Knutsford hosted fellow championship contenders Crewe and Nantwich at the Academy. Both teams started the first half determined to win this fiercely contested game.
But it was Knutsford who finished the half 10 points ahead thanks to it's powerful pack and trys by Man of the Match Giles Robertson.
At the break Knutsford introduced some "fresh legs" to maintain the fast tempo. The second half continued as the first with Knutsford applying pressure on a resolute Crewe defence.
However they were unable to keep out Alex Malcolm who weighed in with 2 trys and 2 conversions. A final try from Rick Jones sealed a well earned victory and a valuable 4 points for
Knutsford who continue their road to glory away to Linley next week. Coach Mike Davies was highly pleased with this performance and the commitment of the whole squad.
Knutsford won 29 - 5 and are now 4 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.
4 Feb 2017 | Knutsford 26 Lymm 24
A shakey start from Knutsford, who lost possession after receiving the kick off, led to an open play which Lymm took advantage off by breaking
2 or 3 tackles after shifting it wide, a storming run by an elusive number 14 was holted and turn over ball was won by a choke tackle from fullback
Jon Fuller to help settle early nerves.
However ill discipline and a lack of commitment in chase defence led to Lymm obtaining the ball and through straight hands to the other winger number 11
scored an unconverted try outwide with Knutsford regrouping earlier then planned under the posts. The game moved on with both teams performing well in the scrum
however Lymm pressured Knutsford with many meters gained each play only to be pushed back into their own half by some accurate clearance kicking and pressure.
Knutsford have been guilty of starting slow and this was no different despite their attempts during the season to counter the bad habit. After some scrambled defence
Lymm won a scrum just left of the knutsford posts 5 meters out. After winning their own ball a straight fast pass to the drifting flyhalf left hard a yard in front of
him and despite Sam Cook holding on the ball was jotted over the line under the posts leaving Knutsford in an unfamiliar position 12 points down after the conversion very early on in the game.
Strong words left Jon Fullers mouth and all the boys grouped together with the will to rectify their mistakes and get better. Alex Davies at 9 began to get cleaner ball at the rucks
with Stefano Spinola putting in a fantastic shift at the unfamiliar position of open side flanker (no. 7). Sam Cook marshalled a close contact game and slowly Knutsford started to
play their rugby in the right area of the field. Sustained pressure and numerous penalties and tap and goes led to some quick phase play and as the drums started beating
Sam Cook sliced through the defence to slam it down under the posts exposing a massive dog leg in the Lymm backline. Alex Malcolm converted and the score was 12-7.
Lymm answered with a try of their own and Knutsford we facing a scoreline of 17-7 at half time unless they got their act together.
Leading from the front the strong ball carriers dotted throughout the pack faught hard to earn some ground and at the end of first half Alex Davies finished some
fine inter team passing to slide in the left corner for an additional 5 points. Half time score 17-12.
A half time whistle gave both teams a chance to review tactics and recharge for what was an exciting second half.
The second half started with some strong exchanges between packs with Lymm showing their experience and running of the base of the scrum with great effect and after some familiar line breaks the scrambled
defence left holes for Lymm to score under the posts for a converted try and the score was 24-12 going into the last 20 minutes. Knutsford sustained some intense pressure in their own half
but provided clean ball for clearance kicks to be made and once again started to play in the right areas of the field. Super subs were made and the rucks were being
cleaned out with vigour to great effect. A yellow card to a Lymm forward let Knutsford get up a head of steam and resulted in two fantastic inter team tries first from Alex Malcolm
after some excellent forward work and a clean offload from Sam Dawson to get spirits up and then a wonderful individual effort from Alex Davies to take the scores to 26-24.
It was nail biting stuff and after kicking 2 superb conversions a missed attempted penalty kick from some distance out by Alex Malcolm help keep sustained pressure on Lymm in their own half.
All the hard work from a superb Knutsford pack and some fine finishing from Knutsford flyers left the crowd cheering as the final whistle went up.
Man of the match: Stefano Spinola
7 Jan 2017 | Knutsford 54 Old Bedians 0
A muggy, misty day on a heavy pitch was an inevitable start to 2017 and full marks to Old Bedians to get a team out early in January.
