Calne Rugby travelled to Puddletown RFC in a 1XV plate quarter final which turned out to be a closely fought affair. Calne arrived shortly before the game was due to start and Puddletown took advantage to open the scoring in the first few minutes when their centre broke through Calne’s defensive line to take an early lead. Over the next few minutes the visitors started to warm up and it wasn’t long before they were back on terms after Rhys Taylor danced his way around tackles to score under the posts. Taylor then converted to give Calne a narrow lead. The game then turned into a see-saw battle with both sides playing some good rugby and playing to their strengths. Calne’s pack had a slight advantage in the scrums and prop Pete Brownlie and hooker Dave Evans carried well and looked to spoil at the breakdown. The Calne Lineout was also working well with Keith Bradley rising high above the opposition to secure a great attacking platform.
This was a true cup tie with two evening matched teams. Puddletown who play in D&W2S and Calne in D&W2N constantly asked questions of each other and Calne’s Fullback Mark Webber had to be on form to repel some promising Puddletown attacks, particularly from their centres. Marcus Turner and Adam Young worked hard in defence while showing some creative flair in attack and winger John Redding chased everything that moved. As the game entered the last 6 minutes Calne had a single point advantage at 19-20 but a break Adam Young and a great pass to Rhys Taylor enabled the number 10 to touch down in the corner to the delight of Calne’s president Phil Thomas who came along to watch. This was Taylors third try to cap off a man of the match performance for Calne’s Vice Captain.
A few moments later and Calne looked to secure the win as Cameron Davies made a dash for the line and broke through a tired Puddletown defence only to be tackled a couple of metres short of the line. However, the ball was quickly sent out to the wing for winger Jamie Palmer to score in the corner to see Calne into the semi final of the 1XV plate. Final score 19-30.
Captain Tom Morten was delighted with his team for coming back from behind to win and said: A year ago we would have lost this sort of game but we have a great togetherness at the club and we would not be denied today.
Chairman Chris Austin was equally pleased “ We made a few changes to the team due to availability which is expected when you have to travel a couple of hours to an away game, but there was no way we were going to lose this match, the drive home would have been depressing! We have a great squad of players who play for the love of the game and each other, we hope can progress to the final and hopefully win it”.
Calne have another long trip to play Poole RFC in the semi-final on the 15th Oct.