VAGABONDS RUFC’s winning streak in South Lancashire and Cheshire Division Two came to an end on Saturday when they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of a physical Sefton outfit at Ballafletcher.
Vagabonds started the match brightly with their set-piece working well and the centre partnership of Tom Gascoyne and Ross McCulloch making inroads into the Sefton defence.
It was this combination that created the first try when, from a lineout, Leigh Kennaugh fed Ross McCulloch who stepped his way through the Sefton defence before passing to Gascoyne who scored under the posts. Kennaugh added the extras.
Vagabonds attacking pressure continued but as they looked to score their second try the final pass was intercepted to allow the Sefton winger to run the length of the pitch and score against the run of play.
Towards the end of the second half a free-flowing move resulted in Adam Matheson receiving the ball in midfield. His arching run created a two-on-one which Steve Gawne was more than happy to finish off for a try in the corner. Kennaugh again added the extras leaving Vagabonds ahead 14-7 at half-time.
Sefton came out firing in the second half and tested Vagabonds’s defence with straight hard-running from their sizeable pack. Two quick-fire tries and a penalty from Sefton resulted in Vagabonds trailing 14-22 with 20 minutes to go.
Further hard work from the Vagabonds pack created quick ball in the Sefton 22 and the Vagabonds backs showed slick handling to allow Gawne to run in his second try of the game. The conversion was unsuccessful and Vagabonds were left trailing 19-22 with 10 minutes remaining.
Vagabonds threw everything they had at Sefton but their defence held strong and unfortunately this meant that the home side could not get the win that they desired.
This physical encounter certainly took its toll on both sides and Vagabonds will be hoping that McCulloch, Gascoyne and Andy Pease can shake off injuries before the eagerly anticipated trip to the north of the island this weekend to take on Ramsey in what promises to be an intense affair.