... Have you any wool?
Readingensians 33 – 7 Eagles
Juniors U16 • Friendly • Sun 24th Feb 13, 12:00PM
A hastily assembled Effingham & Leatherhead and Old Guildfordians Baa Baa's side combined effectively to ensure the fixture went ahead at a rather cold and draughty outpost of Berkshire.
Remarkably the lads gelled as if they had played together for years, and in true Baa Baa's fashion the team played an expansive style of rugby, defending resolutely and giving a good Redingensians side plenty to think about.
Starting well, but missing a straightforward penalty, the momentum quickly shifted to Redingensians who kicked at every opportunity. Exploiting the wind in the first period, they successfully scored three penalties to establish a platform in the game (9-0). Admirably the Baa Baa's responded with power and commitment and on a number of occasions they had Redingensians on the back foot in their own '22'.
However what Redingensians did well, was to move the ball quickly across their backs and they always presented a threat on the counter. Resolute defending was very much required, but eventually the level of pressure took its toll, and Redingensians finally broke through down the left hand side on the 25 minute mark (16-0).
This is when the Baa Baa's teamwork really shone through, as they went through the phases driving up to the 5 metre line. Some calm was required to ensure the attack didn't flounder, and good communication between Parsons, Zach and Crowhurst led to the latter driving hard for the line to touch down. This time Lonsdale made no mistake with the kick, and the Baa Baa's were back in the game as the referee brought the first half to a close (16-7).
A good solid start was required, however the Baa Baa's were immediately caught on the back foot as Redingensians broke at speed up to the 5 metre line out on the right; before knocking on. From the resultant scrum, and as the Baa Baa's attempted to clear their lines, interpretations as to what happened next were unclear to this observer. The upshot being a scrum to Redingensians who took advantage of the proximity to the try line to increase their lead (21-7).
It was a real setback to concede so early in the half, however not too down hearted, the Baa Baa's fought their way back into the Redingensians half and enjoyed a good period of possession, advancing steadily towards the 5 metre line. They came so close to forcing another try however with Redingensians clearing their lines with a hefty boot, the chasing winger picked up marvellously at full speed to advance over in the left corner to score (26-7).
It was a big blow and only at this stage did the Baa Baa's allow their heads to drop slightly, as the result finally moved out of reach. After a late flurry of activity and one further converted try in favour of the hosts, the referee brought the match to a close (33-7).
As ever it had been an entertaining and tough match, but as a first run out together for the contingents from Effingham & Leatherhead and Old Guildfordians, it had been hugely encouraging. And in response to the nursery rhyme, there was enough heat from this performance to dispense with the wool !
Man of the Match
Zach - Playing out of position, he caused plenty of problems for the Redingensian forwards and was justly nominated by the opposition.
Worthy of a mention were Lonsdale, who overcame the disappointment of an early penalty miss to put in a heroic defensive performance; Crowhurst, who was everywhere and never yielded to the physical intensity in and around the 'loose' AND the returning Sharpe, who showed what we have been missing these last few weeks.
First half: 3-0 Red pen; 6-0 Red pen; 9-0 Red pen; 14-0 Red try; 16-0 Red conv; 16-5 Crowhurst try; 16-7 Lonsdale conv;
Second half: 21-7 Red try; 26-7 Red try; 31-7 Red try; 33-7 Red conv;
The Squad Gibbons(c); Bate; Sharpe; Grimble; Jack; Luke; Crowhurst; Zach; Parsons; Lonsdale; Peel; Kingsley; Wright; Botterill; Sam; David;