

Crewe hit back through good work at breakdown forcing a penalty, which was well converted against the wind by fly half Jim Creighton 3-7.

This settled the hosts and a kick to the corner from a penalty set up a line-out drive which gave hooker Eli Woodward his first try of the game 10-7.

Against a strong wind, Crewe then failed to clear their lines enabling the visitors to run the ball back, their right winger going over in the corner 10-12.

From the restart Crewe forced a penalty which was well converted by Creighton for 13-12, but from the restart Dronfield forced the ball deep into the Crewe 22.

A series of drives eventually released their right wing to score in the corner, making the half time score 13-17.

The second half started evenly, but Crewe gained the upper hand as centres Tom McGuire and Andre Zwigen began punching holes in the visitors’ defence.

They set up good ruck ball for the forwards who were starting to dominate the scrums and line-outs.

The pressure soon paid dividends with Woodward going over for his second try to make it 20-17.

Crewe then used their bench bringing on Thomas Roberts for McGuire in the centre and Sean O’Leary and Scott Heriene replacing Matt Standley and old warehorse Phylis
Allcock in the forwards.

The injection of fresh legs paid dividends, Roberts punching the ball up in the centre supported by O’Leary and Heriene and this collective impact gave hooker Woodward the chance to force his way over for a well deserved hat trick, making it 27-17.

Eli Woodward - RUFC 1sts against Dronfield

The result was sealed by prop forward Chris Sproston who found the energy to go over for a try out wide on the right for a final score of 32-17.

Head coach John Farr said: “It was a great to get a win after a frustrating run of games, where the potential of the team hasn’t quite been realised.

“It’s a confidence boost going into a difficult game against Ludlow.

“It was nice to see the lads grow into the game rather than watch it get away from us. I’m proud of the character shown by a great set of players.

“Icing on the cake was a tremendous set of results across all teams. Spirit in the club is great at the moment.”

The 2nds secured a fine 48-24 victory over New Brighton, while the 3rds continued their strong run with a thumping 64-17 win away at Winnington Park.

The club’s Junior U17 Colts (pictured, below) also celebrated a fine victory when they came away from West Park (St Helens) with 22-10 win.

Crewe & Nantwich Colts

(Pics courtesy of Sue Ridout)

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