MEN’S RUGBY UNION THIRDS
University of Sheffield 27-24 Sheffield Hallam University
Black and gold reigned triumphant at Abbeydale Sports Club, after Uni came back from a disappointing first half to secure a 27-24 victory against Hallam.
Following a Uni kick off, Hallam took an early lead with a penalty in the fourth minute, followed by three successive lineouts.
Despite some excellent play from the Uni team and an equalising penalty from Jamie Glydon in the 13th minute, Hallam dominated the first 40 minutes. A Hallam try before the half time whistle was blown seemed to cement their win.
Hallam spectacularly collapsed, however: as the sun came out over Abbeydale, so too did Sheffield’s talent, with a try scored after two minutes by Lawrence Mouarkach.
Throughout the next 40 minutes it became clear that Uni were back with a vengeance with Uni dominating possession and showing unstoppable power in scrums. Hallam were rarely able to move play over the half way line and failed to convert tries, while Uni refused to let up the attack.
By the time Andy McAlister fought his way to the try line to score 14 minutes in, it was clear that the Uni team were not going down without a fight. A tense moment followed when Hugo Beardsall’s conversion kick took the ball straight to the post – as the crowd held its breath, the ball bounced off to give Uni two more points.
The next ten minutes passed with valiant efforts from Mark Danby and tight-head prop Ben Hopkinson, whose multiple runs for the try line fell just short. All those close calls finally came close enough, when 28 minutes into the second half Charlie Carter made it over the line to bring Uni nearer to victory.
With just three minutes to go, and scores standing at 20 –24 to Hallam, Matt Walne secured a Uni victory, battling through Hallam’s defence to score another try. Scrum-half Glydon kicked with precision once again to convert the try, bringing Uni a triumphant three points ahead of Hallam.
Despite last ditch efforts from the opposing team, the whistle blew with the score 27 – 24 to Uni.
Captain Tom Coates was ecstatic. He said: “We struggled through the first half but everything came together perfectly in the second – I’m just glad to have come out with the win!”