Electric atmosphere as game attracts largest away support in club's history
RFU Midland Junior Vase semi-final
Mellish 30 Rugby Welsh 20
Despite suffering a narrow defeat in their Midland Junior Vase Semi Final this performance and the day’s proceedings will long remain in the minds of everyone involved with Rugby Welsh.
The largest away support seen in the club’s history travelled to the excellent facilities of Mellish, near Nottingham, and were in fine voice throughout the day with the game proving to be a credit to junior rugby.
The home side began confidently, being well drilled, and with a large set of forwards and confident backs Welsh struggled to cope with their physicality in the opening quarter. Welsh nearly took the lead when Jack Taylor almost intercepted a midfield pass but Mellish were soon ahead with an unconverted try followed shortly afterwards by a well struck penalty. Welsh then had a player sinbinned and looked to be in for a long afternoon when am unconverted try gave the home side 13-point lead within 20 minutes.
Welsh are a resilient side and gradually began to work their way back into the game. Glenn and Adam Bond started to cause problems for the opposition midfield, with forwards Roche and Colledge winning more lineout possession. From a 5 metre lineout the catch and drive was set up and the hard working Lorenzo Galleno crashed over an unconverted try. This gave the Welsh more confidence and enjoyed plenty of territorial advantage just before half time. They were rewarded when the forwards set up a great position in front of the posts and the ball was spun out to Anthony Reynolds who scored a well taken try in the corner.
Just three points behind at half time Welsh were well in the contest but Mellish again began the half well. Their forwards dominated the scrummage and Welsh conceded a number of penalties giving territorial advantage to the home side. Mellish increased their lead with a blind side move creating an unconverted try in the corner. Welsh would not give up and roared on by their support they narrowed the gap again, midway through the half when winger Anthony Reynolds showed great power and strength to crash over in the corner for a try, magnificently converted by Glenn Bond.
With just a point between them Welsh were then rocked by another sinbinning following a high tackle giving further impetus to the home side whose impressive centre and forward runners were still causing problems. Welsh continued to defend for their lives with youngster George Lowe putting in a number of latch ditch tackles at full back. Eventually the pressure told with Mellish scoring an unconverted try following another powerful run by their prop, but a penalty from Glenn Bond reduced the gap to three points with ten minutes left. The atmosphere was now electric but it was Mellish who gave themselves some breathing space with a converted try with five minutes left and try as they might Welsh had to concede defeat.
On reflection, this cup journey has been a great experience for the club and the after match festivities were superb with Mellish proving to be excellent hosts. Welsh wish them every success in the final and hope they reach Twickenham,
The season has far from ended for Welsh and they travel to Birmingham Civil Service this Saturday. Kick off 2pm.