Bishops Stortford 19 v 29 Ampthill
A glorious morning in the English countryside, fabulous drive across the counties and what seemed like Summer weather and not nearly October. Our hosts welcomed us warmly, a small changing room which felt like a Sauna come the end of the match and a playing surface which you could only dream of.
Prior to kick off we lost a couple of players through injury (see later), so we started the game with 19 fit players including a debut for Liam. A briefing from a rather eager referee on what he was going to allow and wasn’t going to allow and we were off – playing towards the clubhouse. We started better than we normally do, putting pressure on their players and trying to move the ball. Ali was soon down though, up ended by a B’s player and off with a back injury that would see him out for the game. A quick think and Ed came on to play flanker – Ed would later comment that he enjoyed the experience and that in the forwards you had to work really hard and use a lot of strength. One could read that another way that Mr Blakey clearly doesn’t work his backs hard enough.
We took the lead through a try by Ross, Charlie S just missed the conversion so 5-0 to the good. Then we fell asleep in the forwards, didn’t compete for the ball in rucks and gave away penalty after penalty. The briefing from the referee at the start was coming back to bite us and we were soon down 12-5 to two tries down the middle.
Then we woke up, and introduced Liam to the game. Forwards upped the effort and soon the ball moved quickly through Henry, to Fynn, to Lui and then onto Liam and as the crowd shut their eyes hoping he would catch it, he duly did and whizzed on to score. He soon repeated the same feat, this time scoring under the posts beating 3 players from the B’s and Charlie S converted. Half time arrived and we were up 17-12.
A harsh talking to the forwards from myself saw them dominate the 2nd half, winning scrum after scrum and ruck after ruck. Fitness started to show and we scored again through Ross (converted) and Liam completed his hatrick. The only blip on the 2nd half was a sloppy try conceded from the opposition fly hacking the ball half way down the pitch.
Special mentions to Thomas for changing the forwards momentum through his battle cries, Sam C for playing with an injured shoulder for the last 10 minutes, Jacob for limping through the last 10 minutes also with an injury to a part of the body that Duncan nor I were willing to treat, and Harry for squaring up to their Number 8 and then playing with a golf ball size lump on his head which this morning has left him off school with a headache…..
So a 29-19 win, a bonus point, and some excellent teamwork. Something the boys can work on and remember – all players were excellent, all played their part and the result was well earned.