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Jesus 24 – 7 Trinity
Jesus battled to an unconvincing 24-7 win at home over mid-table Trinity.
The game began in stop-start fashion, with handling errors coming freely from both teams. Jesus had the better of the early exchanges and only an excellent last-ditch tackle stopped Rob Stevens from opening the scoring.
A slippery break from winger Charlie James eventually provided the opening; a lovely off-load to Stevens allowed the centre to run in under the posts. Fly-half Ian Childs then slotted home the conversion to give the home side a 7-0 lead with 15 minutes gone.
A prolonged period of Trinity pressure followed, as a series of missed passes saw Jesus firmly pinned back inside their own 22. The home crowd showed its displeasure, cult hero Dave ‘BFG/ Sean Long’ Meads bearing the brunt of the chanting, much to the amusement of his girlfriend on the sidelines.
Jesus’ concentration noticeably dipped as the chanting intensified and wrecking-ball prop forward Oli Adey was soon penalised for off-side. Trinity took full advantage; TCRUFC captain Matt Libling breaking the line to score. His try was duly converted to leave the scores tied at 7-7.
Meanwhile, Trinity’s pack showed no sign of letting up, dominating at the breakdown through sterling work from portly giant Alex Thomson. By contrast, Jesus’ forwards put in a pedestrian performance, seemingly lacking in the intensity that served them so well against John’s two weeks ago.
Trinity were, however, unable to capitalise on Jesus’ sloppiness and they went into the break with the scores level at 7-7.
Jesus rang the changes at the interval, Blues’ try-scorer and current skipper Miles ‘Zulu’ Daly commenting “this is absolute **** – I’m coming on” as he booted up. Substitutes Greenfield, Cross, Blenkharn and Ramagge accompanied him.
The addition of fresh legs reinvigorated Jesus and both Tambara and Ramagge made a series of promising breaks, all of which went unrewarded. Trinity responded in kind, James Burrows and Will Harrison in particular making intelligent use of space.
It wasn’t until a dubious line-out throw from Trinity’s hooker that the stalemate was broken, Jesus’ Miller scooped the ball up, off-loading to Gilbert to set up the score. Stevens made no mistake with the conversion to put Jesus 14-7 ahead.
Some dodgy decision-making from the man in yellow kept the spectators interested – gems included “I can’t see anything, whose hands were they?” and “are you sure that’s legal?” – until Jesus were awarded a penalty some 25 yards out.
Stevens coolly took the 3 points, leaving Jesus with some much-needed breathing space. As the game petered out to a close, Jesus skipper Daly darted through a gap in the Trinity line, following excellent work from scrum-half Cross. The ball was spun out to Stevens, who finished off the move and then provided the conversion.
A 17-point margin of victory certainly flatters Jesus, who will think themselves lucky to have won so comfortably in the end.
It does, however, set up the prospect of an intriguing final few weeks of the season, with fixtures against Downing and Trinity looming in the run-up to Cuppers.
See The Tab‘s exclusive photos from this match here.