10:00am Thursday 7th November 2013
By Neil Bonnar
GEOFF Roberts saluted his Sedgley Tigers aces for a stunning second-half performance which produced an against-all-odds victory at Luctonians.
There seemed no chance of the Whitefield men getting anything out of the game in Herefordshire when they only built a 13-12 lead playing with a gale at their backs.
But Sedgley then produced a magnificent 40 minutes to keep the home side at bay then hit them with a glory try from Andy Riley four minutes from time to seal their fourth victory in five games.
“It was a heck of performance,” said manager Roberts. “Really remarkable by every one of the players.
“I have to take my hat off to each and every one of them. There was no way anyone thought we had a chance of winning that game at half time.
“The wind was so incredibly strong it had to be worth 15 points to the team playing with it at their backs.
“We didn’t really click in the first half when we had the wind behind us. And when we were turning into it with only a 13-12 lead everyone thought we had had it. But what a performance!
“The only gameplan was you had to carry the ball and run with it, and that’s what the players did. They were fantastic.
“Luctonians only had to put one kick in the air and the ball flew back into our half.
“But we wouldn’t give them the ball. We just kept the ball and they couldn’t get hold of it.
“We carried it again and again and again. They must have spent no more than five minutes in our half in that second half.
“It looked like we were facing a test that was impossible to pull a win out of, but we did.
“It was about muck and bullets, working and tackling like mad and carrying the ball time after time.”
Tigers bounced back from the body blow of going 5-0 behind after seven minutes with Steve Collins converting two penalties on nine and 18 minutes and then pulling 13-5 ahead with a try from Callum McShane which was converted by Collins.
When Luctonians hit back with a converted try of their own right on the stroke of half time, Tigers looked finished.
“It gives you a lot of self-belief winning a game like that,” said Roberts, whose side have a big game at home to third-placed Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday (kick off 2.30pm).
The squad is set to be boosted also by the return of injury victims Jamie Harrison and Phil Largan after the wingers came through a second-team game on Saturday.
Hooker Jonny Matthews, who missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, is expected to be fit in a week, and prop Ben Black available the following week after six weeks out.
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