Arnold School report, 19th September
The 1st XV continued their excellent start to the season as they won their third match in succession. Ben Perkins is growing into his role as fly half, and he kicked an early penalty after a good period of dominance by the 1st XV. A twenty metre forward drive saw Tom Armfield spin off to score a good forwards' try and Perkins added the extras. Speedy fullback Nick Costello was next on the score sheet as some crisp handling by the backs resulted in Costello rounding the defence to score. Perkins again converted. Freddie Priestley then displayed great strength to burst through to extend the Arnold lead to 22-0 at half time. The 1st XV forwards were particularly impressive throughout with the lineout working especially well. However, Cheadle did not give up and some over complication by Arnold gave the home side some scoring chances which they took and suddenly the score was 22-14. Arnold got back to basics and Ben Perkins gathered an inside pass to race through from 40 metres, and convert his own try from under the posts. Captain Josh Beaumont scored the final try, with a pick up after the front row had taken one against the head to complete a superb 34-17 win.
The 2nd XV Spartans ground out a fine 21-10 victory. [Click below for another of Graeme McIntyre's Spartans' match report]. Year 11 student Sam Crowther made a fantastic senior debut as his tactical kicking put his team in the right places throughout the match. James Cave scored first for Arnold but Cheadle came back well to lead in the second half 10-7. However, Ben Nowell showed his class as he drove his team forward and Joe Dowson eventually dived over to score. Skipper Nowell then had the presence of mind to take a quick tap penalty to complete the scoring and the victory. Year 11 boys, Will Fairhead and Tom Jepson, both made fine senior debuts.
The U15A made it two wins in three days as they ran out 20-12 winners at home on the main pitch. A gem from Oli Hopkins and then a wonderful team try, finished off by the impressive Nathan Thompson put them 10-0 up. Close driving play saw Alex Casey dive over for a 15-0 half time lead but Andrew Walkden deserves a special mention for his stunning try saving tackle to deny Cheadle a try right on half time. However, Cheadle were not to be denied and an early try was more than deserved to make it 15-5. Arnold fought back and a well rehearsed scrum move and simple handling saw Joe Wilde score in the corner to make it 20-5. Cheadle continued to press as the second half progressed and despite another wonderful try saving tackle they scored with minutes remaining. Charles Laycock again played well in the forwards with Joe Pennington everywhere on the field. Tom Hammond and Louis Mottley are building a fine partnership in the centres and Oli Hopkins always looks dangerous coming into the line at fullback.
Against a very physical and talented Cheadle side, the U14A drew an end to end encounter, 12-12. Richard Whiteside was the pick of the backs and despite falling behind twice, the U14A battled superbly. Chris Bottomley scored the first Arnold try and when it looked like all hope was lost, Matthew Radley popped up with a last ditch interception to sprint in from thirty five metres to level the match. The U13A struggled away from home as they went down 52-0 but they kept fighting until the end.