Jordan and Alfie Splintering the Wilmslow defense (1)

Crewe & Nantwich Senior Academy clinched the Cheshire Plate final with a nail-biting 22-19 victory over Wilmslow, writes Pete Evans.

In the final game of their season, Crewe produced a fine display on the all-weather pitch at Lymm to end the campaign with a trophy.

From the kick off Crewe established field position and quickly forced a penalty, to go three points up through the boot of Lynch.

Both sides looked for openings and getting to grips with each other.

Wilmslow looked to kick for territory and keep C&N in their own half, and the tactics paid off when they found the first opening under a penalty advantage and went over to take the lead 3–7.

With the wind still causing issues, Wilmslow kept the ball in hand with the forwards and put pressure on Crewe.

But then a pass by Wilmslow was stolen out of the hands by Jacob, who broke free to make ground.

Logan kicking the points (1)
Logan kicking the points

He suffered a serious knock to the shoulder in a high tackle and had to leave the field to a well-earned round of applause.

Logan kicked the penalty to make it 6 – 7, and soon after slotted another penalty over for an offside to give Crewe a 9-7 lead.

Crewe then took advantage of a great lineout maul to set up camp on the Wilmslow five metre line.

After a look at space on the right, the ball went back into the blindside where from a well-formed ruck, Josh made no mistake with a pick and drive to get over the line and Crewe led 14 – 7 at the break.

The second half was more open as Wilmslow looked to keep the ball in hand.

Strong Crewe defence saw them make little inroads and when handling let them down, Luke picked up a loose ball and kicked through to put Wilmslow back on their 22.

Both sides had attacks which were foiled by excellent defensive work.

Forwards giving Tom Ryle an arm chair ride (1)
Forwards giving Tom Ryle an arm chair ride

Wilmslow finally took advantage of their territory and from a lineout ran a training field move to go over and bring the score to 14 –12.

Crewe’s forwards began to get on top of the battle and were rewarded with a penalty that Logan slotted to extend the lead to 17 – 12.

But from the kick off Wilmslow found a gap and raced through to go over for a try and take a 17-19 lead.

As the minutes ticked down, Wilmslow elected to play out of their half and keep the ball.

But Crewe forced a knock on and set themselves up to unleash their own training pitch move.

The ball quickly went wide and through the hands of Logan, Ben, Jarrod and Bob before Harry dived over in the corner for a dramatic late score.

They saw out the last few minutes of a tense affair to seal the win.

For Crewe & Nantwich Senior Academy, it brought to a close a first season of success winning both its league competitions and the Cheshire Plate.

(Images and report by Pete Evans)

Dan Mckenna Securing the lineout (1)
Dan Mckenna securing the lineout
Squad Celebrates
Crewe & Nantwich squad celebrates victory
Captain fantastic Jacob (1)
Captain fantastic Jacob

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