Mixed U15s side gets pipped by Old Emanuel Lions
The 15s travelled up the A3 to New Malden this morning but failed to come home with the friendly spoils
There were many bleary eyes on show his morning with all concerned making the dash up the A3 to Old Emanuel Lions ground in New Malden on an hour's less sleep courtesy of the arrival of British Summer Time. If only the summer weather had also arrived, it would have made the foreshortened night's sleep a bit easier to cope with - Ah well there's always caffeine I guess!
This was the first time we had visited the "Lion's Den" and the Emmanuel's Club Chairman was on hand to welcome the early arrivals and direct the boys to a changing room and the parents to the canteen for coffee. This game was to be a "Friendly" but the U15s previous encounters were bruising affairs and more of the same was in prospect today. The full Farnham A team beat the lions in the Waterfall Cup final last season and a mixed Farnham side were beaten in an early September fixture this season so a close encounter was expected today. That proved to be a good prediction.
After a nerveless kick off from 10 Charlie Cochrane to get the game going, Farnham looked good, putting together some nice phases of play. With some great carries from 8 Chris Ratcliffe and lock Will Partridge, the Black and Whites found themselves rolling towards the opposition's 22 and a superb break from Jake Epps on the wing saw him touch down for the first score of the match. That man Cochrane's boot came in handy again with a lovely conversion to leave the score at 7-0; a great start.
Galvanised into action, the lions re-started strongly and 4 minutes later, they equalised with a super try under the posts: 7-7.
Another restart and the momentum shifted back in Farnham's favour with a superb try from a returning Theo Lees who showed real finishing power to get the ball down in the far corner whilst being bundled out over the corner flag by a yellow shirt. A touchline conversion was a bridge too far, even for the golden boot of Charlie Cochrane, leaving the score at 12-7.
Newton's third law explains that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and sure enough, 4 minutes later a Lion's winger executed an arcing run to pop the ball down under the posts. Fortunately a missed Lion's conversion left the scores equal at 12-12. What a contest!
So yet again after some nice phases of play, the pendulum swung back in the Black and White's direction and Ben Atkins showed his class by finding a gap in the yellow wall to force a try, ably assisted by Josh Lavery whose work rate today was astonishing. A Half time lead was the reward 17-12.
The second half started as explosively as the first but the team didn't look as settled as they had previously and the usually well organised defence looked a bit frantic as legs and arms began to tire. Sam had urged the team to start the second half strongly to put another try between them and the yellow hordes but the momentum had moved in the Lion's favour and after 10 minutes the Farnham defensive line fractured letting a Lion through to score under the posts. 17-19.
Whilst the Farnham side re-grouped and started to exert some pressure, after another 10 minutes into the second half the lions were still fighting as if their lives were on the line. An Old Emanuel kick out of hand from the half way line was strongly chased by their pink hatted 15 who gathered it, handed off his Farnham equivalent and popped the ball down in the dead ball zone for a converted try. There the scoreline was fixed till the end at 17-26.
A strong Farnham performance but sadly the win eluded us today. Next time we will get em!
Enjoy the Easter break and we will be back up the A3 to the same neck of the woods in a fortnight for the re-arranged Quins Cup fixture against Old Ruts. Bring it on!