By Dan Mead
Away defeat 34-5
The familiar long trip to Oswestry was undertaken on an unfamiliar dry & sunny day.
Marple travelled with a big pack including welcome returns to Smith & Stevenson and an new-look experimental back-line.
The Game kicked-off on an all things considered pretty good playing surface. Early-on Marple lost goal kicker & line-out option Gregg to a hamstring pull & the pack needed to be re-shuffled - sadly this was to prove a recurring theme throughout the game.
Marple tried to use the pack to pick and drive through the middle & had relative success early-on with Crawford & David making good yards, the home team were determined to use the big boot of the 15 to pin Marple back and to run the ball wide at every opportunity. A break through the middle and several phases later the home side went into the lead. Rest of the 1st half continued in this manner. Good work from the Oswestry outside backs saw 2 more unconverted tries scored.
Paterson thought he had crossed for Marple late in the half when a catch and drive was very well executed only for skipper to mistake the 5m line for the try-line. A good "finish" none-the-less. He redeemed himself shortly after when he crossed the actual try-line from the back of the next scrum. HT -15-5
The 2nd half saw much the same pattern, Marple playing tight, Oswestry playing wide. The home side certainly having the better of it scoring 2 length of the pitch tries.
Marple throughout the game kept the Oswestry Physio busy by losing to injury; Mead (Head) David (Knee) Paterson (Neck) & Biggs (Being Bandaged too tightly). A genuine Big thank-you to Lottie for her attentions, much appreciated.
All the disruption meant playing with 14men and a very much disjointed formation. Boot & Thompson tried keeping the home team on their toes but in all honestly it was a long half.
Final Score 34-5