Ton up for Spartans
By Neil Pemberton
Big score bettered only by our hosts big hearts
The Old Walcountians Armada invaded Thornton Heath on a warm sunny day with both the 1XV & the 2XV plying their trade at the home of Streatham-Croydon. OWs 2XV were looking to bounce back from a tough and close loss to Effingham & Leatherhead 2XV.
After am intense warm up, it came to pass that SC 2XV were having a struggle to put together a 15. In order to make sure a full game of rugby could be played OWs sent two players so that a 15 vs 15 game could be played and massive thanks go to both Mark Back and Alec Beeson for that.
Again the toss was lost…and Streatham-Croydon chose to receive the kick. Both sides were raring to go. SC looking to avenge an earlier loss in the season and OWs looking to put as much pressure on the sides below them in the hunt for 2nd place.
What followed was a first half full of fantastic rugby for OWs and an assault on the SC try line that saw try after try after try. SC could not handle the ferocious pace that the OW backs were putting on the ball and the powerful running of the forwards was creating an abundance of space. Tries from Julian Jandles, George Shaw, Shaun Shaw, Muhammed Jaffer, Andrew Le Masurier amongst others opening up a huge early lead. Strong lines and quick hands saw SC consistently on the back foot and at times poor technique saw them exposed. The backs unit of Callum Stone, Andy Gill, Jake Ayres and Nino Stylianou consistently created ample space for the pace of the back three to exploit and delete the back tracking SC defence. However, to the credit of SC they kept ploughing away at OWs who had to stand firm against some strong offensive play in order to survive and not become obsolete. A strong set piece from OW saw ball constantly stolen with the front row of Dan Bell, Goon and a returning Remy Claustres causing decay and destruction to the SC front row and line out ball was consistently won by another returning face, Sam Hanson, who also had ‘Try of the Season’ ruled out. After receiving the ball from kick off, he galloped his way through what seemed like the entire SC defence only to be denied by an unnecessary infringement. No names need to be said but Andrew Le Masurier will not be happy with his decision-making.
OW were in a fantastic position going into the half but a poor last 10 minutes saw a drop in focus and they were very nearly punished by some great breakdown play from the SC 6 and the strong 13, who looked dangerous every time he got the ball. Some very unfortunate tactics from Andrew Le Masurier, who was constantly impeding SC at every opportunity and putting OW under unnecessary pressure, marred the first half.
At half time and with a 50+ lead, OWs rang the changes and full utilised the strong bench. Pete Thomas came off the bench and was at his orchestral best, starting many attacks with his direct running allowing OWs to continue on the platform that they had already created. More scores for George Shaw (who finished with 4), Spencer Moorhead (when he wasn’t dropping the ball in open space), Andy Gill, Andrew Le Masurier, Callum Stone, Badge, Goon and Dougie Kay saw OWs relentlessly charge at a weakening SC defence. It was only when Tom Thornton sealed the game with a monster turnover that OWs could celebrate a very convincing performance that will no doubt help them in their bid to claim 2nd place in the Surrey East Conference.
The final whistle blew and OW 2XV could celebrate a monumental 105-0 away victory over SC 2XV. Extra thanks to Coach Paul who has been an incredible help to the 2XV this season, and we hope to see him back next season when the quest for the title begins anew. He has left the squad looking in great shape.
Unfortunately Warlingham 2XV have cried off so that was the last game of the season for the OW 2XV, who will now wait patiently to see how their closest rivals fare. At least it gives Andrew Le Masurier a chance to read an RFU rulebook.
Old Walcountians: G. Shaw, Jandles, Stylianou, Ayres, Jaffer, Gill, Stone, S. Shaw, Le Masurier, George, Thornton, Hanson, Claustres, Houghton, Bell
Subs: S. Simmonds, D. Simmons, Kay, Moorhead, Thomas, Carson,
Special thanks again to Mark Back & Alec Beeson.