Ellesmere Rugby & HockeyTrip to the Isle of Man

Ellesmere V King Williams Isle of Man 27/9/05.

We were superbly hosted by King Williams, Isle of Man for the weekend. In an excellent venue overlooking the sea we stayed in a boarding house, shared with the Ellesmere girls hockey XI.


Match conditions were awkward with a strong gusty wind blowing downfield. The wind was strong enough to make kicking against it almost impossible and so each half was going to be tactically very different. After losing the toss we ended up going with the wind, something we would have chosen to do anyway.


We signaled our intentions by driving over the opposition in the first ruck after they had caught our kick off. We then played for position neatly before launching a number of attacks. We kicked the first three points after they killed the ball, and then continued to keep the opposition under pressure. We were well tackled in the backs although we managed to get some clean breaks out wide, unfortunately we seemed unable to finish despite only having the full back to beat on a number of occasions.


The forwards kept a steady supply of possession coming back from both scrum and a well organized lineout. King Williams competed well in the loose and slowed our ball up well. Halfway through the first half just as we were starting to become impatient, James Farrell broke through what had previously a well guarded area down the side of the ruck and went in under the posts giving us a 10 0 lead. It looked as though this slender lead would be all we would have to defend second half until with five minutes to go we pressurized the King Williams line and took a catch and drive at number 2 from Laurence Cartwright. As we were about to go over the line the ball was stolen by James Farrell to claim the try. From the kickoff with a couple of minutes to go Laurence took a great catch and drove downfield breaking through their forwards. From the ruck Jake Asplin carved through the midfield and then spun the ball wide for Pat Cudmore to go over and provide a 22-0 lead at halftime.


In the second half we began strongly and won a number of scrums in the oppositions 22. We eventually moved the ball directly from Will Blackwell at No8 out to Steve Bannister who forced his way over in the corner. To score so soon after half time after finishing the first half strongly knocked the stuffing out of King Williams. It took them a while to get back on track and try to take advantage of the conditions. Eventually after a good chip into the corner we were put under a period of pressure and a succession of line outs close to our line. Although we won the ball a couple of times we failed to clear our lines and in the end gave a soft try away. With fifteen minutes to go we closed the game down with good tackling and defense structure and ended up worthy winners.



James A 3,  Farrell J 5,  James A 2,  Farrell J 5, Cudmore P 5,  James A 2,  Bannister 5




24th September 2005  Back to News