From Lichfield’s last outing against Bridgnorth, they made a couple of changes to their match day squad. Suvwe Obano replaced the unavailable Kev Birt, whilst Callum Aspley replaced the injured Josh Massey on the wing which led to a slight re-jig of the back line. On the bench, Ollie Savage was back alongside Jack Hawley and the returning Sam Friend.
After coming off a narrow defeat away at Bridgnorth and a week off, Lichfield were more than ready to atone for their 57-7 hammering when they visited Broadstreet earlier on in the season.
On a cold day, the match was constantly affected with the light on/off rain which didn’t disappear all game. Lichfield were more than up for fight and they started brighter which they were rewarded for after 5 minutes. Having gained an attacking line-out just 5 metres away from the Broadstreet line, the line-out was initially stolen but the tap back fell loose on the ground and over the Broadstreet try line and Charlie Milner was the quickest to pounce on the ball and score Lichfield’s first and only try of the day. Unknowing at the time, the conversion was crucially missed but Lichfield held an early 5-0 lead.
This seemed to let Broadstreet know they were in a game and 10 minutes later following a sustained attack they were rewarded a penalty 22 metres out and virtually right in front of goal. Their goal-kicker, Lee Chapman, stepped up and slotted the penalty kick at goal to reduce the deficit to 5-3 after 15 minutes.
This was how the score until half-time, as both teams had chances to score but spilt balls because of the rain and excellent turnovers saw several attacks cut short. With Lichfield playing against the windy conditions, they were camped in their own half for the majority of the last 20 minutes of the half but excellent physical and determined defence ensured Broadstreet didn’t score and so the Myrtle Greens went into half-time 5-3 up.
The first score of the second half was a rather fortunate one but an unfortunate one for Lichfield. Now playing with the conditions, and after spending most of first 20 minutes of the half in the Broadstreet half they were unable to break through Broadstreet’s strong defence. Then, on another attack, the ball was shipped wide out into space but unfortunately the ball was knocked on and lost. From deep inside their own 22, Broadstreet played the advantage and this left their winger, Scott Truslove, to fly hack the ball numerous times up the whole length of the pitch. With his speed keeping the rushing back defenders at bay, it was left to him to fly-hack the ball one more time over the try line and touch down for Broadstreet’s first and only try of the day. Crucially, this conversion was successful and Broadstreet now led 10-5 with 20 minutes to go.
After this one pivotal break out by Broadstreet, they were soon back under pressure in their own 22 and conceding penalties and one penalty too many for the referee when Broadstreet’s prop, John Allison, tackled the scrum-half at the back of a ruck without the ball. This left the referee with no other option but sin-bin him and with the penalty 10 metres out and right in front of goal, this left Greg Massey to step up and kick the 3 points to cut Broadstreet’s lead to 10-8 with 15 minutes left.
Lichfield tried everything in the last 15 minutes to get into a decent scoring and penalty position but Broadstreet did well to keep possession for some of it to keep Lichfield at bay. However, after an excellent turnover in their own half and with Broadstreet conceding two more soft penalties, Lichfield had now moved to just out Broadstreet’s 22. Unfortunately, Lichfield couldn’t prize a penalty off Broadstreet and several phases later the ball was turnover and kicked out for the referee to blow his full-time whistle.
Heart-break for Lichfield as their performance definitely warranted more than just a losing bonus-point but they will go again this Saturday (11th March) when they make the short journey to Derby RFC (kick-off 2.30pm).