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Oswestry Rugby Club - First Team

First Team
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First Team Support Team

First Team Support Staff

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  • Kev Whitehead
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    Head Coach
  • Martin Ord
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    Manager / Admin
  • Andy Smith
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    Assistant Coach
  • Lottie Beard
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    Club Physio
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First Team Players

Forwards

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  • Chris Hesketh
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    1. Loosehead Prop
  • Andy Smith
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    2. Hooker
  • Josh Tsang
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    2. Hooker
  • Mike Keaveny
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    3. Tighthead Prop
  • Guy Howell
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    3. Tighthead Prop
  • Guy Roberts
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    3. Tighthead Prop
  • Mike Davies
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    4. Second Row
  • Luke Hassall
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    4. Second Row
  • Dave Morris
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    5. Second Row
  • Sam Wright
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    6. Blindside Flanker
  • Deian Lloyd-Hughes
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    6. Blindside Flanker
  • Scott Double
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    6. Blindside Flanker
  • Fletcher Owen-Youens
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    7. Openside Flanker
  • Zak Baldwin
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    7. Openside Flanker
  • James Booth
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    8. Number 8
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First Team Players

Backs

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  • Fintan Grogan
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    10. Fly Half
  • Ivor Hughes
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    11. Left Wing
  • Jon Lee
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    12. Inside Centre
  • Andy Merrett
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    12. Inside Centre
  • Gaz Hughes
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    13. Outside Centre
  • Dan Morgan
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    13. Outside Centre
  • Jamie Luckett
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    14. Right Wing
  • Nick Howland
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    14. Right Wing
  • Luca Owen-Youens
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    15. Full Back
  • James Anderson
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    15. Full Back
  • Tom-Henry Jones
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    15. Full Back
  • Hamish Fuller
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    9. Scrum Half
  • Nick Clay
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    9. Scrum Half
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League Fixtures - as of Saturday 23rd February 2019

Date

Venue

Kick-Off

Opponent

Result

Saturday 2nd September

Away

3:00pm

Dukinfield

Firsts Won 24 - 36

Saturday 9th September

Home

3:00pm

Heaton Moor

Firsts Lost 16 - 22

Saturday 16th September

Away

3:00pm

Didsbury Toc H

Firsts Won 19 - 24

Saturday 23rd September

Home

3:00pm

Orrell

Firsts Lost 20 - 24

Saturday 30th September

Away

3:00pm

Wigan

Firsts Won 8 - 12

Saturday 7th October

Home

3:00pm

Liverpool Collegiate

Firsts Lost 16 - 20

Saturday 21st October

Away

2:15pm

Oldershaw

Firsts Won 8 - 17

Saturday 28th October

Away

2:15pm

Marple

Firsts Lost 25 - 24

Saturday 4th November

Home

2:15pm

Aspull

Firsts Lost 12 - 25

Saturday 11th November

Away

2:15pm

Winnington Park

Firsts Lost 24 - 5

Saturday 18th November

Home

3:14pm

Veseyans (Shield)

Firsts Lost 18 - 22

Saturday 25th November

Home

2:15pm

Port Sunlight

Firsts Won 61 - 0

Saturday 2nd December

Away

2:15pm

Vagabonds (IoM)

Firsts Won 0 - 41

Saturday 9th December

Home

2:15pm

Congleton

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 16th December

Away

2:15pm

Heaton Moor

Firsts Lost 20 - 12

Saturday 6th January

Home

2:15pm

Didsbury Toc H

Firsts Lost 17 - 27

Saturday 13th January

Away

2:15pm

Orrell

Firsts Lost 48 - 7

Saturday 20th January

Home

2:15pm

Wigan

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 27th January

Away

2:15pm

Liverpool Collegiate

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 3rd February

Home

2:15pm

Oldershaw

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 17th February

Home

2:15pm

Marple

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 3rd March

Away

2:15pm

Aspull

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 10th March

Home

2:15pm

Winnington Park

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 24th March

Away

3:00pm

Port Sunlight

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 7th April

Home

3:00pm

Vagabonds (IoM)

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 14th April

Away

3:00pm

Congleton

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

Saturday 21st April

Home

3:00pm

Dukinfield

Firsts Drew 0 - 0

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League Standings - as of Saturday 23rd February 2019

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There is no Team Selection this week as there is no fixture ...

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Oswestry Rugby Club - Match Reports ...

13th Jan Away against Orrell

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Thu 18th Jan 08:52am

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Oswestry travelled to Orrell on a cold but fine Saturday afternoon to play in front of a large crowd of local supporters against a very strong Orrell team that had had a large win in their last fixture. Oswestry knew they would have a difficult fixture and on their last meeting in September Oswestry narrowly lost by 4 points.
At 2.30pm Orrell kicked off into the Oswestry half with Captain Andrew Smith running back at the Orrell team making good ground. James Fisher playing at scrum half put the ball out to Jonathan Hughes who carried the charge on before passing to Nick Clay. A good interchange of passing between the Oswestry players with debutant Max Charmley coming into the team passed the ball to Connor Blair who got the ball out to Fletcher Owen-Youens before being tackled. The referee awarded a penalty to Oswestry for a handling error on the ground by an Orrell player. Luca Owen-Youens was able to make a good touch kick deep into the Orrell half keeping up early pressure on the home side. In the early exchanges of heavy tackling the Orrell number 3 required treatment for a shoulder injury. After a short delay play was resumed with Fletcher Owen-Youens winning good lineout ball at the front. James Fisher passed the ball to Nick Clay who found Luca Owen-Youens who made good progress into the Orrell half. Jonathan Hughes showed good determination forcing his way forward with assistance from Connor Blair. The ball found its way to Jack Charmley who showed a good side step to get past an Orrell player before being tackled. The ball was knocked on and Orrell had the first scrum of the match. Orrell won the scrum and tried to clear their lines to relieve the pressure Oswestry were inflicting on them. Oswestry were kick to run back with the ball and Oswestry were awarded a penalty against an Orrell player for offside. From the subsequent lineout Max Charmley was able to tap the ball to James Fisher who again fed the ball to his backs and again Jonathan Hughes went on another run before feeding James Roberts where play was stopped as another Orrell player handled the ball on the ground. Oswestry showed good determination as they carried on putting pressure on to the home side. Luca Owen-Youens found touch 10 yards out from the Orrell try line. However Orrell managed to get the ball and clear their lines again. Luca Owen-Youens was quickest to the loose ball and with great acceleration charged towards the Orrell team and the first front row Orrell player that tried to tackle him was sent backwards by Luca and the only thing you could say is that it resembled a tennis ball rebounding off a wall. Luca was finally brought to ground and the referee awarded yet another penalty to Oswestry sending off an Orrell player for repeated handling on the ground. Oswestry now had the advantage of an extra player for the next 10 minutes. The subsequent free kick found Oswestry deep in the Orrell’s 22. However from the line out Oswestry knocked the ball forward giving Orrell the scrum. Oswestry pack put good pressure on the Orrell team who although won the scrum were pushed backwards and fumbling the ball. Dan Smart and Deian Lloyd Hughes making his debut this season for the first team pushed play further on. Orrell who were struggling at this time were putting in big hits before the ball found its way to Thomas Henry Jones who ran in a great try under the posts making the score 5 points to nil. Luca Owen-Youens stepped up and converted the try and made the score 7 points to nil in the lead.
The Orrell supporters were silenced briefly but the score against the home side appeared to spur them on and from the restart started to attack Oswestry with a long kick into the Oswestry half. The kick was returned to the Orrell half but Orrell came back at Oswestry forcing a mistake and Orrell were awarded a penalty in the Oswestry half. Orrell decided to run the ball and quickly run through the Oswestry defence scoring a try under the posts. The try was converted and both teams were 7 points each.
From the Oswestry restart Orrell again kicked the ball back at Oswestry with Nikola Nicholov taking the ball back at Orrell who were quick to get to him. The ball was passed to James Roberts who was tackled and Orrell got turn over ball pushing into the Oswestry half. Thomas Henry Jones was able to take the ball from Orrell passing to Max Charmley who was tackled and Orrell stole the ball and quickly put the ball wide to their winger who spotted a gap and was able to run in their second try in the corner. The kick was converted from a long way out and Orrell were now in the lead 14 to 7.
The yellow carded Orrell player returned to the game and Orrell were now back up to full strength again being urged on by their supporters to score more tries. Oswestry were trying to attack Orrell who were going forwards towards the Oswestry half Dan Smart and Connor Blair putting big tackles in but still Orrell pushed forwards at Oswestry. Connor Blair received some treatment and big tackling Fletcher Owen-Youens, Nick Clay could not stop the home side. A scrum was awarded to Orrell and good tackling by Deian Lloyd Hughes was not enough to stop Orrell who were awarded another penalty in front of Oswestry posts. Orrell decided to go for the points and kicked converting the penalty kick making the score 17 to 7.
The pattern of the game was much the same with Orrell booting the ball keeping Oswestry pegged into their own half giving Orrell a good chance to score with desperate tackling from Oswestry players tackling for all their worth. Dan Smart, James Fisher, James Roberts and Nick Clay doing what they could to halt the yellow and black of Orrell. Oswestry held firm with Luca Owen-Youens putting a big boot getting the ball to the edge of the Orrell 22. Oswestry now put some pressure on the Orrell back line. Orrell tried to clear by putting a long kick in which was caught by Thomas Henry Jones who ran back at Orrell passing to Jonathan Hughes who carried it on giving the ball to Luca Owen-Youens who tried a kick on the run that was blocked by an Orrell defender who fouled the player. From the subsequent line out Orrell were awarded a penalty for keeping the ball and Orrell got back to the half way line. An Orrell player who got hurt had to retire from the game and get replaced. After some spirited play by Oswestry they managed to get over the half way line before Orrell kicked the ball back to the Oswestry 22 where they were given a scrum. From the scrum the Orrell scrum half saw a gap and at pace was able to run through the Oswestry line to score their third try which was converted. The score now stood at 24 points to 7 and the referee blew his whistle for half time.
Coach Kevin Whitehead had a difficult job to understand what went wrong after the first quarter of the game Oswestry were so dominant then sadly allowed Orrell to play themselves out of trouble. He tried to inspire his team to iron out some of the tackling mistakes and to keep things simple hoping that Oswestry would come out in the second half and start to put things right.
However as Oswestry kicked off for the second half Orrell who were now fully confident started to throw some good quick passes going right then left but at pace which Oswestry were having difficulty in dealing with. The passing at speed took its toll on Oswestry and gaps appeared that Orrell capitalised on running in a fourth try which was not converted. The score now stood at 29 points to 7.
At the restart Oswestry found themselves in the Orrell 22 and tried to mount their attack. One such attack on the edge of the Orrell 22 forced Luca Owen-Youens to kick the ball towards his winger Liam Williams but Orrell managed to take the ball and kick the ball long into the Oswestry half. The referee blew his whistle after a short scuffle between players and Thomas Henry Jones was presented with a yellow card and had to leave the field for 10 minutes. Orrell with the extra player took full advantage immediately went on the attack and with no full back cover were able to score their 5th try which was not converted. The score line was now 34 to 7.
Nick Clay retired with a head injury and was replaced by Rory Kershaw and James Curtis came on for Liam Williams. Orrell were now rampant and ran straight back at Oswestry from the restart and scored another try in the corner which was converted making the score 41 points to 7.
Oswestry with credit to them did not give up and forced their way into the Orrell half with good runs by Deian Lloyd Hughes, Andrew Smith, Jonathan Hughes, Rory Kershaw and Nikola Nickolov all making ground before being stopped. A scrum was awarded to Orrell and Max Charmley had to leave due to a groin injury being replaced by Michael Keaveny. Before the scrum took place Thomas Henry Jones returned to the game. Orrell won the scrum and ran in a try under the posts of which they converted making the score 48 points to 7.
Oswestry still had nearly 20 minutes of the match to go and the home support must have thought that their team were going to inflict more damage on the visitors from Shropshire. The true spirit and heart of the Oswestry team shone through and they withheld the Orrell force and mounted a number of attacks in the Orrell half but were unable to convert all their efforts in another score. Oswestry held out without conceding any more points and both teams were applauded off the pitch from the large home support. Comments from both teams agreed that that the referee had a very good game and at all times was up with play but was clear and precise with his judgement calls.
Man of the match was given to Jonathan Hughes who was always kept busy with good tackles and spirited runs throughout the match.
Oswestry drop to 9th in the league with the same points as Wigan who will be coming to Oswestry on Saturday 20th January 2018 with a 2.15pm kick off. It really makes the difference having a good number of supporters. Please come and support your local team

