A GOOD team display was not enough to overcome the challenge of unbeaten South Lancashire and Cheshire Division One leaders Anselmians on home soil at the new Ballafletcher pitch.
The juggernaut home pack, consisting of the outstanding pairing of Danny Kermode and Ean Mousely in the second row, took no time at all to start making inroads into the opposition’s territory time and time again from set-piece ball.
When ball was spun wide the likes of skipper Leigh Kennaugh and Tom Gascoyne looked to use their speed and awareness to put others into space.
The first half was pretty much all Vagas, however from a momentary lapse in concentration Anselmians took a quick tap penalty and set their flying outside centre free down the wing and, inturn, he off-loaded back inside to support to go in under the posts. The kick was converted and the half-time score was 0-7 to the visitors, much against the run of play.
Vagas started well again in the second half with outside centre Jakey Coates looking dangerous. Whenever he had the ball, things looked promising.
When the home side did venture into the Anselmians 22 a stray pass or a knock-on thwarted them. Anselmians then showed why they are going to be promoted this season, scoring two breakaway tries towards the end and leave the final score 21-0.
The visitors’ superior back line was the difference between the two sides after a manful effort from the Vagabonds forwards.
The Manx team can draw some comfort from the result as Anselmians had averaged 42 points per game this season prior to this encounter at Ballafletcher.
A special mention must go to the home pack that totally dominated and showed on their day they can play any team. In the backs, Kennuagh showed how versatile he is by slotting into 10 and with Jake Coates in fine form things are looking promising going into the final quarter of the season. Vagabonds take a break from league rugby next weekend and will welcome Southern Nomads in the Manx Cup semi-final.