Year 8 Rugby

Second half surge stuns Swinton to seal silverware...

On Monday night, the Year 8 Rugby team made their way to the AJ Bell Stadium to take on Swinton in the Salford Schools’ Championship final. Having faced each other in last week’s Sevens Cup final, this promised to be an entertaining showpiece.

It was Swinton who started the stronger of the two sides, racing into an early 10-0 lead thanks to two tries from their strong running loose forward. After the setback of conceding twice, Walkden set about playing some phases of play and were rewarded when George Bailey set up William Toone who crashed over from close range to bring the score back to 10-4. Swinton’s response was to cross for a third try of the half as once more the boys’ fell off tackles at the vital time, 14-4. Staring down the barrel at this point, the boys regrouped under the posts and straight away regained possession from the kick off. After moving the ball from left to right and then back again, Tom Rawding found himself in space to touch down in the corner to make it 14-8. Then with time running out in the half, another sustained set of pressure on the Swinton line was rewarded when Toone dived over to make the half time scoreline 14-12. Game on.

The half time teamtalk was very positive as, all of a sudden, the boys believed that they could turn the match around in their favour. However, with the first plays of the half, Swinton extended their lead to six points again as they crossed in the corner after a neat offload and finish. With only a converted try separating the sides, the next score was going to prove crucial. For the first time, Walkden’s defence held firm and resisted all that Swinton threw at them, before a line break by Ben Gore set the platform for the remainder of the half. Beck Ebsworth’s break took Walkden into the Swinton half and after a scrum on halfway, Ebsworth found himself in the clear to touch down. Danny Stone’s first conversion of the game proved
ital as it tied the game at 18-18. At this point, the boys sensed that this was their chance and when the ball was collected by from the kick off, Walkden were on the front foot. The black and amber tide was flowing towards the Swinton line and Bailey broke clear before offloading to Max Mulligan who withstood the tacklers to dive over for the all important score.

Stone’s conversion struck the post so Walkden’s first lead of the game stayed at 4 points. The boys survived a nervy final few minutes, and could have completed the comeback but Harry Watson was denied in the corner. The full time whistle sounded to spark mass celebration from all involved! What a game, what a comeback and a deserved victory for the team. Well done to the boys for their efforts this year, and thank you to all our parents for their support on the night.

Squad: Harry Watson, Tom Morris, George Bailey, Ben Gore, Lewis Anderson, Danny Stone, Tom Rawding, William Toone, Max Mulligan, Brody Howell-Partington, Liam Thornton, Jamie Fielding, Beck Ebsworth, Alex Park, Ben Lowe.

Mr A Tobutt

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