The game was a scrappy contest with both sides showing signs of rustiness after the summer break. Clifton eventually forcing their way over the line using their sizeable pack.
New coach Rob McGeechan provided sound advice which was taken on board at half time and after sustained pressure, the Oaks got a well-deserved try from Tim Mullinar. The conversion was missed meaning the score stayed at 7-5 in favour of Clifton.
Oaks continued to attack and again got close to scoring from a quickly taken penalty, unfortunately the ball was knocked on over the line. Oaks managed to maintain pressure but were unfortunate to not convert that pressure into points.
The final quarter of the match was a mixed bag for the travelling side. The intensity Oaks brought earlier in the game couldn’t be maintained for the full 80 and Clifton eventually got the telling score when their prop slipped a tackle and popped a pass to beat the last defender. The conversion was successful leaving the score 14-5. Unfortunately pressure late in the game couldn’t be converted into points.
Full credit to Rotherham Clifton as they deserved the win. However, Sheffield Oaks can come out of the game knowing they showed aspects of their new attacking mindset, they just need to show it for a full 80 minutes.
Oaks look forward to playing South Yorkshire Police Thursday 21st August, 6.30pm at Niagara, in what should be an entertaining game for everyone involved. All fans, old boys and non playing members are encouraged to come down to the game played in memory of Simon Allen.