Dom Fawcett doubles as Sandal RUFC avenges earlier loss to Wirral
They weren’t to be disappointed even though the squad selection had to be changed from the previous week with Sandal enjoying a 30-12 win, writes Howard Newton.
The hosts were without captain Austen Thompson and player-coach Joe Bedford, but the changes saw veteran Richard Hoyland take his place in the top tier, some 20 years after his debut.
Nonetheless, the incoming players gave a good image and emerged worthy winners with four tries and a bonus point in recording Sandal’s seventh victory of the season.
Playing against the slope in the first half, the home side took position in the Wirral half from the kick-off from where the visitors infringed, allowing Jake Adams to strike the awarded penalty in the first minute to give his team an early 3. -0 advance.
Sandal continued to attack, keeping Wirral in his own half, and in the 14th minute after a scrum the ball was passed down the line to Dom Fawcett who worked his way up the pitch to score in the corner.
The conversion kick missed its target, Sandal had extended their lead to 8-0.
What followed was a long spell in which the home side were in charge and had several chances to score after revealing attacking moves, but with crucial passes dropped or players held over the line , they could not add to their advantage.
But in first-half stoppage time, Luke Adams easily converted a penalty to make it 11-0 at the break.
With Sandal now having the downhill advantage, a lot was expected, but it was Wirral who started the run in the second half, forcing his opponents to put their defensive skills into play with some success.
So much so that in the 53rd minute, Luke Adams paused at the halfway line before passing the baton to Fawcett who headed over to the line to score his second try of the afternoon. With the original playmaker kicking off the conversion, the score rose to 18-0.
After four more minutes, it was time for Wirral to show his scoring ability with a break from the slope, which resulted in an unconverted try into the top corner to make it 18-5.
Sandal remained in control with the play in midfield until James Ellar intercepted midfield and edged the defense to score a solo try. Jake Adams added the extras and the hosts had an unassailable 20-point lead after 64 minutes.
Undeterred, Wirral fought back two minutes later and went on the attack to score a well-constructed try, which was converted.
But as full time approached, Sandal put a penalty on the line and from the ensuing line-out Jake Adams made a telling break. As he was tackled, he passed the baton to his brother Luke Adams who easily crossed the whitewash to score his team’s bonus points try.
He remained unconverted, but the final score of 30-12 gave Sandal a well-deserved victory.
Interestingly, the points scored by Jake Adams in the game took his season total over the 100 mark – an achievement worthy of his first full year in the Sandal first team.
Sandal have one game left this season when they travel to play Alnwick on Saturday April 23 and finish 11th.