A new rugby union season, under a fresh captain and a fresh player/coach, began in fine style for Gainsborough All Blacks, who battled to a 14-12 victory at Nottinghamians.
Skipper Daniel Chadwick and coach Jonathan Brewster were delighted by the way All Blacks dug deep and played some exciting and open rugby to get their National League, Midlands 5 East (North) campaign off to a flier.
Once in front, the team worked tirelessly to keep the hosts at bay, and special mention must go to Elliot Markham, who had an outstanding game on the right wing.
Markham was only pipped to the man-of-the-match award by Brad Beresford, who enjoyed a terrific league debut at full-back, scoring a try and showing some eyecatching skills in attack.
The first half started at a blistering pace, and All Blacks’ pressure told in the fifth minute when Markham rounded off a good move and crashed over on the right wing for the first points. Will Caute converted.
Three minutes later, Beresford was on target and after another successful conversion from Caute, they led by 14 points.
Gainsborough continued to dominate the first half, even though they lost Andy Turner to injury. But the second period saw the hosts re-group, sending on two new players, and they were much more competitive.
All Blacks saw less of the ball and had to defend as Nottinghamians put together some smart attacking play and eventually got themselves back into the game with a converted try.
As the Nottingham side piled on the pressure, they added another try to move within two points of All Blacks. But Gainsborough not only held on, they were also unlucky not to add to their score in the last five minutes.
THE club’s training session for the senior team has switched back to Tuesday nights at 6.30. The U13s train Thursdays at 6 pm and Sundays at 10 am. All sessions are at the Rose Leisure ground on North Warren Road. New players are always welcome. Turn up or ring Tony Goude 01724 763825.