The rugby union men’s 2nds took on York 1sts on a damp, cold BUCS Wednesday. The hosts eventually prevailed 24-12 with a vital bonus point; Liz Tyler watched for Label Sport.
York attacked from the start, taking many of their penalties quickly to pressurise Loughborough’s defence. The hosts held their line and were rewarded with the first shot at goal, however Sam Barnes’ kick hit the upright, denying Loughborough any points for their efforts.
York did not let up in their attempts to break through their hosts defence, stealing Loughborough’s lineout and with great runs from both their wingers getting them close. They just could not finish off their attack, failing to push over the line.
Loughborough, seeing the danger of this attacking York team, upped their fervour with a great run from centre Moss Rogers getting them close. Just moments later, Loughborough’s ever strong scrum pushed the hosts towards the York try line, only to be denied the score to go back for a previous infringement.
With a York player in the sin bin, Loughborough held their attacking position; the scrum again pushing the edge of their opposition’s whitewash, but still no score. York’s 14 men still kept Loughborough out, holding on to the possession and forcing the hosts back into their own half.
Finally, a full 30 minutes after their penalty attempt, Loughborough brought together some fantastic attacking play off the back of a quick tap penalty and pushed over the whitewash. Barnes kicked the conversion to put the hosts ahead 7-0.
After being uneasy about their lack of points, Loughborough seemed to relax and settle into the game. The hosts dominated in possession and it was mere minutes before a superb solo run from Charlie Banks saw the winger push over the line. Though Barnes’ conversion was just wide, Loughborough breathed a sigh of relief as they headed into the half-time break 12-0 up.
Though cold hands meant that Loughborough conceded straight from the restart, they held their earlier strength and held off York’s attempts for the breakthrough for the first ten minutes of the second half.
York did not give up in their efforts to push through however; and, after dominating the possession, they were finally rewarded with a score, their left winger pushing over. The fly half nudged over the conversion and suddenly the visitors were back in the match, closing the deficit to just one try.
With their lead being snatched away from them, Loughborough found a new energy and pushed York’s defence further. With a strong run from Rory Cook and some clever play from Barnes, Loughborough found themselves in York’s 22.
The hosts stole their visitors’ lineout and pushed toward the line and put their mind at ease – Will Bishop crossing the whitewash. The conversion from Barnes took the score to 19-7.
York, however, would not be quieted that easily and though Loughborough held their defence for some time, York’s fullback slipped through for the visitors. Though the conversion was just wide the match was becoming close again, the score 19-12.
Loughborough were as unwilling to give up their lead as York were to be defeated, but after some huge Loughborough scrums it was the home team that came out on top, winger Banks pushing over for his second. Barnes’ conversion brought the score to 24-10.
Though both teams fought until the end, neither could capitalise on their efforts of the final minutes and so the score stayed at 24-10 to the hosts. With Durham University 2s to take on next week this win will give Loughborough a confidence boost.