Richard McNeil

Latest articles from Richard McNeil

RUGBY UNION Wirral 27 v 7 Sandbach - Hosts gain bonus point win

Following the last minute defeat last week, Wirral were determined to defeat South Cheshire side, Sandbach. With a number of changes again, Wirral quickly settled into playing open rugby and within 20 minutes were already 12-0 up through well constructed tries by RYHS JAMES and captain, CHRIS CROWLEY and one conversion. Sandbach then came back into the game and used their forwards to make progress up the field and were rewarded with a push over try duly converted to leave the score 12-7 at half time in Wirral’s favour. The second half saw Wirral extend their lead with a penalty from JIMMY ANNETTS. However Sandbach were working hard to progress but stern tackling my Wirral kept the away team at bay. After 60 minutes, a third try by Wirral from RHYS JAMES gave the home team some comfort. Stern tackling by Wirral kept Sandbach out. In the last minute of the game, Wirral extended play from 60m out, the ball reached EVAN ROBINSON who ran some 30m before kicking the ball ahead which caused some confusion to the Sandbach defence who allowed ROBINSON to race through to kick the ball over the line and he was first to touch down giving Wirral their try bonus point. They remain 4th in their league and next week play a Cheshire Cup game against Stockport at home. The second and third team also won yesterday which made a jovial clubhouse on Saturday night.

RUGBY UNION Kendal 31 v 30 Wirral - Visitors defeated by last-gasp kick

The conditions in Kendal were ideal for rugby on a well drained pitch played under the sun. Wirral despite a number of changes to their team scored a penalty in the first minute of the game and through the next 20 minutes built up a 0-13 lead with the help of goal kicking from Ben Brooks and a try by Evan Robinson. Kendal came back into the game to score two converted tries to lead 14-13 before on the stroke of half time; Evan Robinson went in for his second try to leave the score 14-18 at half-time. The second half started well for Wirral with a try from captain, Chris Crowley and then another by Nick Hearn to increase the Wirral lead to 14-30. In building up this score Wirral had opportunities to score further points but strong Kendal defence kept them out. There were a number of injuries which resulted in a weakening of the Wirral pack and in the last quarter of the game, the heavier Kendal pack took advantage with 3 push over tries, the final one coming in the last minute of play where the Kendal kicker managed a difficult kick to win the match much to the surprise of the large home crowd. Wirral still remain 4th and play Sandbach next week at Clatterbridge kick off 2.15pm

RUGBY UNION Wirral 15 v 7 Northwich - Hosts get revenge with hard fought win

In heavy conditions, Wirral played Northwich in a league game, eager to reverse the loss they incurred at Northwich 3 weeks ago. Wirral had a stronger team out last Saturday and took the lead with a Jimmy Annetts penalty in the first half when playing against the slight breeze. Wirral were 3-0 up at half time having also had a try disallowed. In the second half Wirral played with greater intent and moved the ball quicker and for a long period were camped in the Northwich 20m area but could not force their way over the line until from play 20m out a long pass from Jimmy Annetts to young Rhys James who beat two defenders to score to extend Wirral’s lead to 10-0. After a number of team changes towards the end of the game, a kick through from a scrum enabled Evan Robinson to beat the defence to score in the corner, which gave Wirral that necessary winning margin. In the last play of the game, Northwich charged down a Wirral kick and they won the race to touch down for their only score.

RUGBY UNION Northwich 41 v 17 Wirral - Inexperienced visitors lose cup clash

A young and inexperienced team of Wirral players including 10 who had not played first team rugby ever or over the previous 3 seasons took on the fully experienced international Northwich side in a Cheshire Cup game. It was Wirral who took the lead in the 3rd minute when forward pressure resulted in Scott Williams scoring on his debut. Much as Wirral defended, Northwich did not take the lead until the 20th minute but pressure from the home forwards and experience in the backs began to exert the pressure on Wirral and at half time the score was 31-12 to the home side. The second half started with Wirral scoring first with Jack Walsh scoring but in the rest of the half Northwich could only score two further tries, all credit to the defence of this Wirral side. In the final minutes of the game Wirral scored through Mark Edwards to leave the final score at 41-17, meaning that this young inexperienced team had beaten Northwich in the second half in terms of points scored. Next week Wirral are at home on Saturday against Manchester, in what should be an interesting clash if some of the Wirral players are back from injury.

RUGBY UNION Wirral 32 v 48 Macclesfield 48 - Wirral lose first home game

For the first home game of the season, Wirral were drawn against Macclesfield and despite holding the lead on two occasions lost out to a more determined Macclesfield . It was Wirral who raced into a 12-0 lead in the first 15 minutes through tries by George Burrows and Hayden Long, one being converted by James Annetts. Macclesfield came back with a try from their forwards scrum and was soon followed by a penalty to reduce the Wirral lead to 12-10. In the period before half time another converted try and a penalty gave the Macclesfield team a half time lead of 18-20. In the second half, Macclesfield played with greater vigour in the first 15 minutes, scoring a try in the first minutes of the half, such pressure was helped with a Wirral player being sin-binned and whilst the sin bin was still in place another try added to their lead. The score had moved onto 18-41 before Wirral attacking again scored through Dan Harvey and James Annetts, the latter also converting two to reduce the deficit to 32-41. The last minutes saw Wirral looking to run from all areas in an attempt to get a losing bonus point but an interception enabled Macclesfield to increase their lead to 48-32. This result still leaves Wirral in the lower positions in the league and next week they travel to new league members Leek as both teams will be seeking their first league win of the season.

RUGBY UNION Rossendale 61 v 33 Wirral - Wirralians kick off with heavy defeat

Wirral started our season at Ross, how fortunate to be playing there without the wind and the rain. Before the first team game, the second teams played earlier with Ross winning 46-22 although the away team had injury problems with TOM STEVENS being taken from the field with a fractured ankle in the first half (I did not see the incident) and Will MORRIS in the second half where a hit from a Ross player with his head loosened some teeth. As a result Ross had 2 players red carded.