Bakewell Mannerians 1sts 17
Leicester Forest 17
saturday’s Midlands Two East (North) encounter at The Showground ended all-square after the visitors staged a late rally to earn a share of the points.
The reverse fixture in October also ended in a draw – 22-22 on that occasion – although on that occasion it was Mannerians who staged the fightback.
Leicester Forest side are near the bottom of the table so Mannerians, despite missing a few players, were hopeful of taking maximum points from the game and were able to play with the wind at their backs in the first half.
The visiting pack was a strong one and began to take control of the proceedings as Mannerians were forced to soak up some early pressure.
Having done this, Bakewell got the first score of the match when Will Moroney kicked a penalty on ten minutes. A kick for Leicester Forest shortly after was missed.
Bakewell pressed for more points and they duly arrived when Moroney kicked through after a chargedown and although he was just beaten to it by the defender, Tom Spencer was in the right place at the right time to pounce on the spilled ball and touch down to make it 8-0. The conversion was successfully added.
Despite these successes, the visitors’ defence was generally proving a tough nut to crack and the pack had its hands full coping with the strength of their opposite numbers.
The visitors gained a number of penalties and, from one of these, they kicked their first three points.
Into the second half, with Mannerians leading 10-3, the home side was slow to get going again and two sin-binnings saw them down to 13 men at one point.
Two men short they may have been, but Bakewell responded impressively to the challenge, holding out against some determined attacks until the two absentees returned to the fray.
After good work from Henry Bagshawe, Al Ashton went over for a converted try to make it 17-3 with 15 minutes of the second half played.
But despite their best efforts, Mannerians couldn’t quite click and secure the extra points that would have killed off the game.
On 65 minutes, a missed tackle led to a Leicester try under the posts that was easily converted and the score was 17-10.
With five minutes to play, Bakewell suffered another sin-binning, and as the game entered its closing stages, Leicester Forest secured the converted try that led to the entertaining game finishing all-square.
Mannerians are at home again this Saturday, entertaining Nottingham Casuals (3pm kick off).