Spartans 22, Old Silhillians 17.
In their third and final encounter of the season, these two sides served up a feast of a game in a great advert for Warwickshire rugby.
In their third and final encounter of the season, these two sides served up a feast of a game in a great advert for Warwickshire rugby. Both sides were keen to throw the ball about on a near perfect day, and with a big scalp on offer for Spartans it was the home side who edged the territory, but the visiting defence was as organised as ever and the scoreboard stayed still. 'Sills looked equally dangerous with some solid forwards and silky smooth backs a constant menace, but it took 25 minutes for the first score when a chip, chase and catch from Spartans' Alex Garbett finally broke the deadlock. The home side were then forced to defend for long periods, and despite a herculean effort from the Men In Black one mistake saw 'Sills cross the line and go in front with the conversion. From the kick off 'Sills showed their class and strong running with good support saw them add another seven points, leaving Spartans to lick their wounds over the half time break.
The second half began with Spartans on the back foot again, and needless penalty offered 'Sills a gift wrapped three points which they gratefully accepted for a twelve point lead. With no prospect of a home win and a confident 'Sills threatening to run away with the game, the Men In Black rolled up their sleeves and got on with the job, going toe to toe in every position. Scrums became trenches, lineouts arial warfare and the backs ran cavalry charges as the home side searched for a breakthrough. After pounding at the door for a good while the black forwards finally kicked it down with an unknown warrior (possibly Jack Bingham) grounding the ball in the middle of a pile of bodies for 12 - 17 and game back on! Now it was the backs' turn and living off some good ball they pressed and pressed but again 'Sills defence held up. The coach killing moments continued as mistakes left 'Sills in front, but the dam finally burst when Mike Foulds wriggled through for a try, and a Tom Hardy conversion put the blacks back in front.
A frantic finale saw 'Sills throw everything they had at Spartans and both sides ran themselves into the ground. Tired bodies littered the pitch but the home side weathered the storm and escaped into 'Sills half. This time it was 'Sills turn to gift Tom Hardy a chance and he duly added three points, but a 5 point lead was never going to be enough and once more 'Sills were on the attack. Hard won turnover ball and a shrewd kick put the visitors back in their own half, and this time there was no escape from the black blanket which suffocated them until the excellent referee blew the final whistle.
Credit must be given to both sides for an enthralling three match series which ends in one win each and a draw, emphasizing just how close things were between them.