Even though the Greens had a resounding victory over Sandbach the previous week all the form pointed to a Syston victory at Heslam Park on beautiful, yet windy, spring day. However, the Scunthorpe boys came back from a 17-point deficit to clinch the game in grand style.

It was the Greens who got off to a flying start within two minutes with an excellent try from second row Nick Dyson. The ground was much firmer and favoured the young, fast running backs in green. From a deep Syston kick Scunthorpe countered with searing pace from Josh Lugsden, backed up by Joey Mowbrey, eventually Dyson, who was backing up, took the inside pass and scored the try. Josh Clarke converted for the extra two, 7-0. Syston retorted with 24 unanswered points with some very clinical rugby. It was clear why they were sitting in 3rd place in the league. First Knockley scored a penalty and then Scunthorpe’s rapid backs came back again in similar fashion only this time they gave the ball away. Syston cleared their lines and then Scunthorpe gave away yet another penalty. Syston put the ball deep into the home 22, then from the fourth penalty in quick succession Syston took the quick tap and blind side Ross Burgoine dashed over, Knockles converted, 7-10. From the resulting kick off Syston scored again this time through second rower Robbie Clay. They Leicestershire outfit ran the ball down the left-hand side with good inter-passing the went all the way for Clay to score, Knockles converted, 7-17. Scunthorpe were somewhat shell-shocked, but they came back and ended up in the Syston 22 with a scrum five. Unfortunately, it was another discretion that gave the penalty away and Syston were able to clear their lines with little effort. Syston used the wind well and put Scunthorpe back in their 22, trying to run the ball out of the 22 wasn’t the best option and they were caught in possession and turned over. From the resulting scrum came another penalty, Syston re-set the scrum and the referee had had enough, after yet a further penalty he went to the posts to award a penalty try, 7-24. In the process Liam Brunt was given a yellow card. With only a few minutes to half time Tim Robinson’s men had to stem the tide as Syston were looking very ominous and could be running away with it. Luckily the guys got to half time with no further scores against and even managed to claw one back with a try from Jack Brunt. Tom Foster kicked a penalty into the defence’s 22 and from the resulting catch and drive line out the came up with the goods, Clarke converted. Half time came and things were looking better but there was a long way to go. Had Syston converted their chances they could well have been out of sight

The second half was tit for tat for 10 minutes and then Scunthorpe began to put Syston under pressure with forwards and backs once again combining to make inroads into the opposition. Ollie Cole came off the bench to bolster the front row and this came to fruition when Syston gave away a penalty at scrum time. Foster kicked to the corner and from the line out the Scunthorpe forwards kept their patience, battered the line, and eventually found an opening through Jake McKay, who stretched over for the five points, Clarke converted, and Scunthorpe were now within 3 points. Although Syston tried to recapture their first half form, they were denied the chance with some valiant defending and excellent use of the wind to pin them back in their own half. On 73 minutes Josh Clarke had the chance to draw level with a penalty. Whilst he struck the ball well and it had the legs it faded to right of the posts. Syston offered another chance this time Foster kicked to the corner and from the line out the forwards once again squeezed their opponents with some brutal driving play. It was Al Fagan who scored the try, Clarke missed the conversion which would have meant Syston needed a try to win, but in the end it mattered not. Syston tried run out of their 22, gave away a penalty and as the referee indicated it was time the ball was hoofed into touch to delight of all those present. Scunthorpe were conquerors of the old foe at 26-24.

This was a monumental victory against a side who were in top form. To come back from 17 points down and to deny Syston a single point in the 2nd half was a real test of character from The Green Giants. Next week the boys are in NLD Cup action and resume league fixtures away at Sheffield in two weeks’ time.

Player of the match – Rory Rendall-Tyrrell

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