Match Report
The Manchester Grammar School 1st XV vs  St Anselm's College, Birkenhead
On: Saturday, 05 Oct 2019
Venue: Away

A frustrating first half played up the slope and into a stiff breeze saw us fail to convert a number of promising situations due to a combination of superb St Anselm’s defence, poor individual decision-making and handling errors. Our inability to make the most of the time we spent in the opposition 22 was punished when the home team took the lead: we failed to deal with a deep kick and they gathered to score. We did eventually get a try of our own when Travis Blood burrowed through from close range and Ben Simpson’s conversion gave us a narrow 7-5 lead. An injury to Matthew Arrowsmith on the stroke of half-time then led to a lengthy delay and a change of pitch.

We actually seemed to benefit from the opportunity for a fresh start and it was also a great relief to hear positive news about Matthew later in the day. We hope that he will be back to full health and fitness soon and we wish him well.

The second half produced a much more clinical MGS performance, with strong carrying and accurate clearing out at the breakdown from the forwards creating space for the backs to capitalise. Slick handling led to an excellent try for hooker Dan Adams, who had been called into action as an emergency left-winger and did not look at all out of place, and two for Ben Motamed, supporting brilliantly to turn fine team interplay into points. There was also a try for the purists, with the forwards executing a textbook catch and drive which Alex Campbell controlled very well from the driver’s seat at the back before flopping over the line. Our defensive effort was also very impressive throughout the second half and it was a shame that the hosts ‘scored’ with the last play after some confusion with the jumble of lines on the replacement pitch.

Ben Simpson was this week’s MoM. 100% with the boot and he really got our attacking play ticking, especially in the second half.