Amber Valley RUFC hosted a home Midlands Three East (North) game against Grimsby on Saturday which always promises to be a hard battle – and it didn’t disappoint.
The game started with Grimsby kicking off and it wasn’t long until the action started to unfold.
The first opportunities came the way of the away side. The first chance was one they couldn’t take due to the strong defence on the left hand side of the Valley defence.
Grimsby’s next chance was one they were able to convert, playing the ball quickly from the back of the ruck, putting it through hands and eventually putting the centre through a gap to go in for the first try of the game, which they converted.
Things didn’t get any better for Amber Valley due to an injury to their experienced hooker Mark Burditt, who was out for the rest of the game, and probably for several weeks.
Valley didn’t let this bring them down as the home side started to play their way back into the game and, soon after, their first chance came.
Valley started to pile on the pressure with a fantastic kick down field by Shaun Dowdall and, from that kick, the home team showed excellent pressure and forced an error from the oncoming attacker as it resulted in a knock-on.
Valley formed the scrum and the pack dominated and pushed the defending team back to their line and while the number 8 Adie Head fell on the ball over the line, a penalty try was awarded anyway.
Valley continued to dominate the back end of the first half.
At half-time Amber Valley coach Tom Uniacke talked about the dominance and control that the home side had in the end of the first half and said that concentration in defence and territory would be key to winning the game.
At the start of the second half, Valley continued what they had started and camped in Grimsby’s half.
The second try was created from Valley pressure on the Grimsby attack, the Grimsby ten tried a crossfield kick but only found Valley’s Stewart Kirkup who fielded it, stepped past the first defender and then used his pace and handed off the covering defender to score a great try in the corner.
Straight from the kick-off, Valley were awarded a penalty from 30 metres out, central to the posts, which was converted by Shaun Dowdall to put Valley a crucial eight points ahead at 15-7.
The home side continued their constant pressure and again were rewarded as the away team tried to play their way out of defence. A dropped pass presented the experienced winger Kirkup with another chance, scooping up the ball up and racing to the line.
Valley continued their relentless pressure with the boot of Shaun Dowdall and Lee Chapman pinning Grimsby down in their own half and eventually claimed a 22-7 win.
The Fizzio Fit Man of the Match, chosen by the referee was Stew Kirkup with his constant running and strength constantly giving the Grimsby defence problems.
Amber Valley face a tough game at Kesteven but will take a lot of confidence lot of team spirit from their performance.