Hutton RUFC
21

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St Edwards 17 - Hutton 24
Hutton produced another gritty away-day performance to stretch their unbeaten run to ten games. The talk before the game centred on securing a five-point haul, and Hutton did just that after surviving a second half scare from a St Edwards side that had only lost once at home all season.
The hosts started the game in ominous fashion as they claimed the ball from their own kick off and surged into Hutton’s 22. A number of phases later, the home pack were camped on the tryline, and despite claims of a knock-on, St Edwards drove over from close range to open the scoring inside the first two minutes. The conversion was added for a 7-0 lead. A response was needed, and Hutton found themselves on the front foot from the restart. The forwards gained momentum at the set piece and won good lineout ball to roll a maul inside the St Edwards 22. From the right wing, Hutton spun the ball wide and a training ground move saw centre Adam Wood cut through the home defence and offload to Craig Dootson who ran under the posts. Andy Tobutt added the conversion to tie the game at 7-7. The home side, who were already reduced to 14 men, then went down to 13 from the restart as an overzealous chase took out Kev Strange in the air. The penalty allowed Hutton to go back into St Edwards’s territory and laid the foundation for the second try. Despite missing a penalty attempt at goal, Hutton kept the pressure on and a number of forwards’ drives took Hutton to within sight of the line. From a five metre scrum, number 8 Tom Bailey picked up and offloaded out of the tackle to winger Mark Worrall who touched down in the corner. With Hutton playing controlled rugby, the forwards started to dominate and rolling mauls pushed St Edwards onto the back foot for the remainder of the half. After winning lineout ball on the left flank, the forwards set about rolling towards the tryline. St Edwards couldn’t halt the surge, and when the pack drove over the line, hooker Ross Horton came up with the ball. Tobutt added the conversion for a 19-7 advantage. With the half coming to an end, Hutton spurned a couple of opportunities for a fourth try and the last action of the half saw St Edwards miss a penalty from distance.
Hutton began the second half in search of the fourth try, and they didn’t have to wait too long as a scrum in midfield saw scrum half Michael Gordon chip through and winger Greg Partington raced onto the ball to collect and touch down in the corner, 24-7. With the bonus point secured, Hutton seemed to relax and this allowed St Edwards to come back into the game. After opting to kick for goal at a penalty, the home side conjured up a quick tap which caught Hutton on the back foot. Three phases later, St Edwards created an overlap and scored in the corner. The momentum was definitely with the home team, and after making a midfield break St Edwards crashed down the right wing. A chip over the top caught the Hutton defence square, and the full back got to the ball just in time to touch down, 24-17. Hutton were now up against a tide of pressure and had to weather a 5 minute period inside their 22. The visitors kept St Edwards out, and managed to regroup before trying to wrap up the game. A couple of knock-on’s at crucial moments handed the initiative back to St Edwards but they were unable to capitalise. When the home side kicked over the top in the closing minutes, Hutton had to be at their best and they managed to clear deep into opposition territory. Time was up, and when the ball finally went dead, Hutton celebrated a hard-earned victory.
Burnley visit HQ next week, as Hutton look to keep the pressure on the top two.

Tries: C. Dootson, M. Worrall, R. Horton, G. Partington

Conv: A. Tobutt 2

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