RUGBY: Cricklade play the elements well before Avonvale's concession

First published in Sport

AVONVALE conceded the match to Cricklade after an hour when the weather conditions prevented the game continuing with the hosts 25-5 ahead.

Dorset & Wilts Div One West

Cricklade 25

Avonvale 5

Both sides, respectively second and third in the league, contributed to a hectic opening few minutes but the strong wind made passing difficult while line-outs proved a lottery.

It was Cricklade who generated the first opening as their pack bullied the visitors' scrum then outrucked the opposition at the breakdown before skipper Nathan Waite collected the ball from the rear of a melee, and accelerated across the line.

His kick for the extra points was good, but no match for the wind.

While Avonvale’s wind-assisted kicks were often too long, Cricklade used the elements well using their short passing and off-loading game. The pack's rucking ensured continued possession, and soon Rhys Mills scored a similar try to Waite’s. Avonvale were not rolling over and and an attempted clearance kick by Waite stuck in the hands of a challenger who was over the line before anyone could react.

At the restart the home side flooded forward, isolated the catcher, the resulting turnover finishing up in the hands of Mills, who burst over for his second.

Soon another Cricklade offensive began, this time with Lewis Palmer showing pace and agility to cut the defence to shreds.

In the second half, the wind was in Cricklade’s favour and they soon had the visitors backed up against their own goal line, although Avonvale bravely resisted the hosts' attacks.

As the wind speed increased, making it difficult even for spectators to keep their feet, the home side's fifth try arrived via a splendid piece of forwards' work that tempted in too many defenders and allowed Steve Baldwin to muscle his way off the back of the pack and over the line.

With the weather deteriorating further, the ref and both skippers had a short discussion and the match was conceded and abandoned to the great relief of everyone.

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