2nd XIII v Mowden Hall 

Last Wednesday, an intrepid group of St. Mary's boys headed across the border for a raid on Mowden Hall.

There was a heavy sky as we swept over the Carter Bar before looping along the whale-backed but die straight Roman Road. Unfortunately, the rollercoaster ride proved to be a little too much for one of our party and we were forced to pull over for a quick tidy.

Everyone was refreshed by a few minutes in a layby by the Colt Crag Reservoir and we were soon back on track. We arrived at Mowden in good spirits and set about a short warm-up in the light drizzle.

Mowden fielded their strongest team but we were quite confident with the manpower available. Mac and Captain Ollie started in the centre with John and Mitchell at half-back. Ollie L and Ted were on the wings with Callum at full-back. Up front we had Jake and George either side of Geordie with Archie J and Ed in the second row. Caelan started at Number 8.

The match kicked off and St. Mary's were soon under the cosh. We struggled with the interpretation of the rules; offsides at rucks and high tackles were rather different than north of the border and targeting the ball in the tackle was a new concept that we struggled to adapt to. As a result, we shipped a couple of soft early tries before conceding a third in the first 10 minutes or so.

However, these boys are plucky chaps and they soon regathered and for the remainder of the game the home side barely had a sniff of the ball. We scored two outstanding tries and were unlucky to score more as Mowden conceded 19 penalties for high tackles (anything above the chest in England at this level). They managed to keep all 13 boys on the pitch and to keep the waves of St. Mary's attacks out in the final few minutes.

Although we ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard we definitely played the more attractive brand of rugby despite the slick ball and challenging conditions.

Great effort, boys!

Tom Rawson, 11/11/2018

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