A Good old fashioned friendly played in great spirit but horrible weather
The Grizzlies planned friendly against Fullers got cancelled during the week but our trusty Fixtures secretary Darren Ead secured a home game vs Epping 2/3’s. I was a little dubious as Epping 2s play in HMMT2, 3 leagues above us but their 3s are in the league below us in HMMT6 and so hoped for an even contest.
With a catalogue of injuries, a few late drop outs and the weather seemingly putting off players we took to the pitch with 13 men. Luckily for us Epping had brought a couple of subs and they kindly lent us a player to make it 14 vs 15.
On a freezing cold Saturday afternoon the rain soon turn to sleet that then turned into snow but that didn’t put Darren Coley off as our flying winger kicked a loose ball from the half way line and chased it all the way to the try line. He out paced everyone only to be tackled without the ball stopping him from reaching and grounding it. Penalty try awarded 7-0 to the Grizzlies.
The next score was Eppings. To the shock of his team mates the Epping Fly Half lined up a drop goal and kicked it clean through the posts. His post score celebrations were something that could have quite easily earned him DoD.
We had a full compliment in the pack which was working really well considering it was quite makeshift. Lots of players playing out of position and an Epping player ironically nicknamed “Youthful” helping us out at back row.
It was in the backline where we were struggling due to having one less player. Epping found holes in our defence and ran in a few easy tries. A few miss tackles and they were through.
Jack Milburn started to show us the potential that we have been believing for a long time he has. Barn storming runs breaking tackles and crossing the try line twice only for the ball to be knocked on or ripped before grounding it.
7-17 Half time.
Second half we started brightly as we score again this time through Foley making one of his penetrating runs. 12-17. Alas Epping made their numerical advantage count again and scored 3 more tries. There were 10 minutes when the sides were levelled up 13 aside as one of their lock forwards got yellow carded for foul play. We asserted some pressure but couldn’t make it count and we lost the match 12-36. Even though it was a loss the Epping boys really made the game a good contest with their great rugby spirit and sportsmanship lending players and making it an enjoyable match even though the weather was terrible.
MoM went to Darren Coley for his great running, tackling and work rate.
“Chris of the Day” could have and maybe should have gone to Nathan Thomas for taking a high ball right in the face when he had lined himself up perfectly for the catch. Also for bizarrely strapping the wrong ankle up before the match. But we harshly decided to give it to Alex our Epping loanee player who threw a pass that was intercepted by his own team mate and they then went on to run in the try. Foley was given the honour of drinking his pint in the boat race though.
Next game is a League Match Away to Tabard 2XVs this Saturday.
|Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK|