Presidents Day Finals
PRESIDENTS DAY 6TH MAY 2018.
The hoards of rugby faithful travelled to the North of the county on Sunday 6th May descending on Esterchem Park for Presidents Day 2018. Leek rugby club were the hosts for the day providing an excellent range of hospitality for all of the travelling visitors. With the May sun blazing down and three cup finals, it promised to be an exciting day of rugby.
Rubery Owen Cup
Linley & Kidsgrove vs St Leonards. St Leonards were the first to score through a converted try to take an early lead. Linley responded strongly, a penalty providing an attacking line out from which the North Staffordshire team drove across the line for an unconverted try. The heat was taking its toll on both teams, but it was Saints who battled hardest to get their reward through a converted try to close the half. The half time score was a narrow 5 – 14 lead to St Leonards. Saints came flying into the second half smashing their way across the Linley try line, but the referee deemed the ball held up and the County Town team had to settle for a penalty to stretch their lead. The momentum of the game then swung as Linley settled into a period of attacking rugby, two tries and one conversion drew the teams level, before the Linley captain crashed across the line for a try and the lead. A Saints penalty cut the deficit to four points but two more Linley tries secured the game as time ran out. Linley & Kidsgrove are the 2017/18 Rubery Owen Cup holders with a 38 – 20 victory over St Leonards.
Eccleshall vs Rugeley. Eccleshall were the first to score through an unconverted try to take a narrow lead. Neither team could gain any significant advantage and both sides put up a ferocious defence. Rugeley picked up the tempo as the half dwindled to a close and their persistence was rewarded through a converted try. The half time score was a narrow 5 – 7 lead to Rugeley. A revitalised Eccleshall dominated the start of the second half, denied a try due to a forward pass, the pressure eventually breached the defence for a converted try and the lead. Rugeley responded with an unconverted try to drag the scores back together. The afternoon was to belong to the league leaders, two further tries and a penalty built an unassailable score. Eccleshall are the 2017/18 Owen Cup holders with a 29 – 12 victory over Rugeley.
Newcastle vs Stafford. A well drilled Newcastle team dominated the early part of the match with three converted tries to build a sizeable lead. Stafford clawed their way back into the game through a penalty to put points on the board. Newcastle were relentless in attack and a further converted try stretched the lead. Stafford wouldn’t lie down and grabbed the last points of the half with a second penalty. The half time score was a significant 28 – 6 to Newcastle. Stafford started the second half with a converted try of their own to add to the score, but Newcastle responded immediately through unconverted try of their own. A Newcastle penalty added to the impressive lead before Stafford grabbed a second converted try. With less than 20 minutes to go a rejuvenated Stafford continued the comeback through a third converted try to cut the difference to just nine points. A converted Newcastle try followed by a penalty kick put the result of the game beyond any doubt. Newcastle are the 2017/18 Intermediate Cup holders with a 46 – 27 victory over Stafford.