Farnham U14 A's win with a 6 try haul vs Richmond
The U14As braved foul weather at Aldershot today to win against Richmond at a canter in the quarter final of the President's plate in the Surrey Rugby Waterfall Cup competition
Farnham U14As lost their opening match in this year’s Waterfall cup which saw them drop into the President’s plate competition. Today’s match against Richmond was therefore a quarter final of the president’s plate and was therefore a must win fixture.
Richmond have been a top side in their time but like many clubs, they have suffered this season from an exodus of top players to boarding schools around the country which has left them slightly weakened. Nevertheless, the Farnham boys were keen to make a big impact today to get a place in the semi-finals of the plate where they would play the winner of Cobham vs Camberley U14As.
Waterlogged pitches at Wilkinson Way had necessitated a last-minute change of venue to the Army Pitches in Queen’s Rd Aldershot. As the boys warmed up, the rain held off but the wind was swirling.
Farnham’s undoing in past games has been a sluggish start but today the boys went out of the blocks as if their shirts were on fire.
From the kick off the forwards tackled, ripped and jackalled and the backs applied pressure via their line speed, forcing multiple errors from a slightly shocked Richmond side and so it wasn’t long before James Robinson found himself 10m out from the try line with the ball in hand. Richmond players attached themselves to him like limpets as he scrapped his way towards the try line and by the time he’d made 9m with only a metre to go he seemed to have half the Richmond yellow, red and black shirts on his back. With a seemingly superhuman effort he stuck out an inspector gadget arm towards the end zone and placed the ball down over the line. This was not a day for touchline conversions with a swirling wind which frustrated Finlay’s boot and so with first blood to Farnham, the score was 5-0.
Next to make the scoresheet was Max Campbell-Harris following another period of intense pressure from the Farnham team. A super finisher, he received the ball with a 10m run down the touchline between him and a score which was never in doubt. 10-0
17 minutes into the first half and another score for Max C-H was the reward for another period of extreme pressure from the Farnham forward pack. Missed tackles and some soft penalties were costing Richmond dear and again Max found himself with ball in hand with 25m to run and finished beautifully. 15-0. Richmond heads were beginning to drop.
With little possession and precious little territory, Richmond could be forgiven for losing heart a bit but it was their error rate which cost them in the first half. After 23 minutes a ball went down the line and Finlay Anderson handed off beautifully to score a great try which once again the wind prevented him from converting.
In the dying moments of the first half a fifth try came Farnham's way via super effort from James Robinson to score his second of the half to leave the home side 25-0 and five scores up (Wot no bonus points in this comp?). An amazingly good effort.
At half-time Sam rightly congratulated the boys for a great display and foolishly suggested that they treat the second half as a training exercise, instructing the boys that he wanted to see no more forwards pick and go tries in favour of some flowing backs moves to score.
At the restart, the boys all relaxed, thinking the game won, and again the opposition took advantage of this. Suddenly, with the pressure to perform taken off, the Farnham forwards were missing tackles and losing their discipline to cough up soft penalties and easy ball. Richmond found themselves with the ball in hand and with territory to play with and it wasn’t long before they turned this pressure into points with a nice score in the corner. 25-5
A Richmond score didn’t seem to wake the Farnham boys up and 15 minutes into the second half a second soft unconverted try was on the board from Richmond. Come on boys! What happened to the clinical play from the first half.
Suddenly the unexpectedly benign weather broke and horizontal hail became the order of the day. The Farnham boys who were near the tree line scurried under the trees for cover and some Richmond boys inventively ripped off a post protector to use as a hail shield! The referee and the other half of the Richmond side looked bemused – It should take more than a bit of hail to stop a game of Rugby surely?
Before the restart, the hail appeared to have finally woken up the Farnham boys who, with a few key substitutions eventually swung the momentum back in their direction. Soon enough a sustained period of pressure on a tiring Richmond squad saw Max Campbell-Harris scooting over the line for his hat trick. The final whistle blew to cement the score at 30-10.
Thanks must go to Richmond who gamely stuck out the extreme first half pressure, a wet journey and the delights of Aldershot and yet still came back at the Farnham boys in the second half.
A good result and onwards to the next cup game!
Podium points were awarded as follows:
3 - Max Campbell-Harris for a superb Hat trick of tries
2 - Olly Kirkpatrick for a superb display of Jackalling and great work rate
1 - Scrum Captain Max Parker for taking responsibility for leading a superb forwards effort today
Well done boys.