The conditions dictated a game of handling errors and both teams did well to put several flowing phases of rugby together but it was Knutsford
whose structure and strong running lines helped to deliver a score line of 54-0.
17 Dec 2016 | Knutsford 87 Acton Nomads 7
With a wet pitch and cold weather Knutsford took control of the game from the off with Matt Cornes scoring a well worked try. Lineouts functioned well and the scrum looked
solid giving a good platform for more team tries to follow with Matt Cornes and Alex Malcolm making a hatrick and Jon Fuller scoring 4 tries in all filling in at fly half
for the absent Sam Cook. Giles Robertson bagged 2 with Jack Field, Tommy Thompson, Alex Davies and Gregg Sawyer also crossing the whitewash.
Jan Minarcik made a fine appearance in the forwards pack and came close to scoring himself. Young Sam Groves came on and contributed well to the lethal attack. Conversions were
shared between Alex Davies and Alex Malcolm with Dan Jones also completing a fine effort. Despite a slight lapse in defence leading to a try for the Nomads the defence
was generally strong and Ted Cawson was chopping down players left and right with great efficiency. The phases looked tidy and the team played rugby in the right areas of the field.
Knutsford saw out 2016 with the most complete performance yet. Roll on 2017.
Man of the Match: Jan Minarcik
Full marks to Acton Nomads we wish them well in the season.
16 Dec 2016 | Knutsford 2nd XV 17 Winnington Park Vets 15
Knutsford 2nd XV, containing seven U18s, secured a thrilling 17-15 victory against the formidable Winnington Park Vets. Playing under floodlights caused some problems initially for
the young Knutsford side with many basic handling errors giving Winnington most of the possession in the )rst half but ferocious and committed defence from the young Knutsford side
led by the impressive all under 18 back row of Sam Groves, Kyle Blake and Ted Parr kept the half time score to a respectable 0-15.
The second half was another story.
Inspired by captain Steve McGuiness Knutsford totally dominated the second half. Tries from club legends Dave Owen and Richard Lockett set up a thrilling last quarter and Max Davies
sealed a man of the match performance at fly half with the third and final decisive try which was duly converted to win the match with seconds remaining. By far the best performance of
the season to date and a great experience for the younger members of the team.
3 Dec 2016 | Knutsford 67 Linley 7
Solid performance once again. Regretably on one photo showing Dave Owen scoring by falling over close to the line.
26 Nov 2016 | Congleton 0 Knutsford 52
On a foggy, misty and cold November afternoon Knutsford played against Congleton 3's. The score line was dominated by Knutsford's backs, a 31-0 lead at half time extended
to 52-0 at the end of the game.
19 Nov 2016 | Knutsford 83 Crewe and Nantwich 7
Crewe and Nantwich came to Knutsford as league leaders with an unbeaten record.
Expectations of a close encounter were high and coach Mike Davies ensured this game was played
with a high intensity and embedded the buzzwords of clarity and focus.
And it worked.
Knutsford played with a swirling mixture of rapid back plays marshalled by Cook with structured
forward defence engineered by Dunkerley, Robertson and Cornes. At full back Davis was
again torpedo like in attack and Fuller shaped elegant running lines resulting in fine
running tries from distance. It was an inspired performance against a Crewe and Nantwich team with a final score of 83-7.
12 Nov 2016 | Old Bedians 5 Knutsford 50
Knutsford confidently bagged their fourth win out of five matches with wing Malcolm leading the way with an eight-try win over Old Bedians.
The game was a curious mixture of Old Bedians territorial strength and Knutsfords superb linking play and galloping break away tries.
The initial flurry of tries by Malcolm showed the attacking threat that Knutsford possess with great phases of play set up by Catling and Cook.
Driving runs by Dunkerley, Cornes, Howard and Dawson also proved decisive in a game that Old Bedians contested throughout dominating territory and possession for large phases of the game.
A positive outcome for Knutsford with the prospect of league leaders Crewe and Nantwich at home this weekend. It should be a firecracker of a game and all support is really welcome for
a kick-off at 2:15pm.
