Grove keep promotion hopes alive with another win
Grove struggle but win away at Broadmoor Staff by 12 : 27
Broadmoor Staff (12) vs. Grove (27)
Grove struggled to beat lowly Broadmoor on Saturday with each side scoring just two tries and the difference really being scrum half Roger Sevier's kicking, which added 17 points, from 5 penalties and a conversion, whereas Broadmoor's kicker could only add 2 points from a conversion, missing several other kickable penalty attempts.
Grove were targeting this match as a bonus point win where they could also build some good points difference but clearly Broadmoor had different ideas. The general story of the game was that Broadmoor played to their strength which was to keep the ball with their very strong forwards through a whole series of pick and drive moves while Grove tried to move the ball through their backs but all too slowly and then generally ending their moves by knocking on. At the end of the game Broadmoor had probably had 75% of the possession throughout the match and certainly had made less mistakes than Grove.
Grove took the lead from a penalty after their first touch of the ball but Broadmoor could have equalised within a minute from a penalty of their own but failed with the kick. Grove then put together a good attacking move, started by lock Paul Miles who took the ball beautifully from the kick off followed by powerful running from fly half Tom Clipsham, standing in for injured captain Nick Sevier, and ending with wing Harry Carr being bundled into touch near the try line. Grove kept the pressure on however and with the Broadmoor scrum half blatantly going off side, won another penalty which Sevier put over for a 0 : 6 lead after just 9 minutes. Broadmoor came back strongly at Grove and won another penalty directly in front of the posts but their kicker again failed to gain the points. Again it was Miles who shone from the kick off but the ball was lost and Broadmoor hit back only to be stopped by a great try saving tackle from new boy flanker Ryan Gordon, who sustained an injury in the process. A period of chaos then ensued with the ball being fly hacked by both sides thankfully recovered by Grove full back Chis Clare who launched a solo attack. Grove flanker Guy Nicholl then sustained an injury but stayed on the field although clearly affected for the rest of the match. Wing Tom Harrington stormed into Broadmoor's half only to be stopped by a dreadful high tackle from the Broadmoor full back, who conceded the penalty but somehow avoided a yellow card. The penalty attempt was missed but again Clare looked dangerous when Grove came back at the home side and another penalty was awarded with which this time Sevier had no trouble and Grove moved to 0 : 9 after 21 minutes. Again Broadmoor hit back very powerfully and from a 5 metre lineout drove over to score which surprisingly the kicker converted from the touchline to take the score to 7 : 9. Joe Bellinger now substituted for injured centre Gordon and Grove hit straight back at Broadmoor with centre Gareth Hudson and Harrington linking well, with the latter unlucky not to touch down in the corner. From the resultant line out the powerful Broadmoor forwards drove Grove back some twenty metres before Bellinger stopped their progress with a fine tackle. This was to no real avail however as Broadmoor again forced a 5 metre line out and again were able to take and drive for their second try and the half time lead at 12 : 9.
Stand in coach Ben Nicholl and Nick Sevier read the riot act to their very ordinary looking troops at half time but the handling mistakes continued into the second half and whenever the ball went to ground it was Broadmoor who always seemed to win it. Thankfully for Grove a moment of brilliance from Clipsham saw him launch a beautiful solo attack from which he was able to touch down to put Grove back into the lead at 12 : 14 after just 4 minutes of the second half. Looking more purposeful Grove now stormed back to the Broadmoor try line particularly through back row man Jamie Fredericks and front row men Steve Dixey and Tim Lane but good defence held Grove out temporarily until Miles was able to smash his way over for his first ever try for Grove, converted by Sevier to put Grove into a 12 : 21 lead. Broadmoor again drove their way back to the Grove try line but this time were held at bay. Lock Stewart Sherwood was replaced by James Kerr and Grove forced their way back to half way. Sevier then attacked having taken a good ball from Jon Chapman from the base of the scrum and with the ball passing from Clipsham to Bellinger and an overlap being created things looked great until the ball was dropped yet again! Grove were however awarded another penalty and this was put over by Sevier to put Grove out of danger at 12 : 24. Martyn Walsh substituted for the now hobbling Steve Dixey and Grove again launched into the attack through Guy Nicholl, Jamie Fredericks, Sevier, Bellinger, Hudson and Carr, who was stopped just short of the line by a superb Broadmoor tackle. Undaunted, Grove continued with their now pacy attack until the Broadmoor scrum half again transgressed with an obvious offside and Sevier slotted the resultant penalty to achieve the score of 12 : 27, half way through the second half. It now looked as though Grove would go on to achieve their higher ambitions but the mistakes returned and Grove knock-ons abounded. Broadmoor's forwards again drove to the Grove try line and looked to have touched down but instead Grove were awarded a penalty. Having got out of jail it was left to Grove's best player on the day, Chris Clare, to launch a terrific attack, linking with his wing man, only for Harrington to be denied a touch down by putting a foot in touch. It was Clare who again launched the next attack only for opposite winger Harry Carr to be denied, again by the touch line. Broadmoor continued their one-dimensional but nevertheless effective attacks and from the next ruck Martyn Walsh was yellow carded for going in at the side, which resulted in passive scrummaging becoming the order of the day. Clare took Grove back to half way with a tremendous clearance kick to touch from behind his own try line. Now looking desperate, Broadmoor threw everything at Grove but Grove kept up their escape act although still being unable to retain any ball on the ground. With no substitutes left and Walsh still being in the bin Grove were reduced to 13 men when Hudson had to leave the field with an injury. Clare again came to the rescue with a huge clearance kick and again despite the numbers disadvantage it was Grove who went back on the attack only to once again lose the ball on the ground. and to be subjected to a massive counter attack from Broadmoor which ended with one of their players dropping the ball, having crossed the Grove try line. At this point the ref brought the match to an end.