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6th Jan Home against Didsbury Toc H

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Mon 8th Jan 10:48am

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Oswestry’s first game after the Christmas break should have taken place at home but due to pitch conditions the fixture took place at Whitchurch rugby club who kindly allowed Oswestry to play and use their excellent facilities. Oswestry knew that they would have a hard game as Didsbury only just lost to Oswestry back in September when Oswestry managed to beat them by 4 points.
Oswestry kicked off on a dry but very cold day. Oswestry found themselves on the edge of the Didsbury 22 line. A scrum was awarded to Didsbury for a knock on of which Oswestry were able to push the away team back but Didsbury were just able to keep the ball as the play centred on the half way line with big hits from Connor Blair and Jordan Tsang. Didsbury who were having no joy in running the ball decided to kick the ball behind the Oswestry line and Thomas Henry Jones playing at full back caught the ball and from his 22 was able to use his pace and skill to return to the halfway line and set up an attack on the Didsbury team. Oswestry were able to take the play into the Didsbury 22 as all players played their part in gaining ground. Didsbury were able to get the ball and again kick behind the Oswestry line forcing James Roberts to have to return to retrieve the ball. The play was again taken back to the Didsbury half with Guy Roberts and Jack Charmley going on strong runs carrying the ball well fending Didsbury players off. The game was well supported by Didsbury and Oswestry fans who made the effort to travel to Whitchurch to watch the game. Didsbury supporters who very vocal were trying to get their team to press Oswestry and their efforts did not go unrewarded as Didsbury found themselves 15 yards out from the Oswestry try line in front of the posts. Oswestry conceded a penalty of which Didsbury opted to kick at the posts scoring the first points of the game going 3 points into the lead.
The heavy tackling took its toll on a Didsbury player who had to leave the pitch with an arm and shoulder injury. From the restart Didsbury came straight back at Oswestry and they used the same tactic kicking deep into the Oswestry half. Thomas Henry Jones gathered the ball and under pressure managed to kick the ball out into touch. Gareth Ellis won good line out ball feeding James Fisher who was making his first team debut for Oswestry playing at scrum half. Oswestry started to battle hard taking the ball back at the Didsbury team with good inter play by Nick Clay Connor Blair and Luca Owen-Youens reaching the halfway line and being awarded with a line out. From the line out Fletcher Owen-Youens won good ball passing to Nikola Nickolov, and James Fisher. Jonathan Hughes and Scott Smith carried the ball further into the Didsbury half before being awarded a penalty. Touch was not found but Gareth Ellis was quick to rip the ball off a Didsbury player and resume the pressure on Didsbury. However Didsbury were able to get the ball back and send it back to the half way where Oswestry started again to mount their attack. It was obvious watching that both these teams were equal to each other’s play but following a fumbled pass by a Didsbury player, James Roberts from 40 yards out ran in a great try managing to place the ball under the posts. Luca Owen-Youens kicked the conversion and Oswestry were 7 points to 3 up.
Almost from the restart Oswestry were again on the attack with good runs by Andrew Smith, Jonathan Hughes and Scott Smith. Oswestry drew nearer to the try line helped by a great run by Thomas Henry Jones who through his speed and agility was able to create a gap feeding Jordan Tsang who passed the ball to Captain Andrew Smith who ran in his 9th try of the season. The conversion was missed and Oswestry were 12 points to 3 in the lead.
Didsbury kicked the ball long into the Oswestry half with James Fisher making good ground towards the half way line. Luca Owen-Youens kicked the ball into the Didsbury half but Didsbury returned to the Oswestry half putting pressure on Oswestry finally getting to near the try line and eventually managing to score their first try of the afternoon. They managed to score their conversion kick bringing the score to 10 points to Oswestry’s 12.
From the restart Oswestry were kept close to the halfway line by defensive kicking by Didsbury. Tackling was fierce and there some heavy exchanges by both sets of players before the referee found himself in the way by Guy Roberts who was prevented going any further with ball and Oswestry were awarded a scrum. From the scrum Luca Owen-Youens put a good kick into touch which subsequently Gareth Ellis stole putting the ball out to Connor Blair who drove on with support play by Andrew Smith, Guy Roberts and Scott Smith. As the Oswestry pack pushed towards the Didsbury try line and James Fisher on his debut scored a try putting Oswestry 17 points to 10 in the lead just before half time. The conversion kick was missed and shortly after, half time was called by the referee.
Coach Kevin Whitehead spoke to his team pleased with the general performance of his players who were playing well telling them to keep it going.
At the start of the second half Scott Smith came off being replaced by Hugh Adams. Following a number of kicks by both teams Didsbury found themselves on the edge of the Oswestry 22. Didsbury pushed on, Oswestry tried to defend but Didsbury managed to run in a try. The kick was missed and the score now stood at Oswestry 17 Didsbury 15.
Hugh Adams had to receive treatment by the physio Lottie Beard who was kept busy throughout the game attending to both sets of players. Hugh Adams carried on playing and Guy Roberts was replaced by Guy Howell who returned to the team following an injury. The intensity of the tackling continued with little ground gained by both teams. Didsbury were getting closer to the Oswestry try line. The referee awarded a scrum to Didsbury on the Oswestry 22 and from the scrum they were able to get the ball out wide first going right than throwing the ball out left finding a gap and running in their third try. The conversion was missed and the score now stood at Didsbury 20 to 17 in the lead.
At the restart Jonathan Hughes retired through injury and was replaced by Scott Smith. Play continued much in the same vain with Didsbury full of confidence and vigour pushing Oswestry back. Great tackling by Connor Blair stealing the ball from Didsbury kept Oswestry in the game being driven on by Guy Howell and Scott Smith. The tackling kept on with Jack Charmley putting some big hits on Didsbury before play was stopped to attend to an injured Didsbury player. James Fisher who had such a good debut had to leave the pitch with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Fabrizio Gaito.
After 5 phases of play by Didsbury their full back went on a good run down the left-wing and scored Didsbury’s 4th bonus point try which was converted making the score 27 points to 17.
Oswestry kept pushing the Didsbury team getting close before being pushed back and in the final moments of the match Nick Clay did put the ball over the try line but the try was disallowed. The game ended with Didsbury moving to 5th in the league and Oswestry dropping to 8th. Man of the match was awarded to James Fisher on his debut game.
Next week on Saturday 13th January 2018 Oswestry face another difficult fixture when they travel to Orrell who are one place above Oswestry in the table.

