Fantastic Festival Finale for Manchester U14s at Kirkby Lonsdale
By Alison Lomax
Second Festival Triumph of the Spring
What a festival !!
Straight off the coach & onto the pitch for the first of 4 pool games. The opening opponents Burnley.
Manchester ran out winners 7 tries - 0. Next up North Ribble and a convincing 10-1 victory. In the 3rd game Manchester overcame Leigh 7 tries to 3. In the final pool game Manchester swept passed Sedgley Park 6 tries to one.
As pool winners, Manchester advanced to the semi-final of the Cup, where season rivals LSH awaited. Our U14s were certainly on song, overpowering the Moss Lane team 43-12 ( 7 try to 2).
The other winning semi-finalists, Preston Grasshoppers, who beat a second LSH team 33-5, were 6th opponents of the day.
Hoppers proved a strong, well-organised and direct opposition who helped make a pulsating, festival final.
The spectators lucky enough to enjoy the final saw a match that they will remember for a long time. The 2 teams served up a skill-laden, fast-paced end-to-end treat.
The remarkable first-half produced 9 scores. Preston began the scoring and whilst Manchester levelled the first four, they found themselves 4 tries to 5 (28-31) behind at the break.
The second half was equally exciting, even though neither side managed to breach the other’s defence for over 5 minutes.
The dramatic final minutes saw Manchester draw level with their 5th try and within a minute went in for a match-winning 6th try. The ref’s whistle moments later was followed by elation, celebration & confirmation of a marvellous Manchester victory.
Big thanks to all who organised the day at Kirkby Lonsdale, bar staff (lovely pint of Junior), the referees, the medical staff, the very many really sporting teams, our coach driver -who some how got us to the games in time, and a little help from a few dads & the festival organisers.