Firsts well beaten at Grimsby
By Dan Preece
Grimsby 1st XV 29 Pts
East Retford 1st XV 12 Pts
Retford travelled to second placed Grimsby knowing a crucial win would boost their hopes of staying top. On a great afternoon for rugby, Grimsby dominated the first half in both possession and territory. Wave after wave of attacks and strong forward play led to the replacement of Michael Green early on, a huge blow to Retford’s defence.
From a five metre scrum the Grimsby number 8 picked up and powered over the line. Two further tries followed for Grimsby who proved their league position in second, both from turnover ball at the ruck and explosive attacking running.
Retford were never really allowed to play and 19-0 down at half time had a lot of work to do to pull the game back. Retford struck first in the second half through Chris Trenham out wide.
Building some pressure of their own, Retford was able to use good hands down the line to free space for Trenham to score. Grimsby however replied with more dominant play and replied with a penalty kick and fourth bonus point try with their winger stretching to score.
The defensive efforts of Josh Nicklin, Simon Phillips and Ryan Mellins must not go unmentioned who on a number of occasions drove Grimsby players back in the tackle area. In a last ditch attempt to salvage the game, Will Wilkinson drove forward and released Ed Driver who made an impact off the bench. He offloaded to centre Nicklin who raced over to score, quickly converted by Palmer, the score 29-12.
Grimsby then did everything they could to slow Retford’s impetus to see out the remaining 10 minutes. A disappointing afternoon in a very tough fixture, full credit to Grimsby for controlling the game and preventing Retford building any momentum in the game. With promotion still possible, Retford look now to hosting Meden Vale at home to get back to winning ways.