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2nd Dec Away against Vagabonds (IoM)

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Sun 3rd Dec 05:54pm

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Oswestry travelled the long distance to Douglas the capital of the Isle of Man to play Vagabonds RFC a club that has been in existence since 1965. Oswestry kicked off this earlier timed fixture which was kindly allowed by the Manx club due to flight times. At 1.15pm Oswestry kicked off on an overcast day. Guy Roberts was quick to take the ball and Iwan Ellis feeding the ball to Andrew Smith but in the tackling the ball went loose and Vagabonds were given a scrum. Vagabonds got the ball out but were put into touch close to the halfway line. Fletcher Owen-Youens took the ball and gave it to Tudor Jones and Oswestry were awarded a penalty kick. Oswestry were able to get into the Vagabonds 22 but play was interrupted by a succession of penalties. Oswestry put the home side under immense pressure with strong runs by Scott Smith and Jonathan Hughes. Connor Blair using his strength to drive to the try line before being stopped and the referee blowing for a scrum 5. The ball came out and the Oswestry pack who were dominant in the early exchanges carried on pushing before Scott Smith was able to drive for the line and finally able to break the deadlock and score his first try of the day. After 9 minutes of the start of the game Oswestry were 5 points up. The kick was not converted.
After the restart Tudor Jones caught the ball and ran back towards the halfway feeding Guy Roberts who kept on driving forward before play was stopped again for another Oswestry penalty. Oswestry carried on gaining ground into the Vagabonds half with good play by Rory Kershaw playing at scrum half on his debut game for the first team. Vagabonds were being urged on by a large number of home supporters but were met with a wall of red and black of Oswestry of whom were stopping the home team from going forward. After 16 minutes of the game starting Oswestry found themselves at the Vagabonds try line with Captain Andrew Smith driving over the line with a number of Vagabond players hanging off him. The referee disallowed the try saying that he was held up. Oswestry were awarded a scrum 5 and the Oswestry pack pushed the home team back and strangely the referee awarded a penalty to Vagabonds. Vagabonds were able to clear their lines .After the line out Oswestry were quick to take the ball off the Vagabonds players and return to the home team’s 10 yard line. Oswestry were awarded another penalty and Scott Smith charged over to score his second try of the match under the posts. Luca Owen-Youens converted the kick and Oswestry were 12 points up.
Almost from the restart Oswestry were awarded a scrum Rory Kershaw passed the ball from the scrum to Luca Owen-Youens, then to James Roberts and Iwan Ellis and Captain Andrew Smith before being tackled. Oswestry were awarded another penalty. However Vagabonds defended valiantly to keep Oswestry at bay the game was not allowed to flow due to the constant stoppages and penalties being awarded against both teams. Vagabonds did try and come forward but were stopped by good Oswestry defence. Jonathan Hughes, Gareth Ellis, Connor Blair put some good tackles in. Oswestry were awarded a penalty close to their half way and Luca Owen-Youens found touch on the edge of the Vagabonds 22. Andrew Smith threw the ball in which was cleanly caught by Fletcher Owen-Youens at the front who passed the ball to Rory Kershaw. The ball found its way to Connor Blair who gave a nice pass to Luca Owen-Youens who from 25 yards out was able to force his way to the try line and score Oswestry’s third try. After 37 minutes Oswestry were 17 points up, the conversion was missed.
As the first half drew to a close the rain started to fall and Oswestry were camped in the home teams half as Connor Blair was starting to break through the defensive lines. The referee blew for half time after allowing some injury time and Oswestry went in to the break with a healthy lead of 17 points.
Coach Kevin Whitehead gave words of encouragement to his team and particularly words of wisdom to young Rory Kershaw who he was particularly pleased with.
Vagabonds kicked off the second half and committed a foul at the breakdown giving Luca Owen-Youens a chance to kick the ball deep into the Vagabonds half. Gareth Ellis won the line out passing the ball to Nikola Nickolov. After a couple of minutes of the second half the Vagabonds Captain who was playing at the number 8 position was injured and play was momently suspended. Play carried on and once again put pressure on the home side. All Oswestry back line and wingers were used to get the ball back into the Vagabonds half. The pressure paid its toll on the Vagabonds skipper as temper’s flared in the exchange of heavy tackles the referee gave the home side captain a yellow card. From the subsequent penalty Connor Blair made a dash for the line giving the ball to Andrew Smith who was stopped close to the try line. A scrum 5 was awarded and the Oswestry pack pushed the Vagabonds pack backwards allowing Scott Smith to score his easiest of his 3 tries. Connor Blaire stepped up and converted the kick adding another 2 points to the score. Oswestry were now 24 points up.
After 14 minutes of the match Michael Keaveny came on to replace Tudor Jones and James Curtis replaced Liam Williams. With one player less Vagabonds should be congratulated not to let their heads go down they still put some good tackles in stopping the Oswestry team from scoring. They managed to last until their captain returned to the match. Their captain pushed his team on trying to attack the red and black of Oswestry.
After holding out 28 minutes into the second half after some great support play Connor Blair drove for the line before being tackled but unselfishly passed the ball to Nick Clay to score on the overlap. Connor Blair was unable to convert the kick and Oswestry were 29 points to the good.
Oswestry attacked the restart with Iwan Ellis and Guy Roberts running at the Vagabonds team. Michael Keaveny with Andrew Smith drove on towards the home sides 22. Rory Kershaw managed to see a gap and run in a wonderful debut try which was converted by Connor Blair making the score 36 points to 0.
The rain continued to fall as Vagabonds had the restart. As play was nearing the end Oswestry continued to push towards the home side with Nikola Nickolov and Gareth Ellis making inroads into the Vagabonds half. Captain Andrew Smith saw a gap and produced a lovely weighted kick into space that any centre would be pleased with and Connor Blair acting like a winger ran on to get the ball and score a try. Connor was unable to convert the kick but Oswestry had scored 7 tries and had won by 41 points to 0. Oswestry gathered full bonus points and move up to 5th in the league with 34 points.
Man of the match was awarded to Rory Kershaw after a fine performance on his debut.
Vagabonds were very hospitable and should be thanked for their fantastic facilities, their state of their pitch which was very good considering the amount of rain that fell.
Next week the firsts are at home to Congleton on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a kick off at 2.15pm. The team and the club would love to see as much support there as possible please come and support Oswestry.

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25th Nov Home against Port Sunlight

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Tue 28th Nov 07:26am

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Guy Roberts, Captain Andy Smith, James Booth looking on

