Another very tough February fixture for Caldy and another victory to extend the winning sequence to 23 wins from 23 games. In a dominant performance in often atrocious weather conditions, Caldy simply overpowered their hosts to rack up this important bonus point win.
In prior seasons Sedgley’s Park Lane pitch would have struggled to have coped with the deluge from Storm Dennis but vastly improved drainage ensured the pitch was in surprisingly good condition at kick off. Underfoot conditions were decent enough, but rain and hail driven by a 40mph wind was not what anybody wanted. The first 40 minutes were going to be a tester with Caldy initially playing against the elements.
Sedge were on top for the first 10 minutes scoring a well worked try in the corner, but their initial efforts soon faded as the Caldy pack gained control. Caldy’s forwards were colossal. Thundering performances from Adam Aigbokahe and Jack Collister were backed up by the rest of the forwards and their teammates.
It wasn’t just up the jumper tactics. At half back Cameron Davies and Lewis Barker orchestrated the effort and in better conditions an electric midfield break by the very impressive Mike Cartmill would have surely led to a score. However, turning around at half time 22-5 to the good through tries from JJ Dickinson, another by the immensely powerful Jack Collister and one sublime effort from the dancing feet of Lewis Barker was a good platform. With the elements behind them Caldy would surely kick on in the second half.
Better conditions promised much at the start of the second half. Caldy were in full attack mode and scintillating breaks by Aigbokahe, Cartmill, Davies and Barker had the hosts in all sorts of trouble but frozen hands, a Teflon coated ball and a swirling wind all conspired to thwart the visitors. It took until the 79th minute for Caldy to score the bonus point try their performance deserved but with their usual final minute generosity they then gave their opponents a score with the last play of the game.
The best commentary on this juggernaut of a performance came from half time remarks overhead between Sedgley Tigers supporters. “We knew exactly how Caldy were going to play today but unfortunately it hasn’t helped. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it”
Director of Rugby Gareth Davies was pleased to emerge unscathed from North Manchester but despite extending the Wirral side’s lead at the top of the table to a scarcely believable 26 points he maintained his side was still only focussed on the next game.
“Keeping a run like this going is only possible if everyone is very much focussed on the here and now. Nothing is won until it is won, and both the players and the coaching group are staying very much in the present.”
In recent weeks, after a number of injuries to some of the more experienced players, Davies and his coaching team have drafted some of the younger players into the 1st xv match day squad with no visible diminution in performance or effectiveness, as Davies acknowledged.
“After relegation from National 1 last season, we started this season with a plan to further develop the strength of our coaching and playing capabilities across the senior squad. I am pleased with the progress we have made so far.”
Next week Caldy play Scunthorpe at Paton Field with a 2.15 p.m. kick off.