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Rugby U13A V Bilton Grange Preparatory 1st XV

13th September 2017

Pitsford kicked off their 2017 Rugby season with a very hard fought victory over a tough and relentless Bilton side.

The start of the game couldn’t have gone any better for Pitsford as almost a training park start prevailed, the kick off was confidently taken, driven into contact and the ball immediately released through the hangs to set Elliott P off racing through the centres and eventually dotting down under the posts. This marked the start of an excellent game for Elliott.

This may have lured Pitsford into a false sense of security as the next 20 minutes almost entirely belonged to Bilton, who again and again pressed hard into the Pitsford half. The Bilton scrum became increasingly difficult to hold as well, a formidable front row, applying pressure at every opportunity.

Injuries to several players including influential Captain for the game, Jon S added to Pitsford’s troubles here.

The pressure gave the team an excellent chance to show plenty of courage and will in defence with several big tackles being landed, including some excellent hits from Ned B and Charlie J to the fore on several occasions.

One spark of excitement during this Bilton battering of the Pitsford half was a superb skilful chip and collect by centre Joel H, relieving the onslaught for a moment and turning defence into attack.

Eventually this pressure told and despite some heroic tackling desperately trying to repel the strong Bilton ball carriers in wave after wave of attack, the Bilton side eventually crossed.

The introduction of debutant Fin C buoyed the team slightly as he demonstrated himself to be a good addition to the team, bravely defending and moving the ball well in attack.

With just a few minutes left in the half, Pitsford kicked back off with real urgency and got a penalty as the Bilton side failed to retreat onside as they kicked to clear their lines. Quick thinking Elliott P quickly tapped, he switched play back left and expertly completed a 2 on 1 putting the ready and waiting Jake P away who timed him run to perfection to cross in the corner.

This gave Pitsford a half time narrow lead of 10-5 and definitely against the run of the play.

The half time team talk was very positive and gave the Pitsford side a much needed break from the Bilton pressure. The side highlighted the best way to attack and made sure they upped their game at the breakdown.

From kicking off the second half Pitsford went straight into a purple patch and managed to rack up 3 quick scores. Some excellent ball carries from John A and Monte M gave the side the go forward they needed.

First to cross for Pitsford was Full Back Fabian P who joined his brother on the score sheet, after a clean take on a clearance kick, he ran straight, hard and fast he found a gap through the Bilton defence and raced home to touch down.

Next up Elliott P completed the scoring adding 2 more tries and racking up a hat-trick for the afternoon. Firstly he grabbed an interception speed through to the line and rounded off his scoring after masterfully managing to collect his own grubber kick.

Lesser sides may well have seen their heads drop at this stage but Bilton were quite the opposite and were spurred on, particularly by their influential fly half, who rallied to lift his side. His efforts were not without reward and Bilton again fought back ably and scored two tries, to the point where the result was now in doubt.

This gave chance for a more heroic defence and several try saving tackles were enough to maintain Pitsford’s advantage. Two of these by Elliott P who was now clearly turning in a Man of the Match performance.

The final score was a 25-15 win for Pitsford, the team were elated, they had taken their opportunities to score and defended valiantly against a strong Bilton side. An excellent start to the season.

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