Scott Smith, running through

Captain Andy Smith on Run

Luca Owen Youens on one of his 6 tries

James Booth crashing through

Jake Smith feeding his backs

Oswestry played host to Port Sunlight RFC who are from Birkenhead on the Wirral in the league. Oswestry were hoping to get their first victory at home this season. Oswestry kicked off proceedings in sunshine but a sharp wind made it very cold and the pitch was very heavy due to an earlier downpour of rain and sleet. The kick off was received by Connor Blair who took the ball back at the visitors and was tackled by the large Portsunlight pack. The ball was lost to Portsunlight who used their large number 18 to try and dent holes in the wall of red and black Oswestry players who presented them with a strong defence line. Oswestry won a scrum on the half way line. Portsunlight took the ball against the head and gave the ball to their number 18 player who tried to get through but was stopped by James Booth, Guy Roberts and Fletcher Owen-Youens. Oswestry got turn over ball and Nikola Nickolov took the ball on winning a penalty for Oswestry. Luca Owen-Youens kicked Oswestry just short of the Port Sunlight try line. The ball was won by Oswestry and Gareth Ellis drove on passing the ball to Guy Roberts and then Luca Owen-Youens who from around 10 yards out was unstoppable and ran in his first try. Oswestry were unsuccessful in the conversation but were 5 points up in the first 6 minutes of the match.
Portsunlight from the restart were able to keep the ball having just kicked it 10 yards but were stopped by Andrew Smith who put a big tackle in on the visitors. A scrum was awarded to Oswestry and from winning the scrum Oswestry were back on the attack again making good ground into the Portsunlight half quick passing between Jake Smith Nick Clay and Andrew Merrett got Oswestry to the visitors try line. A run by Liam Williams got Oswestry within feet of the try line before being pushed into touch. The ball was knocked on by a Portsunlight player and Oswestry had a 5 metre scrum. The scrum was won by Oswestry and Scott Smith playing at number 8 took the ball further towards the try line before being stopped. The ball was given to Andrew Smith, Fletcher Owen-Youens and Andrew Merrett who ran in his first try of the season. The kick was not converted and after 14 minutes Oswestry were 10 points up.
At the restart the ball was caught by Andrew Smith who charged at Portsunlight making a good 25 yards before being stopped. Portsunlight were penalized and Luca Owen-Youens kicked Oswestry into the visitors 22. Portsunlight were struggling to get out of their half such was the pressure and good defence line Oswestry were using. Such was the tackling by both teams forwards injuries were coming thick and fast to both teams. Lottie Beard the team Physio was kept busy attending to players from both teams. Oswestry were camped in the Portsunlight 22 when another Portsunlight player was hurt but this time the player had to leave the field with a nasty shoulder injury. After a delay of nearly 10 minutes play resumed Scott Smith from the rear of the scrum charged at the try try line and with his power could not be stopped and scored Oswestry’s 3rd try. The kick was not converted and Oswestry were 15 points up.
Almost immediately from the restart Oswestry took the game back at the visitors with good strong runs from Captain Andrew Smith, Gareth Ellis Connor Blair before Luca Owen-Youens ran a wonderful try from over 35 yards out. Another kick missed and Oswestry were 20 points up.
Through mistakes and poor indiscipline Oswestry were forced back into their own 22 for the first time in the match. However Captain Andrew Smith shouting out instructions and words of encouragement pushed Oswestry back into action. Another long run by Luca Owen-Youens and continued on by Guy Roberts assisted by other pack members got Oswestry within 20 yards of the Portsunlight try line. Andrew Merrett produced a quick pass to Luca Owen-Youens and from 15 yards out could not be stopped and secured his 3rd try of the afternoon and Oswestry’s 5th try. The kick again was missed and Oswestry were 25 points to 0 at half time.
Coach Kevin Whitehead spoke to his players at halftime just telling them to iron out some small mistakes they were making but overall he was happy with the team’s performance.
Portsunlight kicked off the second half which was caught by James Booth who ran a good 15yards back at Portsunlight passing the ball to Hugh Adams who carried on making progress into the visitors half. The ball was passed to Luca Owen-Youens who from the half way line ran at pace showing great strength knocking over Portsunlight players to run in his 4th try of the afternoon. The conversion kick was missed. Oswestry within a minute of the second half were 30 points up.
From the restart Portsunlight managed to keep the ball only to be halted and pushed backwards by Andrew Smith and Guy Roberts. Portsunlight were awarded a scrum and Portsunlight carried on battling to get back in the game but could not penetrate the Oswestry defense.Scott Smith came off to be replaced by Tudor Jones and Guy Roberts came off to be replaced by Mike Keaveny. To the credit of the Portsunlight pack they kept Oswestry at bay but could not gain any ground on Oswestry. Oswestry started to make further advances into the visitors half with good play from Andrew Merrett and Hugh Adams .After 13 minutes of play, Liam Williams were replaced by James Curtis. After a scrum James Curtis was given the ball and went on a run backed up by James Booth and were awarded another scrum close to the halfway line. Finally the pressure took its toll on the Portsunlight men and after quick passing the ball went to Luca Owen-Youens who able to run in his 5th try of the afternoon. He then promptly converted the try and Oswestry were 37 points up.
Portsunlight were feeling the pressure and from the restart Michael Keaveny together with Nick Clay ran hard for the line before passing to James Booth who ran in another try from over 30 yards out. Luca Owen-Youens converted the kick and Oswestry were 44 points to nil up.
After 25 minutes of play Fletcher Owen-Youens had to leave the field due to a foot injury and Scott Smith returned to the match.
After the restart Oswestry were awarded a scrum at the halfway line and from the scrum James Booth playing at 8 gave the ball to Nikola Nickolov who was able to run in his first try for Oswestry since joining the club at the start of the season. The conversion was missed and Oswestry were now 49 points to the good.
Portsunlight had not given up but were struggling with the pressure Oswestry were imposing on them and after winning a 5 metre scrum Tudor Jones with two men on him ran over to score Oswestry’s 10th try of the day. Connor Blair stood up to take the kick but just missed. Oswestry were now 54 points up.
The same passage of play from Oswestry returning to the Portsunlight half and 22 from the restart, nearly produced another try for Scott Smith who was just held short by desperate defending by the visitors. However the ball went to Hugh Adams and he was just too strong to be stopped and scored the 11th try of the afternoon. Connor Blair once again had a go at the conversion and was able to convert the try making the score 61 points to 0. The referee finally blew the whistle relieving the misery of Portsunlight who kept on battling to the end.
Oswestry now move up to 7th place in the table with 29 points after their first home win of the season.
Man of the match was awarded to Luca Owen-Youens for his outstanding performance and scoring 5 try’s and making 2 conversion kicks individually scoring 29 points.
Oswestry on Saturday 2nd December 2017 make the journey to play Vagabonds on the Isle of Man. Oswestry seconds are at home to Winnington Park 3rds. Please come down and offer support to the second team.

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18th Nov Home against Veseyans (Shield)

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Mon 20th Nov 08:06am

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Try !! James Roberts ..Coach Kev Whitehead celebrating!

Scot Smith bursting through the Veseyans defence with Oswestry pack on the hunt

James Roberts bursting through with Italian Nikola Nikolov following

Gaz Ellis receiving ball

Oswestry played host to Veseyans RFC from Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham in the North Midlands shield Cup for a place in the quarter finals to play Malvern.
The weather was kind sun shine no rain as Oswestry kicked off into the Veseyans half. The Veseyans player knocked the ball forward and after the first minutes a scrum was awarded to Oswestry. After the third attempt at the scrum and advice from the referee Scott Smith picked the ball up playing at number 8 running on with the ball assisted by the rest of the pack. Jack Charmley with Tudor Jones moved the ball forward with Connor Blair passing the ball to Nick Clay then Guy Howells and James Roberts who was illegally tackled and a penalty was awarded to Oswestry in the Veseyans 22. Luca Owen-Youens stood up and converted the penalty kick making the score 3 points to nil.
Veseyans took the restart and immediately gave away another penalty to Oswestry. From the subsequent line out at halfway Fletch Owen-Youens caught the ball cleanly passing the ball to Gareth Ellis. The ball was lost in mid field with Veseyans kicking the ball behind the Oswestry line. Nickola Nickolv returned with the ball after making a good 20 yards of running before being tackled. The ball was returned to the Oswestry 22 where Iwan Ellis made a good touch kick playing Oswestry out of danger. Veseyans however came back at Oswestry and won a scrum in the Oswestry half charging at the Oswestry defence. Scott Smith made 2 tackles in quick secession to halt the drive. The referee awarded a penalty to Veseyans but gave it to Oswestry for indiscipline by the Veseyans players. Touch was found near the half way line with Gareth Ellis catching the ball and feeding Nick Clay. Scott Smith ran with the ball making ground supported by Jack Charmley before Tudor Jones carried the ball further with a powerful run ably supported by Guy Howell and Connor Blair. The ball was given to Luca Owen-Youens who kicked the ball just too long and Veseyans had a 22 drop out. Connor Blair received treatment form Lottie Beard and bravely carried on playing. A scrum was awarded to Veseyans of which they won quickly passing the ball out to their wingers who were able to run in a try due to some missed tackles by the Oswestry team. Veseyans now took the lead 5 points to 3 but were unable to convert the kick.
From the restart Oswestry attacked the Veseyans team with a good passage of play from the Oswestry pack and backs pushing just inside the opponents half. James Roberts was fouled and Oswestry were awarded a penalty kick. From over 40 yards from the posts Luca Owen-Youens launched a massive kick scoring Oswestry another 3 points going into the lead 6 points to 5.
Veseyans fought back and found themselves deep in the Oswestry half and after a few minutes were able to run in another try due to poor tackling. The visiting team converted the kick and retook the lead 12 points to 6.
After the restart the referee awarded a scrum to Veseyans at the halfway line. Gaz Hughes had to leave the pitch to receive treatment to a nasty cut above his eye. Whilst receiving treatment Liam Williams came on to replace him. After 5 minutes Gaz Hughes returned to the field bandaged up. Again Veseyans attacked Oswestry and were moving the ball out to their wings and with a lot of pace and were able to run in their 3 rd try. The conversion was missed and the visitors were now 17 points to 6 in the lead. Half time came just as Oswestry were trying to get back into the game.
Coach Kevin Whitehead told the players in no certain terms that the reason that they were behind was that the team were missing tackles and making mistakes. The orders were given to the players and it was left under the Captain Andrew Smith to lead his team out and to put things right.
As Veseyans kicked off the difference in the Oswestry team was easy to see as they played with more determination and aggression .Charges from Andrew Smith Tudor Jones and Gareth Ellis brought Oswestry to their halfway line. Gareth Ellis had to leave the game for treatment and was temporarily replaced by Michael Keaveny. Some 10 minutes into the second half Nick Clay received a yellow card for allegedly swinging his arm. Oswestry were down to 14 men and Veseyans tried to capitalize on the position. Oswestry stood firm and a couple of minutes later the referee gave the Veseyans number 4 player a yellow card. After good pressure by Oswestry they were out done by quick passing out to their wings and they conceded another score giving Veseyans their fourth try. The score now stood at 22 points to 6.
Oswestry were quick to react and forced their way in the visitors half and some good play by Gaz Hughes Guy Howell and a pass to James Roberts who ran in their first try of the afternoon. The conversion kick was missed and Oswestry were now 11 points to 22 down.
Nick Clay served his time and returned to play Veseyans were now putting pressure on Oswestry and an interception pass found its way to Nikola Nickolov who ran out of his 22 being chased by a number of Veseyans and was stopped eventually just inside their 22.Scott Smith made good ground to push play further on and the referee awarded a penalty to Oswestry. Much of the play centred on the halfway line and with less than 10 minutes to go Coach Kevin Whitehead made changes. Guy Roberts, Mike Keaveny Tomas Booth and Liam Williams all came on for Guy Howell Tudor Jones Ivor Hughes and Nikola Nickolov. Oswestry pushed forwards with good runs from Nick Clay Mike Keaveny supported by Guy Roberts. Good passing between the Oswestry pack and backs found Oswestry deep in the visitors half. With time running out Oswestry drove on and from 20 yards Andrew Smith drove for the line supported by his players score a try. Luca Owen-Youens stepped up and converted the kick. The score now stood at Oswestry 18 Veseyans 22. There was just enough time for the restart and almost straight away the referee blew for full time.
The man of the match was awarded to Nikola Nickolov and Nick Clay.
Oswestry now concentrate on their return to the next league fixture on Saturday 25th November 2017 with a 2.15pm kick off at home. Oswestry needs your support please come down and support your local team.

