Crewe & Nantwich RUFC 1sts rugby v Leek 2

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC 1sts suffered a last minute defeat away at league Leaders Birkenhead Park, going down 24-21.

A try from a cross-field kick in the final play of the game saw the hosts snatch victory after they had trailed to Crewe for most of the game.

Crewe were forced to make some late changes to the squad through a mix of injury, illness and unavailability.

It meant that several new players were brought into the squad, all of whom acquitted themselves well to demonstrate the depth of the squad that Crewe are developing.

The visitors started the game against the elements and BP came charging out the blocks.

Some solid defensive work resisted BP’s attempts to cross the whitewash.

In fact, it was Crewe who scored first, Manaton on the end of a nice set piece move to score his first of the afternoon, 0-7.

Crewe defended solidly for the rest of the half against strong pressure from BP.

That pressure finally told as the leaders found a way over the line during injury time of the first half as Crewe conceded penalty after penalty leaving the score 5-7 at half time.

The second half started brightly for Crewe with Josh McShane going over the line early doors.

BP responded by gaining field position in the Crewe 22 and rolled over a well formed maul, closing the gap to 12-14.

Crewe scored again after a nice break from Marcus Dockery to provide Manaton with his second of the afternoon, 12-21 with 15 minutes to go.

BP continued to press and forced a couple of penalties which provided field position from which they moved the ball wide nicely before Crewe missed a tackle allowing the winger to score in the corner, 17-21.

The game was poised for a tense finish and Crewe continued to defend strongly until the last play of the match deep into injury time.

A nice cross field kick on the advantage allowed the winger to touch down, leaving the final score 24-21 to BP.

The two sides meet again on Wednesday February 21 in the Cheshire Vase Cup Final under lights at Chester.

In the league, attentions turn to Bowdon, who are second in the league who come to Crewe on February 17 where Crewe look to avenge their defeat from earlier in the season.

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