Manor move off the bottom with encouraging second half display
PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 September 2015
National League Three South: Eton Manor 22 Guernsey 44
Eton Manor fell to a third consecutive National League Three South defeat on Saturday, but could take plenty of positives from their impressive second half performance.
Guernsey visited the New Wilderness and although Jamie Connors team conceded six tries, they managed to earn their first point of the new campaign.
The hosts conceded an early penalty when they strayed offside giving the visitors a simple kick, which they converted to make it 3-0 after four minutes of play.
Manor were defending well against the away side, but a well judged grubber kick in behind the home defence allowed a Guernsey winger to cross the line for the first try of the match.
The conversation was successful and shortly afterwards another penalty made it 13-0 to the Islanders.
Connors’ men attacked from the restart and Nick Horton chipped the ball into dead ball area where Elliot Brown was just beaten to the touchdown by a covering defender.
Unfortunately Guernsey were able to work their way up the field following that attack and it seemed like they were about to add another try before Reece Reed made a superb tackle and won his side a scrum.
Manor’s cause wasn’t helped by the loss of full back Chris Jones and hooker Dave Dennis, both to injury, afterwards and the visitors added a second try to make it 18-0 after 25 minutes with the conversation missed.
The hosts had a period of pressure inside the away half following that play and Kevin Reed was just stopped short of the line. The ball was quickly recycled, but poor handling meant the opportunity was gone.
Indiscipline by Manor before the break enabled the visitors to run in two more unconverted tries to make it 30-0 at half time.
Connors men needed to find a response, but they made the worst possible start to the second period by conceding a converted try inside two minutes of the second period.
Afterwards, however, Manor started to impose themselves on the match and Louie Southerland was stopped just a few meters short of the line.
Unlike last time, the hosts wouldn’t be denied and quick hands saw the ball reach Ashley Somers, who powered over the line despite the attempts of four Guernsey defenders.
With 35 minutes remaining, Manor were suddenly full of confidence and Kevin Reed attempted to cross the line afterwards, but was held up before Reece Reed tried his luck.
Neither managed to get past the strong away defence and it was at this moment that Kevin Reed was forced off and needed medical attention after dislocating his shoulder.
Manor didn’t allow it to disrupt them, though, and Reece Reed did his brother proud by picking up at the base of the scrum and running over for the hosts second try.
It was now 10-37 with 25 minutes remaining at the New Wilderness and a third score was to follow for Connors side.
John Robinson feed Reed who darted along the backline before passing out to Brown and he managed to scamper in at the corner for Manor’s third try.
With eight minutes remaining the home team pushed to get a fourth score, which would give them a bonus point.
Although Guernsey managed to add another try themselves, it failed to deter the efforts of Manor.
From a scrum Reed passed out to Horton who worked a miss move with Alex Hunter and that brought in Rhys Davis-Horne and he broke through the first tackle and raced over from 20 meters to score.
Reed’s conversation was successful and although Manor had lost by 22-points, they had managed to win the second half and show they can compete at this level.
The fourth try also enabled them to pick up their first point of the season, which moves them off the bottle of the table ahead of this weekend’s clash at Colchester.
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