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11th Nov Away against Winnington Park

Written by Guru

Posted: Mon 13th Nov 01:06pm

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Eagles travelled to Winnington Park top of the league knowing this was going to be a tough game, but none the less with a severely depleted team through injury and unavailability the 17 men of Oswestry arrived to take on Winnington Park.
Winnington started with ferocity and attacked the Eagles lines ... but Oswestry held the line with superb defence the pack driving back Winnington, Andy Smith Captain leading by example urging his men on the front row of Smith, Guy Roberts back in after a long spell out and the massive Mike Keaveny stopping Winnington in their tracks .. now with scrum half Jake Smith brought in for the injured Nick Clay showing skill and determination giving his backs ball to attack Winnington. The Hughes twins also back in after injury showing pace and skill. James Roberts playing out of position at 10 punching holes in the Winnington defence. Oswestry three times at the Winnington try line and a try not given held up but Oswestry still pushing this Winnington side .. they not knowing how to cope with the play of Oswestry .. their supporters baying for blood but knowing this side from Shropshire was no pushover.
The first try of the Match came from Winnington with a well worked move making the score 7-0 but still Oswestry pushed this side to their limits.

The coaching staff now pushing their side to attack more, but the Eagles making this side look very ordinary .. not the team that is beating sides at home by 30 40points and more.

Half time and Kev Whitehead giving sound advice to his team stick to this game plan and enjoy the day.
The second half continued with Oswestry being pushed back but still outstanding play in defence and attack .. however the home team where starting to use their obvious skills and put three tries past Oswestry .. one of them dubious .. but still given. In the dying minutes of the game Luca Owen-Youens ran through the flaming defence to score Oswestry's try not converting .. the final score

Oswestry 5 Winnington Park 24 

Without a shadow of doubt the score certainly does not make this game an easy one for Winnington Park .. I take my hat off to the 17 Oswestry players that not only put their bodies on the line, but played with heart, discipline and a fervour that I have not seen in many a game .. players out of position players injured .. but none the less with the score at 7-0 half time the top of the league team where at a quandary as how to play this team .. Oswestry can come home with pride at stopping this side from scoring any more tries.
Kev Whitehead gave man of the Match to the whole 17 men .. Captain Andy Smith praised the team for their total commitment to this tough game ...
Bring on the return match at Oswestry....

Saturday 18th the Eagles are playing Veseyans from the Midlands in the North Mids Shield, at home KO 2.15 Pm

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4th Nov Home against Aspull

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Mon 6th Nov 10:08am

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Hugh Adams scoring a try for Os

Andy Merret passing the ball

James Roberts on a run

Fletcher Owen-Youens bursting through Aspull

James Booth handing off the 12

Oswestry played host to Aspull on Saturday coinciding with the Vice Presidents dinner at the club where over 70 people enjoyed the meal and watched the rugby match. Special guest at the club was Tony Stimpson rugby legend who played for England 19 times and was selected for the 1997 British Lions Tour.
Oswestry knew they were in for a difficult match with Aspull who were above them in the league. The weather was kind and Oswestry was blessed with sun shine as a healthy crowd watched the game kick off at 2.15pm. Oswestry kicked off the match thumping the ball into the Aspull half. The Aspull scrum half caught the ball and kicked the ball into the Oswestry half. Captain Andrew Smith caught the ball and ran straight at Aspull where he was tackled and in the ruck that followed Fletcher Owen-Youens passed the ball to Callum Crutchley who continued on with the ball with Andrew Smith joining him along with Nick Clay who sent the ball out to Luca Owen-Youens where play broke down and Aspull were able to get turn over ball. Aspull a big and powerful team ran hard at Oswestry with Nickola Nikolov making a wonderful tackle along with Gareth Ellis as Aspull drew closer to the Oswestry try line. Guy Howell and James Booth did their best to keep Aspull out but after 3 minutes from the start the huge Aspull number 5 ran in a try close to Oswestry’s post. The conversion was kicked and Oswestry found themselves 7 points down.
Oswestry at the restart tried to get into the Aspull half but were battered back through clever kicking by the Aspull number 9 scrumhalf. Oswestry tried to make ground with good efforts from James Roberts, Andrew Smith and Hugh Adams. Again Aspull were getting further into the Oswestry half and putting Oswestry under a great deal of pressure which after 12 minutes of constant pressure Oswestry conceded a penalty in a kickable position. The Aspull number 15 managed to convert the penalty and go 10 points to 0 in the lead.
For the next 10 minutes of the game Oswestry tried to get out of their half but Aspull were proving too strong and kept pushing Oswestry back. After 22 minutes Oswestry won a penalty and Luca Owen-Youens found touch near to the half way line. Gareth Ellis wins the lineout where Andy Merritt found a gap and ran 20 yards passing to James Roberts who carried on the progress until he hit the wall of Aspull. Guy Howell clears things up with Nick Clay giving the ball to Connor Blair who also crossed the game line. Hugh Adams along with Callum Crutchely continued to push Aspull back. Finally Oswestry found themselves in the Aspull 22 with good carries by James Roberts and Luca Owen-Youens before being tackled short of the Aspull try line. After 25 minutes of hard defending by Oswestry they finally started to look like they were going to score. The Oswestry pack were starting to bully the Aspull pack to and finally Hugh Adams with the assistance of Callum Crutchely was able to put the ball over the line. Luca Owen-Youens was able to convert the kick and Oswestry had 7 points to Aspull’s 10.
Oswestry were finally back in the game and filled with confidence attacked Aspull putting them under pressure in their 22. Good play by a number of Oswestry players pushed the Aspull team back but their defence stood fast preventing the Oswestry team from breaking through. As half time loomed Jack Charmley came on for Callum Crutchely who went off for some treatment from Lotti Beard. Gareth Ellis pushed ever closer to the line but after a short amount of extra time the referee blew for half time.
Kevin Whitehead and Captain Andrew Smith had a difficult job making the team believe in their abilities to beat the Aspull team and to stop making silly mistakes and giving Aspull too much ground.
The second half started with Oswestry just 3 points adrift. Callum Crutchely re-joined the play with Jack Charmley leaving the pitch. Aspull had the kick off but the ball was promptly returned to their half with a long kick by Nick Clay.Luca Owen-Youens together with Andrew Smith were quick to get into the Aspull 22 and stifle the Aspull player who could not get the kick or pass out. Callum Crutchely went down hurt and play was suspended for a short while as he was helped off the pitch with a serious leg injury. He was again replaced by Jack Charmley. A penalty was awarded to Oswestry and touch was found deep in the Aspull 22. From the line out Gareth Ellis caught the ball and the pack pushed ever closer to the line where the ball was passed to Viliame Masire and with the help of the Oswestry forwards dived over to score Oswestry’s second try. The conversion was missed and Oswestry were 12 points to 10 in the lead.
Play restarted and Lottie Beard was kept busy with having to treat Andy Merritt but his tackle lead to an Aspull penalty and Aspull once again elected to go for goal and succeeded in converting the penalty. Oswestry were once again behind 13 points to 12.
Aspull came back hard after the restart winning a scrum in the Oswestry 22 the ball went out to the Aspull full back who ran over the Oswestry try line making the score Aspull 18 points to 12. The kick was converted and Aspull were 20 points to 12 in the lead.
Oswestry did not give up and after a line out close to the half way line Jordan Tsang made a good run followed up by the skipper Andrew Smith. They were backed up by Jack Charmley, and a powerful run by James Booth and Nick Clay before finally being stopped by Aspull. Liam Williams came on to replace Viliame Masire. Aspull won another penalty and again went for the kick at goal but were unsuccessful on this occasion. Aspull pushed hard and from the Oswestry 22 line and from another penalty were able to run in a third try which they could not convert. The score now stood at Aspull 25 to Oswestry’s 12.
Michael Keaveny came on for Guy Howell and immediately got involved in a big push with Andrew Smith in the Aspull half from the restart. Aspull had to defend a scrum on the edge of their 22 with Gareth Ellis and Hugh Adams putting Aspull under pressure. After 31 minutes of the second half James Curtis came on for Nikola Nikolov. In front of the vocal supporters from Aspull they managed to come back at Oswestry and get pushed into touch by Gareth Ellis. At the line out the Aspull number 10 was penalised and was given a yellow card. Oswestry could not take advantage of the extra player but with Gareth Ellis they did manage to find themselves in the Aspull 22 and Andrew Smith charged over the line with a number of Aspull players on him. However the referee did not award the try saying that the ball was held up. Aspull cleared their lines and James Curtis with his pace was making good ground before being tackled and pushed out. Oswestry tried to get back but in the dying moments of the game gave another penalty to Aspull which resulted in Andy Merritt being given a yellow card. There was nothing Oswestry could do and the final whistle came with another home defeat. 
Tony Stimpson awarded the number 9 Aspull player as man of the match together with Hugh Adams from Oswestry.
Next week Saturday 11th November 2017 Oswestry travel to face the hardest game yet to unbeaten league leaders Winnington Park with a 2.15pm kick off. Oswestry seconds have a home game against Marple Seconds with a 2.15pm kick off. Please come and support Oswestry seconds at home.

