Novos 40, Acklam 34 - Chater-ed
Lewis Chater scored four tries and Tom Winnings two as Novos finished January with a 4 from 4 record with a win at Acklam.
The group prepared pretty well this week with rather generic sessions due to weather conditions - heavy frost on both evenings led to more fun and less organisational work which is not a bad thing I guess.
Christian Selkirk was a late cry off after having an allergic reaction to something - always a risk in his line of work. David Marshall answering the last minute call to travel down to Acklam - well done David.
Conditions were pretty windy, mainly going across the field but slightly at our backs in the first half. This allowed Nick Bellamy to put in some telling kick for territory in the early exchanges. Our line out was loaded with options as Chris Ward, Adam McDonald, Darren Kelly and debutant Alex Cleminson are all threats in the air. From such line out pressure we forced them into early mistakes and we drove one deep into Acklams 22m. An outside break by Nick Bellamy and he then off loaded to Tom Winning to crash over next to the posts. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart for a 7-0 lead.
Acklam responded well and were as dominant in the scrum as we were in the line out. After a few penalties they went in for a good team try to level things up 7-7.
Chris Ward secured another line out from an Acklam throw and Lewis Chater hit Josh Stacey on the blind. We then did a nice carry into Acklams defensive line shortening it. Nick Bellamy then through a lovely pass out to Tom Winning who was in a huge whole created by Sam Busby's line. He went in relatively untouched for his second of the game, conversion again added by Shaun Stewart. Novos up 14-7.
The kick off didn't go ten - although I wasn't present the lads executed a beautiful 8 to 9 then kick to the corner. Perhaps I need to be away more often as I've been telling them for ages that some times it's easier to not have the ball. Lewis Chater executed the kick perfectly as the Acklam 15 could only take it across the touch line. Sam Busby reacted quicker than anyone else, grabbed the ball and threw it into Chater before the Acklam plays could get back into play. Lewis Chater in for his second to make it 19-7.
We looked like we were going to finish the half on top as Darren Kelly made a great carry off the back of the scrum before an on fire Lewis Chater kicked over the ruck. We forced a 5m scrum but sadly Sam Busby injured a hamstring in the play and was replaced by David Marshall. The half ended with Acklam's left winger causing us a lot of problems. They broke from their own half and we were forced to make some great covering tackles by Tom Winning and David Marshall. After a succession of penalties near our line Acklam forced their way over to make it 19-14 at half time.
The second half started as the first ended as we fell foul of the whistle and Acklam kicked a penalty to make it 19-17 after 45 mins - game on. We were into the wind second half and Acklam were looking to cause an upset now. However, Lewis Chater was having one of the games of his young life.
We stole another line out and Chater fed Josh Stacey who monstered through a couple of tackles before offloaded back for Chater to run in from 40m untouched. Conversion added by Stewart to push us out to a 26-17 lead.
Chater's next moment was to take a quick tap which resulted an Acklam player seeing yellow as he was tackled by a player not retreating the 10m.
He was not finished there though as David Marshall made a great break and whilst the defence was recovering Chater picked and went at the ruck for another untouched try. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart and we looked clear at 33-17.
I am sure the next piece of footage may go viral as it's some of the sneakiest work I've ever seen. Acklam had a scrum in our half and looked to do a dummy switch then scissor with the blindside wing. Lewis Chater saw through the move and made a line for where he thought the pass would occur. With perfect timing he ghosted between the Acklam 10 and 14 to grab the ball and sprint 60m again untouched. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart to make the game safe at 40-17.
Acklam had been a tough opponent all afternoon and were desperate to get something out of the game. A menacing attack was halted by a deliberate knock on and Shaun Stewart was yellow carded. In an incredible last ten mins Acklam scored three tries to secure a losing bonus point as well as a point for scoring four tries or more.
Final score 40-34. A great result for the group as we went unbeaten for January wining all four games. The boys overcome so real barriers to get the win including a late cry off, injury to top try scorer Sam Busby and were without a coach for the entire afternoon. It was great to have injured players in Rich Harrison, Jez Nash, George Bambrick and Sean Ramsay take control of the match - although it would appear their stress levels were different to a Saturday on the other side of the white line !!
Thank you to the ref - an entertaining affair with little or no foul play as the two yellow cards for were for cynical actions.
Acklam - thankfully a game is 80 mins as if it was just about the last 20 you have pounded us in both fixtures in the last quarter. In doing so you have scored some great team tries and earned your club league points when all looked lost - great spirit shown by your players.
Novos - great win to end a good month. Enjoyed watching the footage on You Tube - Chater's intercept should get some media plaudits I'm sure. Thought the back row did well including Alex Cleminson on debut, line out was dominant once again. Although, the passing wasn't fantastic I thought Lewis Chater and Nick Bellamy controlled the game well at times. Out wider Tom Winning showed his class and I thought David Marshall had a great cameo off the bench.
Man of the Match went to Lewis Chater - no real surprise.
Richard of the Day went to Sam Busby for not scoring on his final appearance before jetting off to Aussie. Although he was heavily involved in setting up two tries before getting injured.
Next week is huge - league and National Cup double header against Westoe at Sutherland Park. Be sure to get to training and give yourself every chance in getting in the squad.
I might even see you there if I cause enough issues at home so that Mrs Leask kicks me out of the house for the day - Up the Vos !