Glossop miss out on playoffs in final game of the season
Monday 8th April 2019 @ 15:25 by Mark Phillip

Lancashire/Cheshire Division One

Winnington Park 36-25 Glossop

Glossop’s final league game of the season was a tough trip to Northwich to face a solid Winnington Park outfit who hold a strong record on home soil.  With hopes still alive of a potential second place finish and promotion playoff for the Hillmen, the game was highly anticipated and the large crowd were treated to a feast of rugby, in an exciting contest that was not without incident.

Winnington shot out of the blocks and were ahead within five minutes when an attack down the short side resulted in an unconverted try. 

Soon after, the Cheshire outfit doubled their lead with another unconverted try down the right flank.

Glossop began to settle into the game and responded with a penalty to calm the nerves and make the score 10-3. 

However, their brief reprieve was short lived when Winnington again scored after thirty minutes to stretch their lead to 15-3. 

The remainder of the half belonged to the Hillmen, as they began to exert pressure on the home team. This resulted in a penalty which was kicked into the corner. A well worked catch and drive saw lock, Mike Lancaster crash over for the try. Tom Dearnaley was off target with the conversion from wide out. 

Another try soon followed when Dearnaley kicked wide and deep behind the onrushing Winnington defence, and George Dyson showed good pace to beat the home full back to the ball and score a try which Dearnaley then converted. 15-15.

On the stroke of half time, Glossop kicked another penalty deep into Winnington territory. The ensuing line out was well taken at the tail and Glossop set up another strong maul. This attracted the Winnington defence and Glossop broke from the maul before throwing a wide pass into the hands of Greg Moran to give Glossop the lead. This was the final play of the half and the teams turned around with Glossop leading 15-20. 

The start of the second half would deliver a pivotal incident. When Winnington Park broke through close to the Glossop line, Tom Dearnaley was tracking back and made a high tackle in his attempt to stop the attack. This prompted angry responses from the home players and a melee ensued. The Winnington attack continued and they crashed over the line for a try, but the melee had now attracted a number of players from both teams. Once the dust had settled, the Glossop players and visiting fans were left shocked when the referee brandished a red card for Dearnaley for ‘holding around the neck’.  No sanction was taken against the Winnington players involved, meaning Glossop had now surrendered their lead and lost a man in the process with almost a full half to play. The conversion took Winnington into a 22-20 lead. 

With their backs against the wall, Glossop showed great spirit to stay in the game, despite Winnington Park stretching their lead further following a converted try after a great break from half way. 29-20. 

The visitors hit back and Winnington were struggling to contain the Glossop pressure, which resulted in a yellow card for the home team. Now with fourteen versus fourteen, Glossop scored a nice try in the corner when from a scrum the ball was shipped wide to Dave Marchlewski on the left wing, who finished well to put Glossop in touching distance at 29-25. This was the 4th try for Glossop and so they earn a losing bonus point, so at least they would travel home with something to show for their sterling effort.

From here Glossop fought hard but the home defence held firm. 

In the closing stages, a yellow card to Glossop captain Edwards reduced them to thirteen men, and Winnington made the most of their numerical advantage when they broke through to score in the final minute to stretch their lead to 36-25. 

Final Score: Winnington Park 36 Glossop 25

By Josh Edwards