WESTCOMBE PARK GENTS VS MET POLICE 1’S
By Dave Grace
Combe Gents steal a win from under the noses of the Met Police
WESTCOMBE PARK GENTS VS MET POLICE 1’S - Final Score 22-21 (10-21 HT)
Match reports are far and few between with the Gents Team, but this epic game couldn’t go by without one.
Despite some unsporting abuse and insults from within the Met Police social media earlier in the week, Combe Gents still agreed to a late kick off in order to enable Met Police to field a stronger team. Kendo would take the team in a good pre-match warmup session, A slight muscle pull by Rocky would see him take the bench with Billy Bignal replacing him to start.
With Capt Sparrow winning the toss on his debut captaincy for the Gents, an uphill start was selected and Combe would receive the kick off from Met Police. With a light drizzle throughout the first half a wet ball would cause some messy handling mostly from WP.. Both teams would enjoy fairly even periods of possession, but Met Police would take advantage of our poor defence of the ball in the rucks and frequently stealing possession, shipping the ball wide would earn them 2 early tries in the corner (converted).
The 2nd quarter saw the Gents raise their game and a break up the left wing saw several players involved in a move that would finally reach James Lee in the 22yd box who saw off several tackles put his head down and slide a try into the corner. (Unconverted).
The Met Polices defensive line was quick out of the blocks and as our backs shipped the ball along their line the Met Police No10 would intercept a loose ball between our centres for a clear run between the sticks..
The team halftime talk was full of positive encouragement from all.. they were fired up and the second half downhill kick-off saw the clouds break, combe would benefit from a low bright sun behind them..
Combe controlled most of the game in the second half but when Met Police replaced a prop for an inexperienced prop choosing to go with uncontested scrums it was feared our advantage in the pack would be lost. However, Billy Bignal’s quick tap penalties would frequently catch met police offside until eventually Billy would be rewarded with Combes second try (Unconverted). Now we would contemplate bringing on some subs but the unselfish bench all agreed that the momentum was with us and we should not disrupt this building energy.
Now in the 3rd Quarter and 12 pts down, time was running out for Combe Gents, frequently we would lose possession just at the 5yd line. With about 5 minutes remaining the forwards would change gear and Billy Bignal would once again find himself over the line for his 2nd try. (Unconverted). Now combe was just 6pts behind but it felt it might be too little too late..
The restart would see a rare error from Met Police to kick the ball straight out, so an uncontested scrum back at the halfway would suit Combe nicely… what happened next was truly a pleasure to watch, the forwards would break in pods gaining 5 yards with every break.. Desperate Met Police would repeatedly commit fouls and our forwards had broken their way through to the 22yd box, Pod after Pod was hitting the Met Police defensive line…the clock had reach 80mins and the next stop in play would end the game… but the forwards continued to hammer the Met Police line until Crunch (on for Fletch) would touch the ball under the posts in his first game back for many years. We were 1pt short (20-21) and we all held our breath as Alex Leng stepped up to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a conversion and the full time whistle.
Well done boys!.. Very proud game.
Final Score 22-21