Spartans Win Local Derby
By Alex Garbett
32 - 3
Spartans made the short journey to Streetly to meet up with old friends Veseyans on a surprisingly good day for rugby, where the hosts had a large crowd assembled to renew acquaintances and witness events.
The game began with both sides testing each other out in both attack and defence, resulting in the majority of play being on or around the half way line with both sides searching for an advantage. Spartans showed some early initiative in the first quarter with some ambitious but foolhardy running out of defence, and Veseyans used their own pitch well as the second quarter saw Daniel Poulton kick to dominate territory. A slow burning game burst into life five minutes before half time as the Streetly side forced a kickable penalty which was successfully converted into a three point lead, but from the restart Spartans reclaimed the ball following some robust forward challenges and astonishing footwork from young Adam Butler saw him dance down the touchline tightrope to squeeze in at the corner. A two point lead was probably the correct half-time margin between the sides, though it could easily have belonged to the home side,
The second half was thankfully a better spectacle for everyone than the first, with some strong exchanges and good contests in both scrum and line. The visiting Men In Black put some good support together and a beautiful second try was crafted for winger Adam Butler wide on the right, followed by an extremely ugly but equally valued try from hooker Dale Jones on the left. Veseyans worked hard to rekindle their game with Captain Robert Russell leading by example, Daniel Poulton a constant threat and scrum half Will Slattery the star of the Streetly side, but the black defence held firm and managed to deal with everything thrown at them. As the game entered the last quarter Spartans found their mojo when playing an advantage and Tom Wayne burst the hoops' defence for a black bonus point try followed by a final try for Mike Foulds under the sticks. Once more the hoops hit back as they searched for some second half points but Spartans were not giving anything away and an entertaining contest finished with the black defence in charge.
This week Spartans host Walsall at Coppice Lane in what promises to be yet another difficult encounter.