NLD U15S Semi-Final
Bakewell u15s 47
Doncaster U15S 17
How do you get 15-year-old lads in the mood for rugby?
AC/DC and Highway to Hell used to be the vogue, but such is the karma affecting this team that some travelled the two hours to Sleaford with Michael Bublé in their ears.
This must have had some impact as, within two minutes, Connor Longson strode in from 50 metres, having been put away by Dom Jackson down the blindside. Five minutes later, Bakewell were 10-0 up as Chris Barlow crossed.
Doncaster hit back with a try from nowhere as Bakewell’s drift defence took the wrong options.
But within minutes, Bakewell extended their lead as Longson scampered over to score a try that was converted by Chris Barlow.
That made the score 17-12 and then Chris Taylor surged over to score and see Bakewell lead 22-5 after 17 minutes.
After that, things calmed down a little.
Bakewell’s pack, led by Chris Taylor, and with surging runs from Josh Mosley and Will Adams, kept Doncaster at bay. Ollie Crampton and Ollie Lowe steadied the scrum as the back row gave Doncaster’s scrum half a torrid time.
An infringement by Doncaster saw Chris Barlow kick a penalty, only to see Doncaster score another through sloppy marking. At half-time, the score was 25-10.
The second half started quietly but, after six minutes, Chris Barlow slotted over a penalty to extend the lead.
With both sides feeling the pace, it was down to some extraordinary action to get the next score.
Jamie Henderson’s outrageous pass was plucked from the air by Barlow as he sprinted clear of Doncaster’s backs and scored under the posts, converting his own try.
Both teams traded space and some great tackling from George Smith and Fraser Hope kept Doncaster out while Joe Thomson fielded all the kicks thrown at him.
But suddenly Doncaster broke through as, at long last, one of their forwards had a go and scored close to the posts to make it 35-17.
But Doncaster were spent and Chris Barlow scored and converted another try, before Connor Longson steamed over half the pitch to close the game out.
This is the first time a Bakewell junior side has made a final, to be played against Kesteven some time in the next four weeks.