Oswestry 18 Marple 3
OSWESTRY Eagles returned to winning ways with a comfortable 15-point home victory over Marple to lift themselves to third in the table.
The hosts began with aggression and speed in the attack with Fin Grogan nudging a sweet grubber kick through the Marple defence in the first minute, which almost allowed Nick Clay to score before a try-saving tackle from Marple.
Grogan soon despatched an early penalty to put the Eagles three points ahead as the momentum and attacking impetus remained firmly with Oswestry.
Hamish Fuller propelled his team forward as captain Andy Smith marshalled his back line and urged his players to convert their pressure into tries.
Another cheap Oswestry penalty ensued and the dependable boot of Grogan made it 6-0.
Giant Eagles fullback Luca Youen Owens made a series of penetrating runs at the Marple defence and wreaked havoc by creating gaps to allow some thrilling build-up play from Oswestry.
Another penalty allowed Fuller a quick tap before he offloaded out wide to the on-running Andy Smith, who crossed the line for the game’s first try. With a deserved 13-0 nil lead at the interval, Oswestry began the second half sluggishly and gave away a soft penalty of their own.
The Marple kicker took his opportunity to make it 13-3.
Oswestry's response was immediate. Some swift attacking build-up play again culminated in a penalty, which Fuller tapped quickly before crossing for his side's second try to make it 18-3 and seal a comfortable victory.
A notable debut first team performance from under-18 Oswestry colt Thomas Jones was capped by a try-saving tackle on the Marple winger.
He was denied the man-of-the-match accolade, however, which was claimed by Zac Baldwin for his tireless tackling and outstanding work rate.
Oswestry are at home to Heaton Moor on Saturday. Kick off is at 3pm.