Thursday 10th October 2013 Chesterfield RFC
NLDU16s 31 – 24 Warwickshire U16s
Thursday saw this season’s NLD U16 squad take to the field for the first time to take on Warwickshire U16s. The coaches decided to play the entire squad so that they could see all the boys in a game situation, and they and the watching crowd were not disappointed on a wet windy night at Chesterfield RFC’s excellent brand new facilities.
The game started brightly, and it was clear both sides were intent on proving what they could do with ball in hand, but it was NLD that began to play the conditions better and soon had the first score of the game through prop John Willingham-Statham, who burst through from close range following good build up play. Danny Openshaw added an excellent conversion given the conditions.
This gave NLD confidence and soon after they had a second score through the lively centre Lewis Winterbottom, who ran a great line for a score near the posts. Openshaw again added the extras. Warwickshire were not to be outdone and keen to show the journey was not in their legs worked upfield for a score through the forwards.
NLD were intent on scoring further points before the half was out and with the forwards giving great ball the backs were cutting through. Ryan Olowofela in particular looked dangerous, but it was his fellow winger Andy Musvaburi who completed the first half scoring with a classic wingers finish in the left corner. A tricky conversion was missed.
With plenty of fresh legs being brought on throughout the game, NLD were in no mood to take their collective feet off the gas, and the second half began in a similar vein as Ryan Olowofela scored a deserved try at the posts followed by Winterbottom who completed an impressive brace following another good break by Openshaw. Both conversions left NLD looking pretty at 31-7 in front.
Warwickshire had other ideas, however, and began an unlikely come back with 3 quick fire tries including an impressive gallop from half way from one of their forwards to set up a tense last 5 minutes. A cool NLD side did enough to see out the victory which on the balance of play was richly deserved.
A cracking start to this year’s programme, where all the boys should be proud of their performance, with still areas to work on. Many thanks to the parents for getting the boys to and from Chesterfield, and to Chesterfield RFC for their excellent hosting of the game in their cracking new ground.
Charlie Barker, Kaine Buchanan, Jack Dickinson, Calum Donnelly, Michael Hawksworth, Joe Heath, Matthew Hopkins, Joshua Hubbard, Jake Jordan, Josh Latham, Joe McMenamin, Andy Musvaburi, James Newman, Jordan Olowofela, Ryan Olowofela, Daniel Openshaw, Zakery Poole, Hyran Powell, Alex Scott, Connor Slack, Jordan Slack, John Willingham-Statham, Lewis Winterbottom, Jack Lennon, George Eley, Henry Pymm