Stourbridge Grasshoppers 17 - Bromsgrove Vets 1l
By john slim
The Glorious Grasshoppers stun the Vets!!
A big crowd turned up to watch this fixture, but most of them got misdirected and ended up watching the Lions beat Kiddy to progress to the final of the Midlands Intermediate cup.
Nevertheless, we started with a strong side and a strong bench:
1 - Neil Page
2 - Dave Surch
3 - Dunc Faulkner
4 – Duncan Bickley
5 - Steve Fisher
6 - Gareth Simpson
7 - Rich Barratt
8 - Mike Steven
9 - Mike Dyson
10 - Chris Turner
11 - Martin Philpotts
12 - Sean Firth
13 - James Dallison
14 - Darren Felton
15 - James Metaxas
Subs - Dave Craddock, Dan Wilkes, Charles (Colt), Richard Allen-Zoarder, Damian Kelly
We won the toss and opted to play with the wind. The first half saw tries from Steve Fisher and Dunc Bickley. Bickers benefitted from a good run from a quick tap penalty by Dyson, quick ball from the breakdown and a pop from Chris Turner to allow the big fella to crash over.
Steve Fisher ran support for a Chris Turner break (one of many in a great performance) following a line-out steal from Mike Steven. Chris eventually kicked through and Steve showed both pace and fitness to gather the ball and score.
Bromsgrove came back with a pushover try but it was clear by half time that our front five were more than a match for their well organised pack.
Half time saw the introduction of fresh legs with Dan Wilkes replacing Mike Steven, Damo replacing Mart, Charles replacing Steve Fisher and Scall replacing Surchy. (Dave C had replaced Gareth towards the end of the first half following a shoulder injury).
Bromsgrove clearly wanted to win the game and we spent the first fifteen minutes of the half defending our line. An injury to Rich (who had been immense in the tackle and the breakdown) made things more difficult, with Mike Steven coming back to play at 7. Eventually, Bromsgrove's pressure paid off and they were awarded a second try making the score 10-10.
There was too much desire to win in the side to accept the draw this afternoon though and we soon hit back. Chris Turner made another weaving break and, when he was eventually tackled, Dave Craddock was there to take the pass and score. Sean Firth dropkicked the conversion to leave it 17-10.
Bromsgrove tried to exert pressure late on and had a series of tap penalties, yet we held on to take the victory and enjoyed pies, port and big Dunc's birthday cakes as a reward.
Well done fellas. .