Rugby union NLD Shield Semi Final - Sleaford 10, West Bridgeford 36

Sleaford 1st XV v West Bridgeford rugby action. Aston Hodgson with the ball for Sleaford. EMN-150129-173104002
Sleaford 1st XV v West Bridgeford rugby action. Aston Hodgson with the ball for Sleaford. EMN-150129-173104002

With a chance of Silverware only two matches away, both teams were up for the fight.

West Bridgford play a league above so this was not going to be easy for the Red and Blacks of Sleaford.

Sleaford 1st XV v West Bridgeford rugby action. David Davies with the ball for Sleaford. EMN-150129-173053002

Sleaford 1st XV v West Bridgeford rugby action. David Davies with the ball for Sleaford. EMN-150129-173053002

From the off the game was fairly even and Sleaford were competing well at the breakdown turning over in the rucks several times. After 15 minutes though West Bridgford broke the lines of the Sleaford defence to score under the posts and convert the try to go 7-0 up.

Sleaford still kept going, failing to score despite twice getting in the opposition 22m line. West Bridgford kicked and chased from their own 22, won the resulting foot race to gather the ball and score again.

Being 14-0 down at home the heads did not drop and Sleaford drove up the pitch. After some text book passing down the line Ben Goacher scored a try in the corner, which got Sleaford back in the game and spirits up.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half though Sleaford gave away two sloppy penalties which West Bridgford duly dispatched with ease to make it Sleaford 5, West Bridgford 20 at halftime.

After the half time talk and many of the junior teams in support, Sleaford came out fighting. They defended well, did not miss tackles and managed to score another try to make the game interesting.

West Bridgford reacted to this, as a team a league above should and stepped up another gear scoring two more trys but missed the conversions over the next 10 minutes.

West Bridgford was now showing why they are a league above, as their well drilled set pieces caused Sleaford to give away two more penalties towards the end of the game from which they scored.

Sleaford’s captain Shaun Fisher said there was some great effort on show. “For most of the game you would not have guessed they are a team doing well in a league above. Frustrating for the players to play in and for everybody who turned out to watch us today.”

This Saturday it is Kesteven away, a great local derby and pride to be restored after Kesteven gave Sleaford a thumping earlier on in the season.