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28th Oct Away against Marple

Written by Guru

Posted: Mon 30th Oct 03:32pm

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Oswestry travelled to Marple in Stockport hoping to continue their 100% away record. However Oswestry went with a depleted team due to injury and players commitments but still hoped that they would enjoy a good game of running rugby. Oswestry arrived at Marple as the heavens opened and for the second week in a row faced heavy persistent rain for the duration of the match.
Marple kicked off into the Oswestry 22 and immediately went on the attack and like the previous game at Oldershaw caught Oswestry on the hop and within 4 minutes of the start were able to run in an easy try from poor defence cover.
Marple failed to make the conversion and were 5 points up.
The early score provoked Oswestry to wake up and get back into the game. After the restart Oswestry found themselves in the Marple 22 and awarded a line out. Captain Andrew Smith threw the ball in which was taken by James Booth. The pack got behind him and pushed on with Jack Charmley holding the ball at the rear being assisted by Guy Howell. Oswestry were awarded a penalty and after a well-placed kick by Luca Owen-Youens found themselves 10 yards from the Marple try line. James Booth caught the ball again followed up by Andrew Smith who drove for the line but the referee deemed not to award a try saying that the ball was not grounded. A scrum 5 was awarded to Oswestry which they won, the scrum half Fabrizio Gaito quickly fed the ball out to James Roberts who was tackled and assisted by James Curtis who was tackled illegally and Oswestry were awarded another penalty. Marple were under extreme pressure as Oswestry elected another scrum. Again Oswestry won the scrum and Jack Charmley at the back of the scrum picked the ball up passing to Fabrizio Gaito passing to Callum Crutchley who went on a run and could only be stopped by three Marple forwards. However Callum Crutchley was able to give the prop Connor Blair the ball who continued to drive forwards. Nikola Nickolov, Marco Bercich and James Roberts were all involved in the attack. The referee blew his whistle and was forced to speak to the Marple Captain and his number 4 player resulting in the Marple number 4 being given a yellow card and told to leave the pitch.
Oswestry decided to run with the ball as Andrew Smith went with Tudor Jones assisting him and taking on the the charge after Andrew Smith was tackled. James Roberts tried to make ground but was held with support play by Jack Charmley who acted as scrum half giving the ball to Connor Blair who charged for the line and with the assistance of his fellow pack members was able to get over the try line and score an equalizing try. The kick was narrowly missed and the score was 5 points to 5.
After the restart Marple attacked Oswestry and great defending by James Roberts and James Curtis prevented Marple scoring again. Oswestry were penalized on a scrum and Marple quick to act ran over a soft try. The Marple conversion was missed but they lead 10 points to 5.
Oswestry were quick to react to this score and after the restart James Roberts took hold of the ball in the Marple half and went on one of his jinking runs committing a number of Marple players to him before offloading the ball to Luca Owen-Youens who from 10 yards out was unstoppable and scored a superb try. The conversion was missed and the score stood at 10 points to 10.
There was a spell of backwards and forwards kicking to gain ground but in the wet and heavy conditions it did not lend itself for a flowing game of rugby. Both teams were evenly matched with Oswestry perhaps gaining more ground than Marple. After about 26 minutes into the game Marple found themselves in the Oswestry 22 and James Curtis made a good stop on a Marple winger but he was able to get the ball out and their winger was able to score the third Marple try. The kick was converted and Marple were once again in the lead 17 points to 10.
Some 33 minutes into the match Ruben James had to leave the pitch with a shoulder injury being replaced by Jonathan Hughes. Oswestry found themselves on the half way line and were awarded a scrum. Connor Blair was starting to give his opposite number trouble and the Oswestry front were dominating their opposite numbers. The referee was forced to speak to Marple about illegal binding and Oswestry were quick to take advantage. After a line out James Booth won for Oswestry he was able to get the ball to Fabrizio Gaito who quickly passed to Jonathan Hughes but he was tackled illegally giving Oswestry another penalty. Oswestry charged forward with Guy Howell Andrew Smith and Callum Crutchley all leading the way. But Marple committed another infringement, Captain Andrew Smith saw that Marple were slow to prepare themselves and picked the ball up using his initiative and ran through the Marple pack able to score a try close to the posts.,
Luca Owen-Youens was able to convert the kick making it 17 points each.
Half time came shortly afterwards. Coach Kevin Whitehead gave suitable instructions to his players saying that the game was there to be won providing they played in a certain fashion.
Within 4 minutes of the restart Marple were able to score another soft try but were not able to to convert it. Marple had now scored their fourth try and were leading again 22 points to 17.
Oswestry who were clearly annoyed with themselves for slipping behind again and went straight back at Marple with some great runs by James Booth and some aggressive play by Callum Crutchley were back in the Marple half. Within 4 minutes of falling behind James Booth went on a good run passing the ball to James Roberts who at speed was able to go past won defender and commit another tackler before passing to James Curtis who could not be caught with his pace and managed to run to score the fourth Oswestry try and his first for the first team.
Luca stood up to make the conversion and succeeded in getting the ball over the bar. For the first time in the rain soaked match Oswestry were in front 24 points to 22.
After the restart Marple had a line out which Guy Howell managed to steal the ball. Marple stifled the ball and Oswestry had a scrum. It was still clear that the Oswestry front row were still giving Marple trouble forcing the referee to speak to both front rows explaining what he expected in the scrum. In any case Oswestry won the scrum with James Booth opting to pick the ball at the back of the scrum and go for a run giving the ball to Luca Owen-Youens who gained Oswestry ground by putting a well-placed kick into the Marple 22. Marple were quick on the attack and Captain Andrew Smith who suffered a leg injury caused by a Marple player running his studs down his leg knew his team were in trouble and quickly got back to his feet to help his team mates. James Curtis suffered a neck injury requiring treatment by Lottie Beard the club physio and like Andrew Smith continued to play on. Oswestry continued to repel the Marple attack with all forwards doing what they could to stop them. 22 minutes into the second half Guy Howell was replaced by Mike Keaveny. Dominant play by James Roberts Luca Owen-Youens Connor Blair and Callum Crutchley were able to encamp in the Marple 22. Mike Keaveny was quick in the action when the Oswestry pack were able to gain over 35 yards in a driving maul before the referee gave Oswestry a penalty for a Marple player who fell to the ground and did not roll away. Play continued in this vain but to the credit of Marple they stood fast to keep Oswestry out.
Marple managed to get into the Oswestry half and after a number of silly mistakes Marple were given a penalty. Marple took their opportunity and managed to convert the penalty making the score 25 points to 24.
Oswestry had one last chance after being given a penalty at the restart and went for a line out deep in the Marple half. Unfortunately Marple were able to steal the ball and put the ball out of play and the referee blew his whistle to end the match. Man of the match was awarded to Captain Andrew Smith for an outstanding performance.
Oswestry slip to sixth in the table with 24 points and next week on Saturday 4th November 2017 they face Aspul who are second in the league. Kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.15pm at Oswestry please come and support your local team.

