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Cheshire one game away from a Twickenham day out
CHESHIRE are one step away from a Twickenham day out.
They face a showdown against Lancashire at Broughton Park this Saturday and the winners will go to headquarters the following weekend to contest the County Championship final.
Cheshire gained an exciting 27-24 victory over Yorkshire in their opening match in the Northern Group at Macclesfield with a try and conversion in the dying seconds tipping the balance.
They followed up with a convincing 43-17 win over Northumberland at Chester last Saturday. Four of their six tries were credited to flying winger Ed Stobart. The others went to Charlie Mulchrone and Ryan Parkinson.
Five Caldy players returned to the squad. Andy Soutar started at full-back and kicked five conversions and a penalty. Jack Collister, JJ Dickinson, Gareth Bansor and Sean Wooff joined the action later.
It was all over at 33-0 at the half way stage and Cheshire were able to ease off in the second period.
Lancashire beat Yorkshire 54-33 in their latest match to follow up an opening win over Northumberland.
It promises to be a ding dong tussle on Saturday and it is a pity Cheshire must play away. Only a win will do with Lancashire currently having the better points differential.
The biggest match in the history of Caldy recently ended in disappointment as they just missed out on a place in National One League for next season.
The play-off game away to Richmond who were runners-up in National Two South could hardly have been closer.
It was 13-13 at the end of normal time before Richmond went on to gain promotion 20-13 with a golden try in the second period of extra time.
Many observers believed Caldy, runners-up in National Two North, were the better side on the day but generally defences dominated a tense occasion.
A huge blow to Caldy was the controversial dismissal of Collister in the opening half for a spear tackle but the other fourteen produced an inspired display and with any luck could have clinched victory.
The game went down to uncontested scrums for a spell during the second-half as Caldy ran out of props following a yellow card and this seemed to play in Caldy’s favour as they took the game into the extra periods.
Richmond scored tries via Will Warden and Tom Platt who also hit two penalties and both conversions. Soutar scored the Caldy try goaled by Gavin Roberts in the final quarter to level the scores at 13-13. Roberts also hit a brace of penalties earlier.
It was anybody’s game as the players called on extra reserves of energy but Richmond got the vital break through and Caldy were left to ponder on what might have been. But they could hold their heads high and will be ready for another big season in 2012/13.
The result of the promotion play-off between Kirby Lonsdale and New Brighton two weeks ago was wrongly reported on the RFU website. The score was in fact 21-18 in favour of Kirby Lonsdale with a penalty from the final kick of the match in extra time deciding the issue.
The Blues found themselves 3-15 down at the break but hit back to level 15-15 at the end of normal time with tries from Jack Harris and Stephen Dean and a Dean conversion to add to his first-half penalty.
It could have been better with Dean hitting a post with his second conversion effort.
The Lancashire side managed a drop goal in the first period of extra time and New Brighton responded with a Dean penalty in the second period to lock the scores at 18-18.
The Blues would have gone through as the away side had it remained this way but alas they erred in the dying seconds and Kirby Lonsdale took full advantage to snatch the verdict.