Saturday, October 1
Midlands One (East)
by Sean Ryan
On a day when the sun shone brightly the Elks could not match the weather and delivered a damp and somewhat disappointing performance at the Stute on Saturday.
The growing injury list, with Scott Rudkin, Adam Stoker, Ellis Hallam and Pete Smith added to the the absentees, gave some excuse for the at times disjointed performance.
The return of Greg Taylor and the energy of two debutants, Tom McKelvey in the back row and Fergus Jones on the wing, gave some reason for cheer, though there is much to fix if the Elks are going to start to build their season before the top of the table table open too big a gap.
The game was played at frantic pace, making good use of firm conditions underfoot. Dan Taylor got the home side off to the perfect start when he made the most of Adam Corcoran’s pick from the scrum to dash through a gap and score after 12 minutes. JJ Connolly converted.
The visitors claimed the next two scores. The first went to Causbrook and the second to Banks, and both were fashioned by the ability of Yuill and George to use the boot to pin the Elks back, as well as of the collective forwards to turn the ball from scrum or line out into rolling mauls which were irresistible.
Yuill converted one to give Towcestrians a 7-12 lead at half-time.
The second-half had just got going when errors again gave the visitors a scrum five.
The earlier recipe was repeated and Kirby claimed a try, converted by Yuill, to stretch the lead to 7-19.
The Elks could have succumbed at this point but at last found some continuity when Joel Haigh, Dan Taylor and Tom Hicks set up ruck inside the visitors’ 22.
The ball was quickly recycled by Corcoran and Ben Gatehouse’s finely-judged chip set up race between Lewis Taylor and Carter which Taylor won to touch down in the corner and reduce the arrears to 12-19 at 19 minutes into the half.
Four minutes later the score was levelled with Dan Taylor’s second try and Connolly’s touchline conversion.
From a solid scrum the ball was mauled forward, sucking in defenders. When it was released Taylor spotted a gap and dived into the corner.
Having fought their way back into the game the Elks gave it away with a sloppy piece of play.
A poor kick and chase gave Yuill space to counter from deep and link with Harvey who strolled over unopposed.
Yuill converted to give the visitors a 19 - 26 lead which they clung onto until the final whistle.
Man of the match - Gordon Pringle.