OWs pipped at the post
By Rob Murphy
Old Walcountians were narrowly edged out in this tight encounter with Old Mid-Whitgiftians at Lime Meadow Avenue, Sanderstead, last Saturday.
Walcountians had the slight edge in the forwards, with Rob Fleming, Remy Claustres and Will Thornton outstanding in driving play forward, but the home side had the more penetrative backline, with the Counts missing the thrust of last season’s top scorer, Marvin Fletcher-Rogers who is out of action with an injury.
Centre Ross Norton gave the Counts an early lead with a penalty, but Midwives were soon on the attack with fly-half Crouch directing the play expertly and centre Okenla always a threat with his pace. 15 minutes into the match, they got through Walcountians’ defence with a back row move started at a ruck in the Counts’ 22. A magnificent conversion by Crouch from the touchline gave Midwives a four point advantage.
Walcountians responded impressively with the pack driving play into the Midwives half. Unfortunately, some of the ball distribution behind the Walcountians’ scrum was wild and the Counts failed to take advantage of some very good field positions. However, Ross Norton had his kicking boots on and penalties in the 21st and 35th minutes of the first half gave the Counts a two-point advantage by the break.
Walcountians maintained their form in the second half and continued to make life difficult for Midwives. But they were denied further opportunities to extend their lead when Ross Norton was narrowly off target with a long penalty in the 12th minute and winger Dharshan Vadivelu was bundled into touch three minutes later.
Indiscipline proved costly for Walcountians when disputing the referee’s decision gave Midwives an opportunity to regain the lead with a penalty in the 26th minute, which they gratefully accepted.
The Counts were however far from finished and, two minutes later, regained the lead when No8 Joe Henderson smashed his way through the Midwives’ defence for a try after standing off from a ruck and taking a pass from scrum-half Seb Chmielinski.
Unfortunately, Walcountians were unable to hold onto their lead as Midwives rallied in the closing minutes and outside-centre Okinla won the match for them as he snapped up loose ball close to the Counts’ line and raced over for a try.
Walcountians are currently eighth out of ten teams in Surrey League 1 and need to start winning if they are to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle. Next Saturday, they take on Old Freemen’s at Clock House, Woodmansterne. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Old Walcountians:- Hardman, Vadivelu, Norton, Abou-Zeid (D), Oldfield, Wrightson (H), Chmielinski, Abou-Zeid (A), Fleming, Claustres, Thornton, Evans, Wrightson (J), Housden, Henderson.
Subs (used):- Adams, Bellringer.