1st XV Edge One Step Closer
By Dan Preece
East Retford 1st XV 69 Pts
Medan Vale 1st XV 7 Pts
After a frantic start Retford made good ground through some powerful running in the forwards. The ball found its way to in form wing Dan Lodge to open the scoring. Simon Phillips then made a typical strong run to then release Freeman on the wing who chipped ahead. The supporting Josh Nicklin had the presence of mind to dive on the loose ball to score, Dan Preece adding the conversion.
Retford were then caught asleep in defence as Vale, in similar fashion, chipped ahead and with the luck of the bouncing ball scored under the posts.
Retford replied strongly through man of the match Ed Driver who made his first of many strong breaks! Simon Palmer then ran a great line in support to score Retford's third.
After early worries, Retford stabilized and then dominated the set piece to provide a platform for Retford to spin the ball wide to Nicklin to score his second. The score 24-7 at half time with Retford playing well supporting each other but with better to come.
After half time Retford then began their onslaught of tries. A counterattack saw the ball find its way to Chris Trenham to score first, which was followed by two converted tries by Ryan Mellins from more great attacking play. The ball then came out to the right wing to Josh Freeman who beat numerous defenders to score.
Will Wilkinson then made some great ground with some destructive running and then cleverly offloaded to fellow prop Dan Fielding to score the sixth. Freeman then set off from his own half after retrieving a clearance kick to blitz down the wing and score his second. The Retford bench was used well throughout the afternoon and the experienced Mick Sykes released Mark Pymm, who burst through a gap and in what seemed like slow motion, crossed for Retford's final try.
Retford have given captain Preece some much needed practice at conversions this week ahead of a crunch game next week with Mellish. Man of the match Ed Driver was exceptional at number 8 and did well to last 80 minutes. All the back line was exceptional throughout and a great home win to take Retford to joint top of the table.