Falcons Win In The Mud
by Mr James Wyatt
The last time we played Old Alleynians was in dreadful weather conditions last season at the Canterbury Kent festival. Trying to find out their match form proved impossible as their web-site is not up-to date.
Nonetheless a cool, sunny Sunday morning greeted us, albeit very wet under foot, and the Falcons looked like they had already played at a match at the end of their warm-up drills. Match shirts were duly provided, and the Falcons were ready to go.
Prior to the match a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both sets of players & supporters.
The falcons start with a kick ‘up-hill’ and its apparent in the early exchanges that WP want to start on the front foot. They are dominant, very dominant. The Falcons have a line out, and the line out is good, and the ball is out to the pod, big Dan O’Neill receives the ball and boshes through a number of attempted tackles, but nothing is stopping him and he goes over the line for a good score from a dominant opening period. Conversion is missed 5-0.
OA’s evidently aren’t here to make up the numbers & they retaliate with a period of their own rugby, being on the front foot and taking the Falcons on. During this period Henry Jones rips a marvellous ball from the opposition. The kick away only temporarily relieves the pressure and the ball is back into our 22. Although missed tackles can look some-what laissez-faire, a missed tackle or three in a single attacking play puts the Falcons under pressure and OA’s score in the corner, conversion missed. 5-5
The match restarts and it is physical, both sides are competing equally, and the Falcons are looking for that something extra. The Falcons disrupt an OA’s line out really well, the OA’s 9 is rushed into a pass as a Falcons lock is in crunch mode, he rushes, tackles are made and the forwards go piling in to turn the ball over, and off the Falcons go recycling the ball up the pitch, the whole pack gets involved, forwards power!! This gets us into a position for a wide attack, the ball gets out wide with safe hands all the way to Harry Shotton who scores in another match with a fine team try, starting back from the line out disruption on our own 10-yard line. Conversion missed 10-5.
Half time is reached. 10-5
The second half starts, and Louis Birch is one of the replacements. Credit to Louis as he never takes a step back and leads into initial contacts, nothing fazes him, it seems the bigger the better for him, and from a fantastic steal Louis presents the ball that gets out to Sam Nicholls who is implored from the side-lines to back himself and off he goes on a mazy run to score a fantastic solo try. Conversion missed 15-5.
This match is rather compelling, as OA’s are not letting the Falcons run away with it. Their defence is up on us when we have possession. Mike Tutt looks for space with a nice kick over the top and the Falcons are camped in the OA’s half and making regular forays looking for the breakthrough. The Falcons have good lineout ball on the 22, and the ball is out to pods and recycling, big Denzell takes well into contact, it’s hard, we are gaining yards and the opposition defence is getting sucked in. The Falcons are a few metres out, Max Hallett picks & goes, with a couple of forwards in close support calling for the pass. Max makes a lovely feint for the pass to a Falcons lock and the OA’s defence falls for it and he goes over for his first Falcons try. Congrats Maxi. The conversion is missed 20-5.
Max Sanger comes into the fray and is after the ball like a crazy General leading a coup d'état, he’s after it and is breaking gain lines as the Falcons look to score again.
What follows is a period of OA’s territory dominance. The Falcons struggle to get out beyond their 10 yard line. But they don’t panic, they aren’t fazed, the defense is really very good. Credit to both sides, it’s quite brutal, especially when a Falcons second rower crunches one of the opposition, who doesn’t return. From the muddy sidelines your scribe can hear instructions: calls for cover, calling people out of rucks, so much improved from earlier in the season. More of that please chaps. OA’s are desperate to score, but the Falcons are defiant, they seemingly want to keep this lot to nil in the second half. It gets a bit tasty but the WP lads are cool cats.
The resplendent in pink referee blows for full time and a physical match ends 20-5 to the Falcons.
Dan O’Neill 0 from 1
Harry Shotton 0 from 2
Max Hallett 0 from 1.
OA’s voted Max Hallett as man of the match. Congrats Maxi!
Note for Mr. Brelsford: Laissez-faire is not West Ham’s new French midfielder.