Alec Dewell, Dan Roberts and Tim Trapp made up a strong, mobile front row. Craig Lawless made his season’s first appearance, adding his experience to an already sound scrum and lineout while Joe Hopper added the extra power in open play as well as the set piece.
Alex Barley looked to torment the opposition 10 from open-side, while David Brooks looked to disrupt Winnington Park from the blind-side. James Brooks showed his versatility once again starting at 8 and captaining for the first time this season.
Saturday saw Toc H 2’s 4th scrum half of the season in the guise of Alex Miller partner Benjamin Eaves at 10. Jamie Bawden started on the left wing with Sam Booth moving from the centres to the wing. Josh Smith made his 2nd team debut at 12 while Ollie Lamont made a welcome return at 13. Ash Langbridge looked to co-ordinate his defence and counter from 15. With Fenton Martinez and Owen Panton transferring to the 4s, the 2’s were left with no bench.
Straight form the kick off Toc H managed to get the upper hand and turn over the ball with some great work at the break down from Trapp and Barley. Working into the Winnington Park 22, the forward pressure paid off and the referee gifted Toc the first penalty of the game. Opting to kick and keep the score ticking over, Toc reset to receive the ball. 3-0. Once again, the forwards got stepped up the gears set a great platform for the backs to sip the ball wide with some quick hands. Lamont found Booth who ventured into the opposition 22. Quick thinking from J.Brooks at the break down allowed him to sprint down the blind=side for the first try of the game. Eaves converted. 10-0. Winnington Park did not back down and 2 tries later they brought the game back to Toc H taking a 12 -0 lead.
A missed penalty from Eaves just before the break ensured Winnington claimed the first half. Once again, missed tackles proved Didsbury’s Achilles heal as Winnington scored a further 2 tries to take the score to 23 -13. Hopper took the game to Winnington with some strong running. Winnington were once again pinged for offside, this time in front of the posts. Eaves once again added the points. 23-16. From the restart the forwards claimed yards with a powerful rolling maul to Winningtons 22. Once again ill discipline from the Winnington backs resulted in a penalty. Opting for touch, MOTM Dan Roberts ensured clean ball for Lawless to set another rolling maul. Roberts secured the ball and Toc went over for their 2nd try. Eaves converted. 23-22.
It all looked promising for Toc H, but a combative Winnington Park upped the tempo and managed another 3 tries after beating a tired looking Didsbury in broken play. Final score, Didsbury Toc H 23-38 Winnington Park.
Didsbury 2’s look forward to build on their most promising performance of the season next Saturday with a trip to Northwich. Get yourself down to training and earn your shirt.