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Hillmen halted by Rochdale
Monday 21st January 2019 @ 13:53 by Mark Phillip

Glossop made the short journey to Rochdale looking to avenge their home defeat earlier in the season.

From the outset the signs looked promising for the Hillmen, and they began the match with an intensity that Rochdale struggled to cope with. High levels of physicality saw them dominate the early collisions in both attack and defence, and force Rochdale onto the back foot. After fifteen minutes of hammering away at the home defence, Glossop forced a penalty which was kicked into the Rochdale ‘22. A training ground line out move was halted less than a metre from the try line, and Joe Dearnaley was on hand to force his was over for a try which his brother Tom converted. 

Glossop continued to pressurise for the next fifteen minutes but crucially they were unable to convert this pressure into points. 

The final ten minutes of the first half belonged to Rochdale, who forced Glossop into conceding penalties and conceding territory. With the referee playing a penalty advantage to the home team, a neat kick through was collected by the home winger who was able to stretch and dot the ball down, taking the scores to 5-7. 

Half time arrived, and the Hillmen were confident that they could again take the game to Rochdale and add to their tally in the second period. 

However, the second half was almost totally controlled by the home team in terms of possession and territory, as Glossop found themselves falling foul of the referees whistle all too often. Two well finished tries from broken play took Rochdale into a 15-7 lead, but Glossop still believed they could claw their way back and take something from the fixture. However, with the clock ticking down and Glossop desperate to salvage at least a losing bonus point, Rochdale were able to turn the ball over and launch a sustained assault on the Glossop try line, themselves seeking a four try bonus point. The defence held firm initially, until in the eighty fourth minute and with Glossop down to fourteen men, it was breached to put the cherry on the Rochdale cake. The final scoreline of 20-7 felt like it was less than the Hillmen deserved, but Rochdale showed great resilience following a difficult first thirty minutes, and displayed a clinical edge to make the most of their opportunities when they came. 

Next week Glossop welcome Leigh to Hargate Hill in what is a must win match.

By Josh Edwards

Picture by Glen Hutton