Rampant Counts end run of defeats in spectatular style
By Rob Murphy
Old Walcountians brought a run of defeats to a spectacular end with a nine-try demolition of Old Freemen’s last Saturday.
The Counts established dominance in the forwards from the start and, although it was difficult to single out any player, strong scrummaging by props Anthony Abou-Zeid and Remy Claustres and strong tackling and speed on the loose ball from flankers Tom Housden and Luke Adams made a significant impact.
The Walcountians threequarters took some time to function as a unit and a lot of possession was squandered in the early stages. But, in the 14th minute, they finally got their act together by putting winger Jacob Oldfield away on the short side to run in the first try of the day, which full-back Ross Norton converted with a towering kick from the touchline.
Freemen’s proved lively opponents in the first 20 minutes of the match and levelled the score when their forwards drove over for a try in the 20th minute. It took Walcountians until the 33rd minute to regain the lead and came from lock Joe McMullen who broke from the 10-metre line and swerved past three attempted tackles to score with a break which would not have disgraced a threequarter. Ross Norton added the points with a conversion.
Just before the break, Walcountians added their third try when hooker Rob Fleming took a strike against the head and, from the scrum, scrum-half Seb Chmielinski broke and found centre Charlie Hardman in support to blast through the Freemen’s defensive line.
In the second half, Walcountians scarcely put a foot wrong. The pack continued to dominate possession and were helped by a superb performance from half-backs Toby Bentley and Seb Chmielinski who pinned Freemen’s back in their half with a series of well-judged tactical kicks and the threequarter line who began to click. The Counts fourth try came as a result of a clever chip kick from Seb Chmielinski which Tom Housden got to first.
Freemen’s refused to give up and were rewarded in the ninth minute when their tight-head prop crashed over for a try from a ruck close to the Walcountians’ line.
The Counts put Freemen’s to the sword in the final quarter as they ran in five tries which Freemen’s were completely unable to stop. The first, in the 20th minute, came when Aussie centre Dany Abou-Zeid scored his first try for the Counts with a spectacular run which saw him bounce off four attempted tackles. Then, five minutes later, Abou-Zeid collaborated with Jacob Oldfield to put replacement flanker Ed Bellringer in the right-hand corner for a try.
The 31st minute saw the Counts No8 Jonny Evans join the growing list of tryscorers when he intercepted a wayward Freemen’s pass and left the remains of their defence in his wake as he sprinted for the line.
Walcountians sealed victory in time added on for stoppages with two more tries. The first, in the 45th minute, saw flanker Luke Adams cap a memorable performance by peeling off from a rolling maul and touching down. And, almost straight from the restart, Walcountians shipped the ball out to winger Marvin Fletcher-Rogers who capped his return from injury with a blistering run down the left wing which saw him round the entire Freemen’s defence and touch down under the posts. Ross Norton added two more points with his seventh conversion of the day.
Walcountians have now moved up to fifth place in Surrey League 1. Next Saturday, they hope to add more points when they take on Law Society at Windsor Avenue, New Malden. Kick-off is at 2:30pm.
Old Walcountians:- Norton, Oldfield, Hardman, Abou-Zeid (D), Fletcher-Rogers, Bentley, Chmielinski, Abou-Zeid (A), Fleming, Claustres, Thornton, McMullen, Adams, Housden, Evans.
Subs:- Bellringer, Stylianou, Thomas.