Fine display to finish season

Bakewell Mannerians 2nds 61

Worksop 2nds 0

Bakewell seconds finished their league programme with a flourish and produced their best performance of the season on Saturday.

On a greasy pitch against determined opposition, they dominated all phases of the game bar one: the lineout. Worksop’s forwards regularly produced clean ball off the top of the lineouts, and the possession enabled them to produce a competitive riposte.

Bakewell’s lineout ball was less assured but with such slippery conditions underfoot, and the ball difficult to control, there were numerous set scrums.

Here Bakewell were imperious. Their front five of produced a performance of overwhelming dominance.

Tom Bell, returning from his travels, was a revelation at scrum half. Pacy and quickwitted, he revelled in the stream of possession, mostly winged out to Jim O’Neil, who played the perfect game at ten.

Kicking for position only occasionally, Bakewell’s captain had so much quality outside him, on this narrow pitch, that the question of what to do with the ball was a constant no-brainer. Give it to Tom Armstrong!

Bakewell’s No 12, and man-of-the-match, will never produce a finer display of how to play the position than he did on this day.

Given all of this, a big score had to come. Armstrong set up five of the tries, the first after one minute, with Lewis Cleverley producing a great finish on the right wing. Three minutes later and Armstrong put Tom Bell away, to race over the line, and after that he set up his fellow centre John Pierce, whose elusive running caused consternation in the Worksop defence until he was substituted at half time.

Pierce produced a solo effort to score on the half hour, and the schoolboy Purseglove, in his first start at No8, made a powerful break, feeding Ed Boam for the score.

The manager had set his team a target of 40 points for the match, and with the score at 27-0 at the break, they pressed home their advantage throughout the second half.

O’Neil fed Harker for his first try for the club. Bakewell’s next score was their best, a flowing move from a defensive lineout.

The ball was taken on by Elliott and a rampant Martin Pearce, through O’Neil and the excellent Rob Foster in at centre, with Bell T. doing an impersonation of Gareth Edwards to finish at a furious pace for the try.

Bakewell next took Worksop’s ball from another set scrum and Village crossed for his try and then made the pushover for big Hopko coming in at No 8 to touch down.

The final period saw Armstrong setting up again, first to the flying Tom Bell, and finally for Hopkinson to cross in typical flamboyant fashion. Bell squeezed over three slippery conversions.