Grosvenor and Cooke rugby matches are games for the neutral supporter as Grosvenor claimed a last minute draw at Shaws Bridge just before Christmas. This 24-24 spectacular was a great game with Grosvenor outscoring their opponents by 4 tries to 3, thus achieving 3 match points. The reverse fixture saw another 10 tries at Gibson Park, with Grosvenor coming away with a 5 point victory and Cooke achieving 2 points. Both these outcomes will have significant implications in the next few weeks.
It was a breezy and cold afternoon at Gibson Park but the prunty pitch surface was ideal for open running rugby and 10 tries were scored with the lead see-sawing time and again. Both teams enjoyed a vociferous and passionate touchline support and they were rewarded with a great game of rugby. Cooke took an early lead with a simple straightforward penalty 3-0. Waves of continuity from the home side allowed Tim Emerson to cruise over for a well deserved try, converted by Peter Davison. 7-3 to Grosvenor. Further pressure from the home side gifted centre Mitchell McComb with an intercept which he duly ran in for a try, again converted by Peter Davison. 14-3. Cooke were not to be denied and replied with a fine try of their own with the conversion bringing the score to 14-10 to Grosvenor. One of the finds of the season, Jordan Brown showed excellent evasion skills to beat his opposite number to squeeze in at the corner for an unconverted try. 19-10 to Grosvenor. From a strong attacking position a Grosvenor kick was charged down allowing Cooke to run in from halfway for a try which was converted 19-17.
In the second half Grosvenor had a slight breeze behind them but Cooke started the stronger of the two sides and having stolen ball from a Grosvenor maul, proceeded to score another converted try 24-19 to Cooke. The Cooke defence was solid and Grosvenor eventually conceded another converted try to allow Cooke to lead 31-19. It was going to take an almighty effort from the home side to claw their way back into this game but they knew that 2 converted tries would see them regain the lead. Former Cooke player Matthew Elliott led the way with a splendid effort which Peter Davison converted, 31-26 to Cooke. Jordan Brown scored his second of the match after incessant pressure from the home side and Peter Davison converted from the touchline to leave the score 33-31 to Grosvenor. Cooke tried everything to comeback but the Grosvenor defence held them in their own half. Perhaps it was only fair that Matthew Elliott put the result to bed with the 10th and final try of this enthralling game. 38-31 to Grosvenor.
In choosing an MOM today, there was lots to choose from, the driving of Mark Cartmill, the lineout of Peter Dawson, the workrate of Sam Purdon, the two excellent Jordan Brown tries, but I would choose Matthew Elliott, not just for his 2 tries but his general scavenging in the loose, his drive with ball in hand and his visible desire to win .