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16th Sep Away against Didsbury Toc H

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Mon 18th Sep 11:56am

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Oswestry attacking the Didsbury try line

Luca Owen-Youens scoring the conversion

Fletcher Owen-Youens taking the ball in lineout

Captain Andy Smith Looking on

Oswestry travelled to Didsbury in Manchester for their second away match in the 2017/18 campaign. Kick-off was slightly delayed due to the referee getting caught in traffic.
After a short delay a strong and confident Didsbury team took to the pitch after a big win the previous week confident that they would beat Oswestry.
Oswestry started well shortly after kick off Tom Keaveny got good line out ball ably assisted by Gareth Ellis feeding the ball to Marco Bercioh on a strong run into the Didsbury half. However Oswestry gave a unnecessary penalty away to Didsbury allowing them to launch an attack well into the Oswestry half. Didsbury made a spirited attack into the Oswestry 22 putting Oswestry under great pressure. Luca Owen Youens made a try saving tackle holding up the Didsbury wing preventing him from making the score. After several minutes of prolonged pressure Oswestry defence finally was breached and the Didsbury number 8 pushed over for a try. The try was converted and Oswestry were 7 points down after 10 minutes.
Almost immediately Oswestry after the restart won a scrum in the Didsbury half. The strong Oswestry pack won the ball with Nick Clay giving a sharp pass to Luca Owen Youens who in turn managed to commit a Didsbury player to provide a great pass to James Roberts who ran in Oswestry try from 30 yards out into the Didsbury corner. Unfortunately this try was not converted and Oswestry were 7 points to 5 down.
After the restart Oswestry gave away a number of unnecessary penalties allowing Didsbury to gain advantage and put Oswestry under heavy pressure. Callum Crutchelly who was making his debut for Oswestry was able to go on a powerful charge supported by Tom Keaveny. Didsbury returned into the Oswestry half with Tom Keaveny making aggressive tackling keeping Didsbury at bay.
Some 15 minutes into the match Marco Bercioh who was making his second appearance for the club suffered an ankle injury. Play was held up and after being treated by the Oswestry Physio Lottie Beard Marco was able to bravely play on. Oswestry continued to push into the Didsbury half lead by the Oswestry Captain Andrew Smith and his pack. Thomas Henry Jones was given the ball who was quick enough to show the Didsbury players a clean pair of heals to score Oswestry’s second try in the corner. The try was converted by Luca Owen Youens making the score 12 7 to Oswestry.
This made Didsbury make two changes bringing on a winger and a very athletic looking second row forward. The forward mad an immediate impact winning a lineout giving Didsbury good ball and push into the Oswestry’s half. The pressure on the Oswestry line was immense with all players preventing Didsbury from scoring. Marc Bercioh who appeared to be everywhere putting his body on the line to stop the other team from scoring. The pressure was finally too much and Didsbury finally pushed over for another try which was converted making the score 14 points to Oswestry’s 12.
As a result of all the hard tackling Craig Crutchelly suffered a serious injury to his wrist and took no further part in the match. He was replaced by Mike Keaveny. After a long injury time the half continued with Didsbury pushing hard for another try. James Roberts made yet another try saving tackle and finally the referee blew the whistle almost 15 minutes late.
Coach Kevin Whitehead and Captain Andrew Smith gave the team an inspired talk and Oswestry kicked the second half off driving into the Didsbury’s half. Didsbury fought back returning to the Oswestry half with full back Luca Owen Yeoman forced to make clearance kicks. With play at the halfway line and fierce tackling Guy Howells had to retire with a nasty blood injury to his hand. He was replaced by Iwan Ellis. After the substitution Luca Owen Youens made a good 35 yard run into the Didsbury half handing off two Didsbury defenders before eventually being tackled by a third. Some 10 minutes into the second half Didsbury returned to the Oswestry half and managed to score a try but were unable to to convert it. The score then was 19 points to Oswestry’s 12.
After a scrappy spell which resulted in both side conceding silly penalties the referee was forced to speak to both captains. After a short while to returning to the rugby Oswestry drove into the Didsbury half Gareth Ellis Andrew Smith and Connor Blair all playing their part causing Didsbury to concede another penalty. The referee gave another 10 metre due to indiscipline by Didsbury. Didsbury were on the back foot. Thomas Henry Jones was substituted by the second Italian player in the squad to join Nikola Nicholov.
Oswestry continued to pressurize Didsbury and with great support play by Andy Merreit and Nick Clay the mighty Masirena was able to run in Oswestry’s third try with Didsbury’s players hanging off him. This made the score 19 points to 17 in favour of Didsbury. As the game was nearing the end Oswestry were eager to score again and within minutes of the last score Oswestry found themselves close to the Didsbury try line. The Oswestry pack who were able to drive Didsbury back were able to get the ball to the captain Andrew Smith and he ran the 10 yards straight onto the line and was too powerful to be stopped by the Didsbury defence. The kick was converted by Luka Owen Youens making the score Oswestry 24 Didsbury 19.
This left a nail biting finish as Didsbury attacked the Oswestry line reaching the Oswestry 22 line but finally the referee blew the whistle and it was a good Oswestry performance winning as well as a bonus try. There were many candidates for man of the match but the honour was given to Marco Bercioh for an outstanding performance.
This win leaves Oswestry 4th in the league table with 11 points.
The next game is at home on the 21st September at Granville Park kick-off at 3pm against Orrell please come down and support your local team.

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9th Sep Home against Heaton Moor

Written by Guru

Posted: Mon 11th Sep 11:10am

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New shirts sponsored by Hughes Bros Kubuto and Lanyon Bowdler

Jack Charmley going into the tackle

Captain Andy Smith going for ball

Fin Grogan, Mike Davies James Roberts left to right

Luca Owen-Youens scoring Oswestry Final try

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Connor Larkin Man of the Match passing the ball

Gaz Ellis catching ball

Oswestry Juniors lining the pitch for the guard of honour

Heaton Moor travelled to Granville Park to play The Eagles on home ground … Oswestry Juniors lining the park to welcome the 1st XV onto the pitch.
Heaton Moor on the back of a 74-5 win against Oldershaw last week started well pushing the Eagles onto the back foot straight away …
1st penalty to HM and kicked for touch close to the Oswestry try line …
Throw in and HM used their experience and pack to push over the 1st try of this match, no conversion.

5-0

Then a Penalty given away for offside against HM gave Oswestry the chance to get on the score board … the Dependable Fin Grogan slotting the ball through the posts.

5-3

Now Oswestry struggling to get past the game line with this disciplined HM team not allowing The Eagles to get the ball moving … HM playing close to the offside however still taking quick ball from their rucks forcing Oswestry to defend …

Again another quick ball out to their backs and HM used the mauling pack to score another try with a conversion on this one.

12-3

Now Oswestry starting to get back in this game with driving runs from the pack Connor Blair punching holes is this HM defence … Nick Clay at 9 trying to get his backs onto the HM try line … another penalty to Oswestry close to the 22 metre line gave Fin Grogan another Chance to get 3 Points

12-6

Again and again this well disciplined side put Oswestry on the back foot having to defend the try line … but the ferocity of the HM side saw a side step and the HM centre breaking through the middle scored another try close to Half time … no conversion and the score

17-6 at half time

Now Coach Kev Whitehead using his vast experience in this game told his men to get a grip of this game … get more Forceful and start playing the rugby that they are capable off …

With Jordan Tsang replaced By Masi … saw the big Fijian start to attack the HM lines and the Eagles upping their game to a different level … Mike Davies mis-tackled off the ball saw A yellow card given to HM. Mike off and Mike Farrow on … Also Mike Keaveny on to replace Guy Howell front row … and Dan Smart replaced … but instantly and against play HM scored again bringing the score to

22-6

Now the Eagles start to play the flowing and attacking rugby we know they can play, with the pack battering the HM defence causing disruption and mistakes made by HM … with Luca Owen-Youens running at the defence linking up again with Tom H Jones skinning the HM defence and scoring Oswestry's first try … not converted in this high wind causing the ball to drift wide.

22-11

Now Oswestry on the rampage with HM being forced back and not liking this at all … bickering amongst themselves wondering how to combat this aggressive attacking from The Eagles … Marco Bercich the new Italian Centre for Oswestry now enjoying the flowing rugby he had come over to play … linking up with his 9&10 to cause total chaos in this HM defence … the Bull Luca Owen-Youens punching massive holes in the HM defence … Front row of Smith Blair and Mike Keaveny driving on with the second row of Ellis and Fletcher Owen-Youens … causing mayhem and upsetting the boys of HM … suddenly from quick ball and a deft pass from Fin Grogan … Luca Owen-Youens saw the gap and dived over the line with players hanging off him to score … no conversion

22-16

With minutes to go and HM slowing play down … Oswestry needed a try to win this game … but alas … full time blown … Oswestry lose this tough game knowing that if they had played like they did in the second half … a win was certain …

Oswestry the Hughes Bros Kubuto and Lanyon Bowdler Man of the Match Connor Blair front row …

Next week 1st XV travel to Didsbury Toc H Manchester.

