1st XV Grosvenor Home
Lisburn Finish Season On A High
Grosvenor 10 - Lisburn 38
After playing rather poorly in their previous game against Carrick, the Smiley Monroe sponsored 1st XV finished their season on a high last Wednesday evening by beating Grosvenor 38-10 in a rain- affected match. Due to the unavailability of a floodlit pitch at Grosvenor, the match was switched to Lisburn and it was the home side that opened the scoring. Following two missed penalties by the respective kickers Lisburn adapted better to the trying conditions and their big pack put the visitors under a lot of pressure in the scrums. On twenty minutes a scrum 30 metres from the Grosvenor line saw the ball squirt out of the back row and flanker Jonny Gilkinson hacked it up to the line, gathered it and went in under the posts for a well taken individual try. Mark Crothers converted to take a 7-0 lead.
Within minutes the scoreline was increased to 14-0 after Lisburn had won a scrum against the head and halfbacks Knox and Crothers moved the ball quickly to David Gilkinson, one of four brothers on the Lisburn team, and the strong-running centre took it on the burst, put his head down and charged through the defence to score a beautiful try. Crothers again converted and then, almost immediately, increased the score to 17-0 with another penalty. Team captain and hooker Peter Graham then got in on the act when, following a lineout, he broke away from a driving maul to score near the posts and the Crothers conversion made it 24-0.
At this stage Grosvenor lost their prop with a shoulder injury and the game moved to uncontested scrums. This was a distinct advantage to the visitors who had a very lively backline and in a lengthy period of injury time in the first half they began to pull their running game together and just on the whistle they were rewarded for their pressure when the ball was moved out to their left wing who found himself with an overlap to score in the corner. The conversion failed, to bring up the interval score of 24-5.
Grosvenor started the second half as they finished the first, on the attack, and with the elements at their back. They plugged away at the Lisburn defence but the conditions were deteriorating and numerous handling errors by their young but speedy backline kept the score as it stood with Lisburn playing the conditions much better and producing the more direct rugby. On thirty minutes, just when it appeared that the game was petering out, outhalf Crothers, , following a prolonged period inside opposition territory, put outside centre David Scott through a retreating Grosvenor defence for a bonus point try. Crothers again converted and just on the whistle, scrumhalf Chris Knox, who played excellently in the difficult conditions, jinked his way through the Grosvenor defence to score under the posts for the fifth try. Crothers again converted to bring up his fifth out of seven kicks and Lisburn were home with a 38-10 success, thus reversing the 6-3 loss back in December. This results in Lisburn notching up joint 5th spot in the league as they bring their season to a close.