Amber Valley battle hard in away loss

Amber Valley 14

Mellish 22

AMBER Valley RFC 1sts travelled away for a very tough game at Melilsh, hoping to get revenge for the loss in the cup at the beginning of the season.

Valley started very brightly, immediately taking control and dominating early on. It wasn’t long before the chances started to come for the away side.

The first chance came from a brilliant break from Valley centre Will Hargreaves, getting to the Mellish 22 and, from the ruck, the ball was quickly recycled left through hands, eventually finding its way to in-form winger Arron Robinson, outpacing and handing off his opposite man and running into the corner to get the first Amber Valley try, which Shaun Dowdall converted.

Valley continued the pressure, which led to the next try ten minutes later.

This proved to be a good forwards try, working it up the middle when eventually Steve Richter made the break, using his strength by breaking through a couple of tackles.

He was eventually tackled but, before going to the ground, he was able to get the ball away superbly to supporting player Ashley Allen, who raced to the line to score Valley’s second try of the game. Shaun Dowdall added his second conversion.

Valley started to struggle towards the back end of the half. Mellish had been very good in the scrums, often overpowering the Valley pack.

Just before the half-time whistle, Mellish had their only chance of the half and would take it in controversial circumstances. The Mellish number ten kicked to the right winger who caught the ball and then kicked it on for the full back to chase.

As the ball crossed the line, the full back touched the ball down but, in Valley’s view, looked to have knocked it on first but the referee deemed it a try. The score at half time was 14-5 to Amber Valley.

The second half started with Amber Valley having all the possession and playing most of the half in Mellish territory.

Valley’s next chance came through quick hands and the ball was quickly passed out to the left. Steve Leadbetter broke through the line. With Arron Robinson in support, he decided to go alone but was tackled just before the line and then gave away a penalty for holding on to the ball too long.

From that point, Mellish took heart and came back into the game. The first of three Mellish tries would come from good wide play, passing it out to the left wing.

The full back released the Mellish left winger, who only just got to the line due to a fantastic tackle by full back Will Hargreaves. The next try would come soon after, with Mellish putting constant pressure on the Valley defence.

The home side kicked the ball deep into the corner, five metres out from the line.

Valley won the lineout and passed the ball to Shaun Dowdall, who tried to clear the ball via the boot but the fast defence charged down the kick. Mellish were first to the ball to score the try which they converted, which put Mellish in the lead and the score at 17-14.

Mellish’s next try was another good wide move out on their left, the winger broke through but Amber Valley’s cover defence caught him. The winger managed to release the full back, who kicked over to the opposite wing where the winger was in open space and ran in an easy try which took the score to 22-14.

Valley didn’t give up as they spent the last five minutes camped on the Mellish line and could have had a bonus point as Valley was awarded a penalty but it was decided that Valley would kick to the corner, instead of going for the sticks. From the lineout, the Valley forwards won the ball and battered the home side’s line but could find no way through. The final score remained 22-14.

Valley felt very frustrated as they dominated the game overall but due to poor decision making, ill discipline and poor tackling once again came away with no points.

The Fizzio Fit Man of the Match was Ashley Allen, because of his constant pressure on the Mellish players and for finishing a good try.

Valley host Lincoln at home next week, which now seems to be a must-win game.