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7th Oct Home against Liverpool Collegiate

Written by John Gibbs

Posted: Sun 8th Oct 12:23pm

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Oswestry entertained high flying Liverpool Collegiate the league leaders who have won all their previous matches inflicting high scores.
With an overcast start to the match Liverpool kicked off kicking well inside the Oswestry half. The ball was caught cleanly by Captain Andrew Smith who together with his pack and help from Ruben James making his debut managed to set up a maul. Liverpool were able to get the ball back and their number 10 put a crafty kick behind the Oswestry line and the Liverpool winger was able to run through get the ball and run over and score their first try within 2 minutes of the start of the game. The try was converted and Liverpool were 7 points up.
The Liverpool players and support they brought with them must have thought they were off to such a good start that they were going to run up a cricket score. However Oswestry had other ideas and Luca Owen-Youens put Oswestry into the Liverpool 22 which was quickly followed by Andy Merritt, Fletcher Owen-Youens and Guy Howell. Big hitting tackling went in from the Oswestry players and the ball was fed back to Gareth Ellis who went on a run towards the Liverpool line. Liverpool were now in a match and Oswestry practically camped in the Liverpool half. The pressure by Oswestry made Liverpool concede a penalty with an injury to a Liverpool player. Luca Owen-Youens was able to convert the kick bringing score to Oswestry 3 Liverpool 7.
Liverpool showed their class to gain good ground from the restart and win a penalty in the Oswestry half. Oswestry conceded a penalty which was kicked by Liverpool extending their lead to 10 points to 3.
In this fast moving game Oswestry returned to the Liverpool half with good runs by Andrew Merritt, Marco Bercioh and Guy Howell all putting in big hits with the assistance of Callum Crutchely and Ruben James.
After a quarter of an hour of play, play was suspended due to a Liverpool player suffering a serious ankle injury that subsequently required an ambulance to convey the player to hospital.
After 35 minutes play was resumed with a scrum being awarded to Liverpool who managed to kick the ball near to half way line. Liverpool ran with the ball but Luca Owen-Youens was able to put a massive tackle in enabling Jack Charmley and Fletcher Owen-Youens to put Liverpool under the cosh. Heavy tackling continued with all pack member’s doing their bit for the team charging for the Liverpool line. The pressure imposed by Gareth Ellis, Callum Crutchely and Ruben James made Liverpool concede another penalty to Oswestry. Unfortunately the kick didn’t go over and Oswestry were still behind by 7 points.
Liverpool from the drop out were quick to gain ground into the Oswestry half and showing their speed the Liverpool winger was able to run in another try extending their lead to 15 points to 3. They were unable to convert the try.
At the restart Oswestry with the Italian 3 Marco Bercioh Nickola Nikolov and Fabrizio Gaito all got in on the act to help Oswestry steal ground from the away side. Nick Clay produce a fine pass that eventually found Luca Owen-Youens who was too strong and fast for Liverpool and he ran in a try from 10 yards. The try was not converted and Oswestry now had 8 points to 15.
Fabrizio Gaito had to retire hurt with a neck injury replaced by Oliver Duare who was making his debut for Oswestry.
Oswestry quickly returned to the Liverpool 22 putting more pressure on the away side. At the stroke of half time Oswestry were awarded a penalty kick which Luca Owen Youens was able to kick bringing the score to 11 points to 15 at half time.
Coach Kevin Whitehead was pleased with his team’s performance and asked more of his players to carry on in the manner of how they had been playing.
At the start of the second half the rain started and remained for most of the second half making the ball very slippery and difficult to keep in hand. Liverpool were quicker off the mark and ran in their 3rd try but were unable to convert. The score now stood at 20 points to 11.
Oswestry did not give up and took the action back to Liverpool with James Roberts making a very impressive tackle on a Liverpool player who very nearly broke the Oswestry line. The young Oliver Duare also produced some good tackles on the wing.
The relentless pressure imposed on Liverpool paid dividends to Oswestry with help of James Roberts, Andy Merritt Luca Owen-Youens was able to score his second try but was unable to make the conversion. The score now was 20 points to 16 and Oswestry were in spitting distance of catching Liverpool in this hard fought match.
Guy Howell who had provided a great shift was replaced by Michael Keaveny who carried on where Guy had left off using size and strength to bully the Liverpool defence. The runs kept coming as Andy Merritt Callum Crutchely kept running at Liverpool. The ferocity of the tackling and desperate defence by Liverpool in the wet conditions produced injury after injury. As the end neared Oswestry did all they could to make the winning score. Andrew Smith was yellow carded for an infringement and had to watch as his players manage to hold on and attack the Liverpool line even though they had one man disadvantage. Andrew Smith returned to the field of play in time for one last attack. Liverpool can count themselves fortunate to survive as the referee blew the whistle for the last time ending a very entertaining game of which all of the Oswestry players put in 100 percent.
All players deserve a mention but the man of the match was given to Luca Owen-Youens.
Oswestry still remain 5th in the table. Next week the league has no fixtures but Oswestry has a difficult home fixture against Veseyans RFC from the West Midlands in a cup competition.
Kick off will be at 3pm on Saturday 14th October 2017 at Oswestry please come support your local team.

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2nd Sep Away to Dukinfield

Written by Guru

Posted: Tue 5th Sep 08:17am

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Oz on the attack!

Action on the 22m line

Dukinfield scrum ...

We contested well in the lineouts!

Penalty awarded!

Hard fought scrums!

Oswestry started off the first game of the season making the long Journey to Dukinfield near the start of the Pennines.
On this bright and Sunny day perfect for Rugby ... the Eagles started with confidence knowing that even with a team where players are being asked to play out off position ... the pre-season fitness giving this team and advantage which was to become apparent during this game.

Eagles received the Kick off from Dukinfield with the home team putting pressure on Oswestry from the start ... but with the ever present Fin Grogan clearing the lines and putting Dukinfield on the Back foot ... relieving the intense pressure from this big tough team ... who had beaten all their opponents in pre-season matches,
However first blood came to the Dukinfield side with a penalty for offside ... three points to The home team.

Now Oswestry having got rid of the journey nerves started to play a quick ball game from the ruck, allowing the fit and fast backs to penetrate the Dukinfield team ... Tudor Jones taking crash ball into the Dukinfield forwards making space for James Roberts at scrum half ... accurate ball to Fin Grogan through to Luca Owen Youens offload to Gaz Hughes at 13 ... pulling the Dukinfield defence apart. Superb pass to Ivor, his brother, whose quick silver pace was devastatingly fast, skinning the defence scoring in the corner ... this not converted.

5-3

Within minutes another try saw Gaz Hughes intercept a sloppy pass from Dukinfield and sprint three quarters of the pitch outpacing the backs and putting the ball down square in the middle of the posts ... Fin Grogan converting.

12-3

Eagles now on a roll! The pre-season fitness giving the boys from the border a distinct advantage over the tough boys from the north ... Oswestry now moving the ball at will, the forwards taking big hits, providing space for the team to control the ground pushing Dukinfield back to their try line ... suddenly out of a move near the 22 metre line Captain Andy Smith breaking through the middle of the ruck saw the white line slamming the ball into touch over the line ... the ref blowing for a try ... but alas !! it was the 5 metre line which the ref thought was the try line, in the heat of the moment ... however Smith shrugged and said let's get on with this ...

Again and again Oswestry played flair rugby with the whole team adding to the attack ... now Luca the giant came into play running straight lines at the Dukinfield defence using his backs ... Gaz Hughes and Tom H Jones, to mesmerise the defence ... quick ball gain from the pack saw Tom and Luca interplay past the Dukinfield defence and score another try for Fin Grogan to convert ...

19-3

Dukinfield now with heads down at these quick tries, tried to get back into the game by keeping the ball in the forwards and not using their backs …

But penalties being given away by Dukinfield, saw Fin Grogan converting for 3 points.

22-3

A try for Dukinfield off a line out, close to the Eagles line gave them hope to stay in this game ...

22-10

But once again encouragement from Coach Kevin Whitehead pushed the Oswestry boys into action with the whole team working the ball closer to the Dukinfield try line ... again and again the pack tearing down the Dukinfield defence ... weary bodies trying to hold the tide of Oswestry coming in …. a chance move with quick ball saw T Henry Jones sweep past the defence of the home team and score again ..this one converted.

29-10 and bonus points

Time and first half gone ...

Now the second half was a tale of two halves with Dukinfield keeping the ball from this Oswestry team not allowing them the freedom they had in the first half ... the Eagles defence solid and strong ... Luca Owen-Youens making a try saving tackle down the left wing ... valiant efforts from the Oswestry men stopped the Dukinfield attack ... but the pressure told and the Oswestry men being brought down to the Dukinfield level with the supporters baying for blood saw Dukinfield score a try bringing the score to

29-17

Now coach Kevin Whitehead communicating with his 10 Fin Grogan to spread the ball and get back to 1st half game plan ... and again, spread the ball he did, with every member of this team busting a gut to score again ... now Matt Bowyer coming off injured ... Mike Keaveny coming on to increase the strength of the front row ... again and again both teams playing to score the try that would seal this game ... Tom H Jones took advantage of slack play by Dukinfield, slipped past the grasping defence to score ... Fin Grogan Converting. Score now ...

36-17

The end in sight ... Dukinfield had one last play in them and
scored an unconverted try to bring the final score to ...

36-24

The Oswestry men delighted with the game and the score ... Kevin Whitehead congratulating his team on an excellent performance, but with a lot to work on for the forthcoming game at Home to Heaton Moor from Stockport - KO 3pm

Special mention must go to Matt Bowyer, Tudor Jones, Dan Smart and Liam Williams for stepping up to the mark and making this win possible.

Man of the Match Gaz Hughes

Next week Oswestry V Heaton Moor KO 3pm

Come down and support your Rugby team ...

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