Longton - returning against Silhillians - Joe Gammage, scored a hat-tricl against Earlsdon

Crewe and Nantwich battled out a hard-fought 17-12 victory over Longton in Midlands 2 West( North).

Stout defence in the final few minutes near their own try line kept the visitors at bay to secure the win.

Crewe opened the scoring early on with a penalty by full back Little for 3-0.

However, Longton’s large pack forced a penalty from the restart, which was dispatched to the corner for an attacking line out.

Crewe defended this well but a series of drives from the Longton forwards sucked defenders in giving the visiting centre space to go over for an unconverted try 3-5.

The hosts settled after this and were competing well, especially in the scrum where they struggled in the away fixture.

Another penalty at the breakdown gave Little the chance to kick and regain the lead 6-5.

Crewe were defending well and looked good with the ball in hand and a further Little penalty gave them a half time lead of 9-5.

The tactic of rotating the front row appeared to be working with Crewe holding their own in the scrum and looking the more dangerous going forward.

However, a mistake from a long clearance from the visitors put Crewe under pressure eventually allowing the Longton wing forward to run over under the posts. The converted try saw Longton lead 9-12.

Not long after this Crewe lost captain and centre Josh McShane, forcing a reshuffle moving wing Fenney into the centre and
bringing on back row Cooper on the wing.

A good chase from Cooper resulted in another penalty, which Little slotted from out wide to tie at 12-12.

Longton regrouped to put Crewe under intense pressure in their 22.

But great defence enabled them to break up field.

A couple of lineouts were repelled by Longton but good ball from a scrum allowed Crewe to move the ball out wide and centre Joe Gammage’s (pictured) angled run finished the move off in style 17-12.

Time was nearly up but a series of penalties on the Crewe line looked like giving Longton the chance to pinch the victory.

But superb defence forced the turnover allowing Crewe to kick the ball dead for a hard fought victory

Meanwhile, Crewe & Nantwich Ladies suffered a rare defeat, this time against league leaders Sefton in an away fixture that was
reversed and played at Reaseheath due to pitch availability.

Crewe lost 10-44. They have two league fixtures left, starting with Didsbury this Sunday at home and they need to work hard to cement their place as second in the league.

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