Grosvenor 2nds ease past Bangor
By Roger Corbett
Despite scoring 3 tries, a poor defensive display by Bangor saw Grosvenor 2nds take control and win convincingly by 19-36.
Grosvenor got this early kick-off underway, playing towards the cricket end in almost perfect conditions. Bangor looked shaky from the start, allowing Grosvenor to quickly regain possession and put the pressure on straight away. Although Bangor managed to clear their lines back down into the Grosvenor twenty two, an excellent counter-attack saw the Grosvenor players carve their way through some weak tackling and attack down the right wing. Bangor tried desperately to block the route to their goal line, but did so illegally resulting in the referee awarding Grosvenor a penalty try.
Obviously rattled by this quick score, things threatened to worsen for Bangor as first their restart didn’t go the requisite distance, then shortly afterwards a high tackle by Dave Miller saw him take 5 minutes in the sin bin. However, despite these setbacks, Bangor dug in with captain Andrew Jackson leading by example as his determined running saw him break through the Grosvenor defence before passing inside to Ali Lockhart who ran through to touch down between the Grosvenor posts. With Keith Rossan’s straightforward conversion, the scores were now levelled at 7-7 after 15 minutes of play.
With Miller returning, and this score under their belt, Bangor now seemed more settled. A good penalty kick to touch by Rossan put his forwards on the Grosvenor 5 metre line. The line-out was cleanly won, setting up the rolling maul which moved towards the Grosvenor line. The big Belfast forwards put up a stout defence, but Bangor patiently worked the phases until Jackson made the telling surge and scored in the left hand corner. The conversion was missed, but Bangor had their noses in front by 12-7.
This lead, however, was short-lived. Just 7 minutes later, Grosvenor took advantage of some kind of misunderstanding or confusion by the Bangor players who appeared to stand still as the Grosvenor player casually jogged around them to score under the posts. Thankfully, Bangor’s response was even quicker as they struck back within 2 minutes through an Adam McCusker try, this time with the conversion. Bangor could have done with carrying this slender 19-14 lead into the second half, but once more Grosvenor found a way through in the closing seconds of the first half to score again, levelling the game at 19-19.
With the breeze strengthening, and now favouring Grosvenor, the second half looked like it might be more difficult for the home side as they repeatedly struggled to get out of their own half. It wasn’t long before Bangor succumbed to yet more poor tackling, allowing Grosvenor a clean run through to score their bonus point try under the posts. Another poor restart kick failed to carry the necessary distance, putting Bangor back on the back foot once again. However, for the remainder of this third quarter, Bangor managed to hold the Grosvenor attack and, with just one score between the sides, the possibility of a counter attack was always there. Unfortunately though, the Grosvenor players seemed to be growing in confidence and once again took advantage of another spell of indifferent Bangor tackling to score another converted try to put them further ahead by 19-33. With just 10 minutes remaining, they then capped off their win with a penalty which put them safely ahead by 19-36, and beyond the reach of a now dispirited Bangor side. With a 2 week break until their next game, Bangor will need to address their erratic defence if they are to pick up some much needed league points.