Lancashire U16’s Versus Cheshire U16’s

20th January 2019 at Burnage RFC

This was an away fixture for Cheshire and once again the host club was Burnage RFC.  The selection format of the teams reverted to the old system of an ‘A’ team and a ‘B’ team.  Our previous game against Yorkshire integrated SDG with DPP players.  Playing Lancashire has become a very special occasion because 3 years ago a trophy was presented by Mrs Hughes whose husband was a dedicated coach for many years at this age group for Lancashire RFU.  So, in memory of her husband Vin Hughes, the winner of the ‘A’ team game would be presented with the trophy.  Since the inauguration of this trophy Cheshire has won it on both occasions.  In the usual tradition of this fixture the ‘B’ teams played first followed by the ‘A’ teams.


Cheshire ‘B’ started well putting pressure immediately on the Lancashire defence, and after 5 minutes a penalty was awarded which was converted by Oliver Barlow.  3pts to nil to Cheshire.  This was a wake-up call for Lancashire and within the next 20 minutes were in the lead by 14pts to 3pts through Captain Gaynor-Smith and winger Dylan Hartley, both tries were converted by full back Billy Sheridan.  Cheshire were rocked but showed their true character, regrouped and battled well securing ball from the breakdown through Outram, O’Neill and Welch.  Just before the half time whistle Cheshire scored a vital try through second row Aaron Briscoll, Oliver Barlow converted.  Half time score, Lancashire 14pts, Cheshire 10pts.  Lancashire started the second half with renewed vigour and within 5 minutes outside centre Owen Bishop scored, full back Sheridan once again converting. Lancashire 19pts Cheshire 10pts.  For the next 15 minutes there was much toing and froing until Ryan Messam broke through to score for Cheshire, full back Barlow converted.  Lancashire 19pts Cheshire 17pts.  Soon after the restart Cheshire were awarded a penalty which Barlow kicked, Lancashiire 19pts Cheshire 20pts.  The best was yet to come.  Cheshire were firing on all cylinders when Carl Droy produced a magnificent 40 metre run to score Cheshire’s third try, the conversion was missed.  Lancashire 19pts Cheshire 25pts.  The clock was running down when in the final minutes of the game Sam Wadsworth scored to give Cheshire a 30pts to 19pts victory over Lancashire.

The ‘A’ team game kicked off at 2.00pm.  After 11mins Cheshire were awarded a penalty which was converted by Josh Clarke, Cheshire 3pts, Lancashire nil.  This was a well-balanced and extremely competitive game.  Cheshire increased their 3pts lead after 30th minute when Sam Worthington went over for a try which Ewan Holt converted.  Lancashire came back fighting and just before half time scored a vital try through Ciaran Fessey which he converted, keeping Lancashire well in touch with the leaders.  Lancashire 7pts, Cheshire 10pts, half time.  The first half was evenly contested with both team showing their defensive prowess.  Lancashire’s came out for the second half determined to exerted pressure on the Cheshire defense which eventually penetrated to score a second try by Sam Carleton and converted by Alex Carson, Lancashire 14pts, Cheshire 10pts.  Cheshire worked hard to penetrate the Lancashire defense through skilful back play from Simpson, Holt, Clarke and Robinson but to no avail.  In the 68 minute of the game Lancashire were awarded a penalty which Carson converted giving Lancashire a 17pts to 10pts victory.  After the game Lancashire were presented, for the first time, with the Vin Hughes Trophy.  Congratulation to Lancashire and to all the players from both teams for a most enjoyable day.


Brendan Bailey.

Cheshire U16’s