MATCH VERDICT: Deepings boys come of age to star in green
On any other match day, Deepings reliable tight-head prop Gareth Silverwood would have taken the plaudits for scoring three tries, all at crucial times, to lead the Green Machine to victory over Bedford Swifts at Linchfield Road.
But even ex-1st XV captain “Chuzzle” Silverwood had to give way to the battalion of youngsters who shone like stars in the green, yellow and black of Deepings RFC.
Jack Towers, making his starting debut at outside centre, and open-side flanker Fraser Leiper, sons of Green Machine legends Chris Towers and Andy Leiper respectively, both became men in front of coach Nobby Coupland and his senior players.
Coupland said: “We said in the week ‘it’s another league game, it’s a home game and we want a bonus point (for scoring four or more tries).
“But the frustrating thing for me was that we had four clear overlaps which, if taken, would have put us up to 50 points plus.
“We’re trying to have consistent selection and it was good to have Chris Owen back at number 10.
We needed to prove to ourselves that we could win at home again, but the big positive for me was that the young lads are getting to be part of the team and they have earned their stripesd
“Now we just need to sort out our centres (at 12 and 13).
“Every week, there are certain improvements and our penalty count was nowhere near as high as it was against Stamford College Old Boys.
“The lads are willing, they are training together and what we’re doing in training is coming out in games.”
A Paul Robson penalty before half time laid the foundations for Swifts to mount a fightback which looked possible when flanker Rob Rowland popped to score a converted try after multiple tap penalties to score.
But Andrew Sherlock’s touchdown came too late to spoil the Deepings celebrations, led by Silverwood who said: “We needed to prove to ourselves that we could win at home again.
“It was a better performance, with better communication and we’re definitely making progress.
“We had to go for a bonus point as well, but the big positive for me was that the young lads are getting to be part of the team and they have earned their stripes.”
One of the younger players to shine, winger Kelvin Squires in only his second full season with Deepings, said: “We were a lot more attacking in this game.
“But we went away from the game plan in the second half, instead of trying to get into the corners.
“However, we didn’t stop and we kept going for 80 minutes, while our subs came on and made a difference.
“Overall, it was a good, collective team performance and I’m feeling really positive about the season.”
Deepings host Coventry Welsh in round two of the Midlands Junior Cup on Saturday.