29 Oct 2016 | Holmes Chapel 14 Knutsford 55
On a muggy day at Holmes Chapel the boys in blue struck back after last week’s hard fought loss to Lymm 4s. With the scrum looking more secure
after the return of Dan Jones and a functioning lineout, with Rob Bentham finding his accuracy again, Knutsford were able to play phases from set
plays and work their way up the field. Fine defensive performances from Ted Parr and Sam Hudson left Holmes chapel searching for non-existing gaps.
Testing the back three fullback Jon Fuller broke the silence with a fine Garry Owen that Captain Sam Bensky managed to eventually gather and offload
leaving the try under the post for Fuller. With Alex Malcolm nursing an injury Jon Fuller took over the kicking duties to make the score 7 – 0.
Holmes chapel struck back after a fine charge down and scores were settled 7-7 early on. The gates then unlocked. Jake Barnes consistently put Knutsford
on the front foot with unstoppable forward force and Sam Cook distributing well from flyhalf. Knutsford then found their gear with devastating form, Alex Malcolm
showing little sign of the injury and crossing the line 3 times in total and being awarded a penalty try with Jon Fuller and Sam Cook adding their own fine
tries to the tally. Holmes Chapel were not completely finished however and battled on Knutsford line for 10 minutes until they eventually bounced over.
Man of the Match was Ted Parr.
Knutsford coach Mike Davies is keen to push forward ready for the next game against Old Bedians on the 12th November
and training will continue every Thursday at Knutsford Leisure Centre 7pm onwards on the astroturf so wear trainers if coming down! New comers are welcome
and are encouraged to contact Captain Sam Bensky on 07920 848668.
15 Oct 2016 | Knutsford 7 Wirral 14 | Cup Game
A close game and well contested by both teams. Knutsford played with composure and in the second half the game was well balanced. Dave Owen scored Knutsford's try resulting in a 7-7 score until Wirral
scored a break away try. Full time score Knutsford 7 Wirral 14.
1 Oct 2016 | Knutsford 28 Eagles 7
"Knutsford in a class of their own." Last season the fixture against Eagle 1st's was a loss and a tough one at that.
This year Eagle came to Knutsford with a 2nd team bumped up with 1st players looking to replicate the victory.
After a slow start Knutsford weathered the storm as best as possible and played some tidy phased rugby.
Struggling to exit their own half the dominance in the lineout and stepping up in defence kept hopes alive until a line break led to a converted try for Eagle.
A regroup under the posts and the blues came out determined to make use of their improved playing style only to receive a harsh yellow card for hands in the ruck
and were down to 14 men for 10 mins.
For another period Eagle pushed their runners forward only to receive some big defensive hits from Howard Dunkerley and Giles Robertson.
Consistently open side flanker Ted Cawson chopped them down at the ankle so the couldn't get Knutsford on the back foot.
Despite Eagle having the more dominant scrum slowly the tide turned and keeping possession, playing in the right areas of the field with some fantastic
interplay out wide Knutsford converted two blistering tries under the posts from Matt Cornes and Alex Davies which were both converted by the trusted boot
of fullback Alex Malcolm.
Patience then saw out the half at 14 - 7 to the home side.
The second half saw a more route one game by Eagle keeping the ball close and making ground deep into the Knutsford half.
The defence held strong and of the few opportunities to get into Eagle territory saw a welcome site of accuracy as fly half Rick Jones bounced over the line
dragging some Eagle players with him for a third converted try. As the game continued both teams began to weaken and errors broke the flow of the game.
The game loosened up which favoured Knutsford out wide. A fantastic individual run from his own half saw Alex Malcolm use his lightening pace to cross t
he whitewash for the killer blow. A final converted try. Full time score 28-7
Man of the match Alex Malcolm.
Knutsford made it two from two in the new league and for the second time have shown their unity and desire to #playwithpride despite going behind. Knutsfords next game is away to Whitchurch 4's 3pm Kick Off.
Training is every Thursday 7pm to 8pm at Knutsford Leisure centre - bring trainers. Call Captain Sam for further information on 07920 848668
17 Sept 2016 | Acton Nomads 7 Knutsford 96
With an injured Captain Sam out of the picture Howard Dunkerley stepped up to lead the troops who turned
up keen and organised on what was a sunny hot day in Nantwich. Acton Nomads struggled for numbers so Knutsford
provided some spare players to help get the game underway and competitive. Starting brightly, if somewhat too keen,
Knutsford tested the Acton Nomad line for 5 minutes or so and eventually wore down the defence with some stern phased
rugby led by Alex Davies at 9.
