Grosvenor RFC: Semi Final McCrea Cup Report. I XV Compete In A Great Advert For Junior Rugby

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Grosvenor’s impressive winning streak came to a disappointing end at Malone in the semi-final of the McCrea Cup.

This was a cracking match played in bright sunshine and from the first whistle no quarter was asked or given. Grosvenor bossed things for the first half hour but despite making half a dozen line breaks they were unable to score more than six points from the boot of Matty Little. A nice cameo after twenty minutes was prop Simon Fullerton taking the ball in midfield and then putting in a beautifully weighted kick to the Malone corner which any international outhalf would have been proud of. With ten minutes to go Malone upped their game and scored a great try in the left hand corner following some good interplay between forwards and backs. With a few minutes to go to half-time Malone mounted another attack and scored another great try with their forwards barging over from close range. Half-time 12-6.
Malone started the second half with their tails up and some poor first up tackling by Grosvenor allowed them to score another try to extend their lead to 13 points. Grosvenor rallied and the forwards led by Phil Hill, Philip Stoops, Peter Dawson and Fra Graham changed the flow of the game in their direction. Matty Little reduced the deficit with a penalty and Grosvenor then mounted an excellent attack up the left flank where winger Dee Jackson was put away with a clear run to the line. The score would have brought Grosvenor to within three points but he was called back for foot in touch. Then in a crucial five minute spell Grosvenor’s already difficult task became a mountain to climb. Scrum-half Matthew Fitzsimmons who was having a great game left the field injured. A loose clearance kick by Grosvenor presented Malone with an excellent attacking opportunity which they gratefully received and scored another great try to give them a 26-9 lead. Grosvenor fought back and scored a fine try of their own but it was too little too late.
This was a fine contest between two very evenly matched sides and a great advert for junior club rugby. Ultimately Malone were more clinical at taking their chances and they ran out worthy winners. Good luck to them in the final.

Man of the match has to be a forward this week and in a unit that contained eight great performances Fra Graham gets the nod for his tireless work-rate, bone crunching tackling and slick handling.

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