Coventry travelled to Caldy to close out the opening block of league games before attentions are converted to the Championship Cup next week.
Plenty of home and away support was on show, as Paton Field was treated to all four seasons over the course of 80 minutes. For the first time in a long time, Cov took the lead in a game as Pat Pellegrini converted an early infringement by Caldy at the breakdown, to an early 3 points inside the opening minute.
Last season’s National League One Champions didn’t take long to respond, as Coventry were adjudged to have not rolled away at the ruck. Jones landed the first 3 points for the home team with a relatively simple penalty on the 7-minute mark. (3-3)
With 11 minutes on the clock, Shea Cornish was sent to the sin bin for pushing a man off the ball which led to a tackle in the air. However, before his time in detention was up, Suva Ma’asi scored off a well constructed driving maul. Pellegrini happily converted the score, making it 3-8.
As Conrish returned to play, he was gifted with a quite outstanding assist from former Caldy man, Lucas Titherington, with 24 minutes played. An offload that seemed impossible, allowed Cornish to race to the corner to score before Pellegrini extended the lead further with his conversion. (3-15)
With half an hour gone, Cornish made it two doubles in consecutive weeks. This one was straight from the training field. A clever lineout play gave the winger the opportunity to ‘show and go’ before sprinting to the try line. (3-20)
Caldy were not going anywhere and began to string some more threatening attacking phases together towards the end of the first period. Cov’s defence held strong to make the half time score a healthy 3-20 at the break.
As the second half began, so did the heavier rainfall which would act as pathetic fallacy for a slightly below par second half, from a Coventry point of view. Things started well for Cov as Will Chudley performed an excellent 50:22 before some patient attack gave Will Rigg the chance to do what he does best and charge his way through multiple defenders all the way to the try line. Pellegrini added another two points from the tee. (3-27)
From that point on, the scoreboard was only operated on the home team end, as Caldy mounted pressure at scrum and maul time. Upon the hour mark, the Paton Field faithful were witness to a rather dominate set piece which marched itself all the way to the try line for captain, JJ Dickinson, to score his side’s first 5-pointer of the day. (8-27)
Despite yellow cards to George Smith and Danny Southworth in quick succession, Cov’s defence stayed strong – that was until the final 10 minutes. As Caldy continued to edge the scrum, they flung the ball wide whilst playing with the freedom of a penalty advantage for fullback, Elliot Gourlay, to dot down in the corner. (13-27)
Caldy continued to attack in the desperate pursuit of a losing bonus point, and it looked likely when Gourlay grabbed a second shortly after his first. However, the crucial conversion that would have reduced Cov’s lead to 7 points was missed, meaning an entertaining contest ended 18-27.
Thank you to all the travelling supporters that made the trip, and to our hosts, Caldy, for a brilliant afternoon.