Sam Cook used the backs well and moved the pack about the park with purpose and efficiency which opened up larger holes
in the defence that were exploited to devastating effect. Despite some unnecessary offloads Knutsford found their gear
and tries followed tries supported by the efficient boot of Alex Malcolm who on the left wing was dangerous with ball
in hand & had his own collection of fine tries only to be denied a few tries by opposing honorary Acton Nomads winger
John Fuller who despite injury stepped up to do what he could to make the game as competitive as possible.
The Knutsford pack had plenty of opportunity to show off their improved set piece however due to injuries in
key positions for the Nomads the scrums eventually ended up unopposed. This led to a more open running game which
suited Knutsford who in the second half ran rampant as planned to get the points difference needed after some
large results already in the league. Howard Dunkerley led from the front with strong runs and helped control the phases of play.
Acton Nomads managed to restore some pride with a well worked try via phased play up the middle and some strong drives.
Knutsford were found wanting once on the backfoot which is something they will look at resolving over the next few weeks.
Special mention to John Wyeth in the centre and Andy Boyd in the backrow who as newcomers to the club added some go forward
and strong defensive qualities. This is Knutsford's first game in the new league with the intention of building a solid
sustainable foundation to move forward and provide good rugby for its faithful supporters. It could not have been a more
perfect start to their campaign.
The next game is home on the 1st October at Knutsford Acadamy (Lilac Avenue) vs Eagle 2nd's with a 3pm KO.
Come down and support your local side! Senior training takes place every Tuesday and Thursday 7:30pm at Toft training
pitch Booths Hall entrance. Call Captain Sam on 07920 848668 for further information if needed. All new comers of any
Man of the match Howard Dunkerley.
Report by Jon Fuller.
7 Oct 2016 | Knutsford 53 - Wythenshawe 45
Another thoroughly entertaining high scoring match in the Autumnal sunshine gave Knutsford 2s their third win of the season, 53-45 against an
impressive and robust Wythenshawe Development XV who impressed in their first season of competitve rugby. Knutsford scored their first try
within 5 minutes but any early signs of an easy victory were soon dispelled as Wythenshawe hit back almost immediately. Thereafter both sides
played spirited attacking rugby to keep the scoreboard ticking over. At half time it was 29-19 to Knutsford.
The second half con$nued at the same pace but as the heat took its toll, gaps opened up to allow the Knutsford backs more room to escape the heavyweight
Wythenshawe forwards and maintain their lead until the final whistle. All credit to Wythenshawe who were dominant in the scrum and caused
lots of problems around the fringes with their strong forwards. Special mention to Harrison Blake, at 17 years of age the youngest man on the pitch,
who gave a man of the match performance with his fearless and committed tackling of the big Wythenshawe forwards
Match report by John Parr.
Great work by John Parr and MakkaG for making it happen (click on each image to show a larger photo).
17 Sept 2016 | Knutsford 57 - Carrington 36
Another thrilling match of champagne rugby in the Cheshire sun provided Knutsford 2s with their second win of the
season, 57-36 against an enthusiastic and heavy weight Carrington 2s.
Knutsford took the initiative early on with a well worked try for Sam Groves who capped a man of the match performance
by securing the first hat trick in competitive matches from a home grown member of the Club - Sam joined us in 2005 aged
Although Carrington hit back early on to level the scores 7-7 after 15 minutes, the heat soon began to take its toll
on their heavier pack and with fast ball and our former colts on top form, Knutsford always looked in control.
Indeed our former colts were instrumental in the victory with tries from Charlie Kindred, Dec Yoxhall, Matt Hewson and
George Halpin, who once again was outstanding in the line out.
Special mention the Gavin and Matt Hewson our first Dad and lad combo in a competitive match according to our statistician.
Hopefully several of our junior players will see action with the Firsts on 1st October before the next Development match
against Wythenshawe on Saturday 8th October.
Match report by John Parr
Great work by John Parr and MakkaG for making it happen. Photos by Tony Evans (click on each image to show a larger photo).