FIVE Sin Bins for Coventrians1st XV

Atherstone 1st XV 25 – 14 Coventrians

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2014 12:02pm
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
By Julie Douglas
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If Wordsworth had been wandering around Ratcliffe Road on Saturday it would not have been golden daffodils he saw, it would have been a host of yellow cards as Atherstone’s opponents struggled to keep 15 players on the pitch for the majority of the match. 

A staggering five sin-bins for Coventrians, against two to Atherstone, meant that the visitors were unable to produce a consistent performance for the full eighty.  That having been said, this was not a one-sided affair, rather it was a nip and tuck, tough match which saw Atherstone’s defensive line hold firm to take the win.

In the opening stages of the match both teams set up good attacking platforms however neither side was able to convert the pressure to the scoreboard.  Within the first ten minutes the visitors lost their first player to the bin giving Andy Redman a kick to the posts which he slotted over.  Shortly after, another Coventrians player was dismissed to join his colleague however Atherstone were unable to take advantage of the extra man to add more points.  Eventually another infringement from the Blues gave Atherstone a penalty in the scoring zone enabling Redman to add three more points. A quick tap penalty saw Redman making an incisive run into his opponent’s territory however a cynical tackle stopped Redman in his tracks and saw a third player dispatched to the bin. 

Atherstone extended their score with a converted try which came from another penalty.  George Bartlam kicked to touch for a 5 metre lineout.  Bob Greenway secured the ball and the pack went into motion to move the ball towards the line.  Dean Guy grounded the ball and Bartlam added the conversion to finish off the move he started opening up a thirteen point lead.  The fourth yellow card in the half went to the Ratcliffe Road outfit however excellent tackling from Simon Moore and Jamie Lawrence ensured that the visitors were unable to capitalise on their advantage leaving the half time score at 13-0.

Covents opened their account early in the second half shipping the ball across the park creating an overlap to touch down for a converted try cutting the deficit to six points.  Once again their indiscipline provided the platform for the home side’s second try with Redman kicking a penalty to touch, Greenway catching the ball from the resultant lineout and the pack once again driving towards the line.  Tom Aherne grounded the ball for an unconverted try.  The visitors responded with their own try, mirroring Atherstone’s catch and drive move.  Adding the extras brought them within four points of their hosts.

The men in black rose to the challenge and launched a series of attacks forcing their opponents to defend vigorously.  In their bid to defend Covents found themselves on the wrong side of the referee as he awarded Atherstone a penalty try for persistent infringements within the 5 meter area.  Back chat saw not just one but two Coventrian players leave the field, one as a result of the infringements leading to a penalty try and the second for backchat.  As soon as Redman had kicked the conversion, the game restarted with a penalty kick to the home side. With Coventrians having one prop injured and one prop in the bin, there was no option but to move to passive scrums which worked in the favour of the visitors allowing them to keep possession however superb tackling ensured that any runs towards the line were quickly snuffed out.

All credit to Coventrians, things did not go their way in terms of the referee decisions however this did not stop them from playing with intensity and fighting for the win.  On the day, it was the home side that had the edge, having taken the lead in the first ten minutes and holding onto it with an iron fist.



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