Port Sunlight 17
THE Eagles entertained Port Sunlight at Park Hall on Saturday afternoon and were made to work hard for their victory.
Port put Oswestry on the back foot from the start, with the Eagles having to defend their line as the big Port pack probed for an opening score.
The home side resisted and stood firm even with penalties given against them in the game’s opening stages.
The Eagles then began to take a foothold in the game and imposed themselves on their rivals with a succession of swift counter attacks.
Superb pack play from Oswestry saw Tom Thorpe push his pack forward allowing the impressive Hamish Fuller at 9 to play quick ball to the backs who were eager to support him. Gaz Hughes playing in an unfamiliar position at 10 ran powerfully at the Port defence, released a fantastic quick ball to the hands of Chris Roberts, who found Rob Massam who then found Hughes again who crossed for a superb first try.
With Port Sunlight reeling from the onslaught of the powerful hosts, Rob Massam received the ball from behind the Oswestry 10 metre line, weaved his way through the Port Sunlight backs and scored a fantastic try to the left of the posts to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
The visitors responded well and exerted their own pressure on the game, forcing the Eagles into conceding several penalties.
Port capitalised on one such opportunity to use quick ball to dissect the Eagles rearguard and cross the line to score a well-worked try and reduce arrears to 10-5 at half-time.
Eagles’ coach Gaz Barratt, clearly unimpressed by his side’s first half performance, urged his team to take their chances.
Smarting from the coach’s stern words, the Eagles began to put some excellent play together, but a penalty gave Port the advantage and they took the opportunity to score another try to level the score at 10-10.
The Eagles’ response was almost immediate as Rob Massam again powered through the Port team to score another try and re-establish their five point lead.
Another try quickly followed as Fuller and captain Andy Smith combined well in a maul near the Port try line to allow Chris Hesketh to score and make it 20-10.
Another maul soon afterwards resulted in another try as Hesketh crossed again to give the hosts a 15 point advantage.
Hamish Fuller’s perfectly weighted aerial kick allowed Zak Baldwin to catch and score under the posts, which Dan Williams converted. A last minute Port try proved scant consolation, as the Eagles notched another impressive victory to maintain the pressure on league leaders Liverpool Collegiate.
Next week Oswestry Firsts will play away at Trentham Firsts.