Trinity 15 Old Rutlishians 22
Trinity came to this game in the expectation of continuing their winning ways. The awakening, however, was rude.
The best early chances came to the home team when powerful winger Ben Edmondson broke clear on the right, but his efforts were not rewarded when the ball went loose inside. Ruts then showed their paces and had two penalties to the corner, but both of their line outs were stolen by magnificent leaps from No. 8 Dave Spedding. Trinity broke again and seemed certain to score when Liam Sullivan kicked ahead into space, but the referee decided that there was a man ahead of the kicker and another chance was lost.
In a bizarre passage of play after 15 minutes Edmondson seemed to be tackled off the ball by a Ruts’ defender, but the decision went the other way and he received a mystifying yellow card. The visitors took a scrum and when the ball then went loose behind the line, they were given the decision in the rush for the touchdown. The try was converted and Trinity were 0-7 down.
They came again, however and were given a penalty which was kicked to the corner. Touch was missed but a defender knocked on and, from a powerful home scrum, a platform was created for Olly Hubbard to touch down. Fly half Dan Crouch’s conversion tied the game at 7-7 after 22 minutes. Ruts came back but missed a penalty chance and then were repelled by a powerful tackle form centre Andy Dean.
Trinity piled on the pressure, but Rutlish regained possession deep in their 22 and broke clear for a devastating breakaway 7 pointer. Trinity felt that they had been mugged but stuck to their work and forced their way to a line out in the left the corner with a penalty. In a sparkling move the ball was moved left at pace and Edmondson, in what was a repeat of a play the week before, found full back Ben Telfer flying up in a perfect support channel for an excellent try. The conversion was narrowly missed but, at half time, the game was finely poised at 14-12 to the visitors.
Ruts missed a kickable penalty just after the restart when Trinity were off their feet but then, after powerful Trinity pressure, they were offside and Crouch gave Trinity the narrowest of leads on 52 minutes.
With Spedding dominating the line out Trinity were now expected to go on and secure the game, but a lightning interception of scrum half Tom Sullivan’s pass sent the Ruts’ No.9 clear for another shattering breakaway try. Trinity now had a number of opportunities to cancel the 4-point deficit, but they seemed ill at ease and squandered good positions. To add to their woes, they were called back for a foot in touch when it seemed that Telfer had scored a good try and then replacement winger Harry Wilson was clear when play was called back for a forward pass.
Trinity will find any number of reasons why the result should have gone their way, but they were very disjointed over the afternoon and never really settled to the more cohesive play they have shown up to this point in the season. Rutlish made a nuisance of themselves and got on with making the best of their opportunities. They really enjoyed the finale as they snuffed out any chance of a Trinity revival when they won a penalty at the death which they converted to seal victory.
Quote from coach Andy Edwards : “It’s a real shame to lose our long unbeaten start to the season. Old Ruts very much deserved their win and it was timely reminder to our young squad just how tough this league can be. We remain top of the table and I’m confident we’ll see a fantastic response from the boys at training on Wednesday”