Firwood Waterloo edged out in close encounter
Firwood Waterloo made the 43 mile trip to south Manchester losing narrowly to a rejuvenated Bowdon side by 27 - 23.
Despite their lowly league position, Bowdon were buoyed after last week’s win over local rivals Wilmslow and started the stronger of the two sides. The match kicked off with a strong breeze blowing across the pitch which was followed by persistent rain. The home side adapted better to the conditions and scored within the first five minutes.
As the half progressed, the magnificent Firwood Waterloo front five dominated at the scrum but curiously this did not lead them taking control of territory as they spent long periods camped in their half.
Incisive running lines from scrum half Luke Clifford changed this to take play into the home 22. They were awarded a penalty but the lick was narrowly missed. From a resulting scrum the forwards pushed to the line and released Clifford to score the first try.
Play then became a tight contest in midfield. Bowdon were awarded a penalty for holding on and took play deep into ‘Loo’s 22. From the line out they worked the ball over the line for their second try, the conversion attempt went over after hitting the upright.
The seven point cushion gave Bowdon greater confidence in their play with good running and handling. The boys in myrtle struggled to cope giving away many penalties, but the score at half time remained 14 – 5.
Firwood Waterloo showed more attacking intent from the start of the second half and added a penalty from the boot of Daragh O’Brien, but Bowdon kept the scoreboard ticking with a penalty score of their own to maintain their margin.
Despite the greasy conditions, ‘Loo kept pressing and had territorial advantage but changes in personnel allowed the hosts to gain scrum superiority which they used to test the visitor’s defence. They extended their lead with a penalty kick.
Fine running by Dom Coe took play deep into Bowdon’s 22 and following phases of attacking play it was Coe who scored the visitors’ second try.
The boys from Blundellsands continued pressing forcing Bowdon to concede penalties, O’Brien taking his side to within four points.
Another run from deep, this time by Charlie Horrocks gave a platform for the forwards to grind out the centimetres towards the line, for Joe Bowmer to score and O’Brien to add the extras. Unfortunately, Bowmer had to leave the field shortly after with damage to his elbow.
Firwood Waterloo were in the lead for the first time in the game with five minutes of the match remaining. This delighted the travelling faithful who had loyally recreated Boozer’s bank to lend their support.
Bowdon were not to be outdone and from a catch and drive from a lineout close to ‘Loo’s line they scored a match-winning try, adding the conversion to the disappointment of their visitors.
The result drops Firwood Waterloo to fifth place in the league with eight points separating the top seven teams. Next week the Merseysiders are at home at fortress Blundellsands and entertain Wilmslow seeking a win after the reverse away at the Kings Road ground last November.