Express & Star

Walsall beat the weather... but not rivals Long Eaton

Walsall hosted Long Eaton in the only game on a weather affected weekend of Regional Two Midlands North rugby.


The league leaders travelled to the West Midlands with nine wins from their first 10 games and were given a stern test by a resilient Walsall outfit.

The hosts took an early 6-0 lead thanks to two well-directed penalties from Ben Pitt in the first 20 minutes.

As half-time approached, Long Eaton began to show their class and scored the first try of the game when a lineout close to the Walsall line resulted in a powerful drive over the line to give them the lead.

Their lead was short-lived though, as Pitt again kicked a penalty between the posts, this time from just inside the Long Eaton half.

But again the visitors hit back hard, scoring two tries in a matter of minutes before the break to take a perhaps undeserved 19-9 lead into half-time.

More good work from Walsall in the second half earned them their first and only try of the game, when winger Max Brown sidestepped two opponents and powered over in the corner to halve the deficit. Pitt again was accurate off the kicking tee to bring the hosts within three points and set up a tight finish to the game.

The game was wrapped up though when another powerful Long Eaton drive allowed them to bag their fourth try of the game, securing a 26-16 win.

In Counties Two Midlands West (West), Stourbridge Lions thrashed Market Drayton 58-26 to move within one point of them in sixth place.

And in Counties Three Midlands West (North), Eccleshall enjoyed a 53-7 win over Staffordshire rivals Cannock.

Bryn Judge and Edward Kilminster scored two tries each while Oliver Despot, James Denning, Sam Ward and David Trigg also all crossed the try line.

Ward was also on form from the kicking tee, adding 13 points with his boot to extend the lead.

Josh Humphreys scored the visitors’ only try of the game, with Nicholas Perry converting to give Cannock seven points.

Elsewhere in the division, Stone thrashed Shrewsbury II 57-10.