Lions Fall to Bottom Club Longton
By Mark Denison
From best to worst in the space of a week.
Fresh from the best display and result of the season, the Lions produced perhaps their worst in their 11-0 defeat at home to Longton. The weather was not conducive to running rugby and Longton’s big pack and backs made life difficult and controlled much of the game, but this wasn’t an excuse for poor decision making and an inability to play to the conditions, in direct contrast to the previous week.
The home team seemed to inexplicably fall victim to the ire of the referee very early in the game and this continued as they were penalised 15 times during the match. Poor defence let the away outfit in for an unconverted try half-way through the first half, swiftly followed by a penalty goal and, just before the half-time whistle, a drop goal to leave the score at half-time, and ultimately the final score, 11-0.
The Lions picked up again in the second half but the few times that they created a break, poor handling or poor decisions left them pointless. Longton kept the ball well and played the conditions and the referee much better, driving upfield through their big forwards and backs and continually breaking the first tackle. In truth, neither side truly threatened during the half and the Lions made little headway, even with the wind behind them.
All in all this was a dispiriting defeat after the heroics of a week ago. The Lions need to get this out of their system. The only shining light was the performance of Joe Wilson at scrum-half, who stuck manfully to his task behind a beaten pack.
Match Report by Jon Dews