All Fingers & Thumbs
By Matthew Faulkner
Derby Day Glory
The local derby is always a big game regardless of league position. However this time both teams were on a fantastic run of form. Crewe sat top of the tree and were 9 from 9 in the league and Sandbach were 8 unbeaten, sat in 3rd. It had all the ingredients to be a fantastic contest.
Sandbach knew they would need to be on top of their game from the whistle to give them the best chance of bringing Crewe's winning run to an end and taking all the points to continue their climb to the top of the table was a must!
Sandbach opted to kick off and the reliable boot of Rob Owen put the ball high and short. Tom King began the game how he ultimately finished it, with intensity and desire. Chasing the kick off he put the catcher under pressure forcing a knock on. Sandbach found themselves with a set play opportunity and a chance to test Crewe with something straight off the training ground.
Following a bit of open play, both teams had the opportunity to test each other around the park. But Sandbach tails started to lift when Crewe struggled to secure their own ball and get out of their own half. Sandbach maintained the pressure with some hard working forwards and fast running backs and it wasn't long until Tom 'the gap' Bradfield did just that and found himself running over the whitewash as he does most weeks.
Cautious not to underestimate their opposition, Sandbach were back ready to receive the kick off, 0-0 the mentality. After all, these boys were 9 from 9 and we've seen many games turn at the drop of a hat.
The Crewe fly-half put the Sandbach kick receivers under some pressure with an impressive high ball dropping consistently on the 22 with enough air time for the chasing winger to be under it each time. Sandbach remained composed and managed to comfortably catch and retain possession under each and every kick.
Back on the attack and Sandbach did what they've done all season so far, stick to the patterns and trust every man to do their job. With these tactics imprinted on their brains, it wasn't long until Tom Bradfield found himself touching down for another impressive score.
It would be a very long match report to detail every try and how it happened, so in summary:
Tom Bradfield x4
Connor Radcliffe x1
Tom King x1
Richard Cannon x1
Matthew Faulkner x1
Miles Couling x1
Rob Owen = 6 conversions
The standout stat is the tries scored but The other side of the scoreline, another clean sheet for Sandbach and having only conceeded 90 points in all 10 games Sandbach have shown that they can not only find the oppositions try line but defend their own!
Crewe knew they were well beat in all aspects of the game and unfortunately around the 60 minute mark Crewe resorted so some unsportsmanlike behaviour and the mystery finger snatcher is still at large. Prop Jake Wright left the park heading for A&E with a dislocated thumb, 2 minutes later Tom King needed attention for a dislocated finger, Rob Owen received the same treatment but managed to reposition it himself quickly and finally Matt Faulkner had the same treatment but managed to escape the mystery man's grasp before one of his piggies went to market. Following a chat to the referee, he pulled everyone in from both sides to express his disappointment.
A disappointing finish from Crewe but a fantastic mature performance from Sandbach and with all 4 points, Bach tighten it up at the top of the table with only 1 point separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd and keep the winning run going.
Linley next week and a quarter final cup game the week after. #B4L