After two tough preseason games Erdington welcomed Old Salts 2nd XV to Spring Lane for game 1 of the Greater Birmingham Merit League Division 1.
Erdington had the kick off and the game started with fairly even possession for both teams and chances being created at both ends. After 10 minutes Erdington got a break through as Salts fumbled a line out on their own line and Matthew McLaughlin would react quickest to be first to the ball to score Erdington’s first try of the season. A missed conversion set the score at 5-0.
Old Salts recovered straight from the kick off and a play down wing would see them get the equaliser. A conversion kick saw them take the lead at 5-7.
A short while later, continued pressure from Erdington and good play from the back of the scrum saw Ross Graham score Erdington a second try. This was converted by Dan Moran to give them a 12-7 lead.
On 24 minutes a run through the middle by Salts’ Hooker saw him denied by a great tackle from Erdington full back, Joe Eyles. Despite this he was able to offload for Salts to score a second try and level the game. A missed conversion saw the score stay at 12-12.
A penalty for Salts would see them take the lead to 12-15.
Erdington responded with good pressure only to be denied on the line by an infringement from a recovering Salts player. Erdington were awarded a penalty try and took the lead at 19-15. A lead they would hold for the rest game.
Half time score 19-15.
An early second half penalty for Salts saw them cut the deficit to one point and a 19-18 scoreline.
Erdington recovered and continued to apply pressure with a five meter scrum leading to another chance. Despite the first play out of the scrum being stopped on the line, quick thinking again from Matt Mclaughlin would see him get his second of the game and despite a missed conversion Erdington would extend their lead to 24-18.
Erdington’s good play carried on to the end of the game as they were able to add two more tries through Joe Ellor. And with one being converted, they would take a 36-18 win.
Final score 36-18.
Matthew McLaughlin (2)
Joe Ellor (2)
With two tries and good all round play Matthew McLaughlin was awarded the first man of the match of the season.