Late rally secures Mannerians a draw

Leicester Forest 22

Bakewell Mannerians 1sts 22

BAKEWELL Mannerians extended their unbeaten start in the Midlands Two East (North) to five games after a late flurry of points saw them earn a draw at Leicester Forest on Saturday.

The fightback was an impressive one as the home side held a 22-8 advantage as the game entered its last four minutes.

Bakewell had the wind and slope in their favour during the first half but a lack of fluency meant putting points on the board proved difficult.

Nevertheless the deadlock was eventually broken when Tom Crapper went over for an unconverted try on the quarter-hour mark.

The home side scored their first try on 25 minutes and the conversion nudged them into a 7-5 lead.

Will Moroney replied with a penalty two minutes before the break but there was still time for Leicester to kick a penalty of their own, to lead at half-time.

This lead was extended from a scrum ten minutes into the second half through a converted try. Two players being sin binned at different times made things tougher for Mannerians.

With the visitors under the cosh and defending valiantly, the home side added another try, this time unconverted, to lead 19-8.

A penalty was then added and Bakewell were looking down the barrel with ten minutes left.

But the character of Mannerians shone through as Ethan Bagshawe dodged through with four minutes left for a try, converted by Moroney.

Then Tom Crapper was in the right place at the right time to pick up a bouncing ball and race through to score near the posts.

This left Moroney with the task of converting to pull off a fine fightback and he duly obliged to make the score 22-22 at the final whistle.

After that late rally, Mannerians this Saturday look to build on the momentum when they host league leaders Newark in an eagerly-awaited contest.

The Midlands Two East (North) game kicks off at the Showground at 3pm.