Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club beaten 30-15 at Syston in National Midlands 3
Disappointment again came the way of Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club on the road as they failed to win at Syston - their main rivals for the third relegation place.
The scoreline does not do justice to the way The Greens came back in the second half, but the contest was decided when the Leicestershire boys got off to a flying start and a 17 points to nil half-time lead.
The Greens once again made a very lacklustre start while the opposition came on to the field buzzing with purpose and determination.
Syston produced a simplistic game plan which revolved around their forwards taking the ball in a series of drives round the fringes of the rucks or employing the maul.
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It was from a maul after only 5 minutes that influential No.8 Andrew Nunney got the first try. The conversion attempt failed but the home boys employed the maul once more to suck in the Scunthorpe defence before moving the ball to the blind side for winger Torr to touchdown after 15 minutes.
It was still the home boys doing most of the attacking with the Scunthorpe play very flat and lacking in purpose.
It was on 27 minutes that Syston once more managed to get their forwards into an attacking position for prop Bowles to score. This time Rees was successful with the conversion and with 13 minutes more of the half remaining it looked as if The Greens would have an even bigger mountain to climb.
There was no addition to the scoring, however, and Tim Robinson now had the opportunity to galvanise his players and turn things around in the second half.
The half-time pep-talk certainly worked as The Greens emerged as virtually a different team.
They kicked-off and managed to reclaim possession and two passes later Tom Foster stretched his legs to touchdown near the posts. Steve Johnson converted and it was game-on at 17points to 7. A lapse in concentration then allowed Syston to produce another score with a throw to the unmarked front of the lineout for hooker Badham to trundle over for a virtual replica of the try scored in the previous fixture at Heslam Park earlier in the season. The Greens recovered from this setback and applied pressure to the home line and managed to win a penalty which Johnson converted for an 11 points to 22 scoreline.
All the pressure was now coming from the Heslam Park boys and a series of drives to the home line should have at least gained a penalty try but Scunthorpe did have the satisfaction a try by Steve Johnson from forward pressure which opened the mid-field for an easy run-in.
He was unable to add the extras but the deficit was reduced to 22 points to 15.
On a rare visit to Scunthorpe territory, Syston was awarded a penalty which Rees converted to take his side two scores clear on 35 minutes.
With time running out, Scunthorpe threw everything into attack and with the home defence looking tired and weary another score looked certain but as often is the case when you are over extended, a loose ball was hacked on from the home 22 and even though Scunthorpe managed to scramble back to claim the ball, the clearing kick was poor and the home side managed a try which put a false gloss on their victory.
Two of Scunthorpe’s younger players, Will Harrison and Chris Hewitt, came off the bench in the second half and generated the necessary urgency that brought all the pressure.
The team will certainly need to produce some much-needed urgency into their play for their next fixture at home to title contenders Ampthill or risk heavy defeat.