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Pitt Hat Trick Helps Walsall

Walsall 41 Old Laurentians 31

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2013 12:04pm
St. Matthew's, Walsall
By Arnold Evans
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This was a very entertaining game on a blustery afternoon at Delves Road. The spectators were treated to some good rugby with both teams committing to a run and support style of play.

The hosts seemed to be struggling to stay in touch with three minutes of the first half to play. Although they had the advantage of a stiff breeze, they found themselves trailing 17 – 5.  Jon Bean had kicked a penalty for Laurentians and converted tries by Ben Wiles and Dom Hammond. The hosts had an early score after centre Roger Weston made a strong counter attack run off a wayward Laurentians clearance kick.  He found No 8 Dan Simpson in support and he powered through from twenty meters. But, as in recent matches, Walsall failed to capitalise on the opportunities they created and the visitors came back with two well-taken scores. Indeed they could have easily added two more tries, but a knock on and a forward pass resulted in the scores being disallowed. The final three minutes of the half proved to be a fruitful time for the home team. Simpson made another strong run which resulted in a penalty which Weston converted. Roger Weston then returned the restart kick off with a long clearance kick. Flanker Connor McGuirk gave chase and then charged down the defensive clearance kick, gathered the ball and dived over for the try.                  Walsall were forced to make changes at half time with injury forcing the influential Mike Benson to leave the field. But the team put together some good attacks during the first quarter of the half with Max Hughes,Harvey Wootton,Chris Mould and Paul Naylor making strong, defence splitting runs. But chances seemed to be missed when a lineout catch and drive was halted. However, a powerful drive pushed the visitors scrum back and then some quick passing put winger Dave Pitt away to score a fine team try. Weston added the conversion to give his team a three point lead. This lead was short lived as the hosts struggled to make progress and the visitors won possession and produced some fine off-loading skills which resulted in, the ever present, No 8 Glenn Todd going over for a try near the corner flag. Bean’s excellent conversion added another two points. Walsall, too their credit, worked hard to get back into the game and a quickly taken Pittaway penalty restored their lead. He linked up with Matt Wood, the fly half sent a long defence splitting pass to Weston, who again timed his pass well for Pitt to cross for his second try. Weston again added a good conversion. But in this incredible contest, Laurentians regained the lead with eight minutes left to play. Todd won possession in Walsall’s twenty two and then made good ground before finding lock forward Anderson in support. He crashed through to touch down near the posts. Bean’s conversion making the score 27 – 31. The end to end action continued for the final five minutes with the hosts scoring another fine try. Flanker Max Hughes made good ground before being stopped. The penalty was quickly taken and once again good passing between Wood,Wootton,Weston and Mould saw winger Pitt being given the space to race away for his third try and Walsall’s bonus point score. The final play of the game resulted in the visitors conceding another try after Pitt collected a clearance kick and linked up with Mould. The Walsall full back found Jack Crowhurst in support, he made good ground before passing to Hughes. The flanker burst onto the pass and found No8 Simpson on his shoulder. A switch of direction resulted in fly half Wood finding prop forward Russ Gauden in support. He did well to time his pass to give Weston the room to break through and reach over the line for the touchdown. Weston then proceeded to put over his fourth successful conversion to complete the scoring and bring an entertaining game to an end.

This Saturday Walsall make their first ever visit to Silhillians for their latest Midlands One West encounter

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