Best Performance of the Season for Growing Hornets Team
Good all round performance from Farnham results in six tries.
Best performance of the season for growing Hornets team
Clear skies over Farnham thawed out the frosty ground in time for the 2pm kick-off. The Hornets welcomed back several players from injury and kicked off into the bright sunshine.
The Farnham forwards absorbed some pressure and then gained territory into the opposition half. From a lineout on the right side of the field the ball was spun out the backs. Pat Kitson sold the dummy line well and then put Ben “Scooby” Crean into a gap in midfield. The Old Whitgiftian players couldn’t tackle the determined Crean and he ran through to score under the posts. Fullback Mark Baines converted to take Farnham 7-0 up.
Old Whitgiftians now had a spell of pressure and got into Farnham territory. Strong tackling from debutant winger Daz Hardy forced the knock-on and a scrum to Farnham. From the scrum, Ben Brown passed the ball back to fly-half Pat Kitson, who punted downfield. The ball stayed in play and Old Whitgiftians fullback Les Todd absorbed tackles from the enthusiastic Farnham chase. OWs regrouped well and kicked cross field where the Farnham defence had failed to re-group. Despite scrambling defence from fullback Mark Baines, the Old Whitgiftians number 12 went in to score under the posts. The successful conversion put the teams level at 7-7.
Immediately back on the attack, the Hornets began dominating the scrum with the forwards and making good gains in the backline. Oli Richford made a 40 yard break but scuffed an attempted grubber kick forward (which the defence recovered).
Maintaining position within the OW half, Ben Brown marshalled the forwards onward, controlling the maul well and then sniping when he saw a gap. A few phases later, Pat Kitson went through a gap and then offloaded to hooker Dan Ross who sprinted forward to take the Hornets another try ahead.
The next score came quickly as Farnham increased the tempo and maintained the intensity. Winger Adam Hailstones continued his impressive run of form by getting another try. Mark Baines converted his third successive attempt to put the Hornets ahead 21-7 at half time.
After a strong half, Ben Brown went off to preserve himself for the academy games on Sunday and Jemi Akin-Olugbade came on in the centres. Jemi immediately made an impact running for 30 yards down the left side before being forced into touch.
The Farnham scrummage was now truly in ascendancy, with props Graeme Black and Jules Joris enjoying themselves. Second rower Dan Greene played one of his most physically dominant games of the year, especially in defence.
Capitalising on this forward momentum, the backs began to create big holes in the OW defence. Bouyed by his first run, Jemi got another chance with the ball in hand and scythed through to score under the posts. Baines scored another conversion, four from four on the day, and then made way for returning player Tom Coussins to come on.
Fran Meagher, Tom Foster and Deane Chiverton did the unseen work from the back row all day long, battling in the rucks and mauls, and making lots of tackles.
A pass went wayward from the back of the scrum, however emerging from chaos, Ben “Scooby” Crean carved forward for 50 yards. He couldn’t decide which way to go to beat the fullback, so offloaded as he was tackled. Running in support, Oli Richford dived over to score.
The final fifteen minutes of the game saw the referee penalise Farnham repeatedly and the players on both sides start to get a bit more edgy with each other.
The final score of the game was another for Jemi in the centres who proved once again that the opposition defenders couldn’t live with his pace. Neither of the final to tries were converted so the final score was 38-7 to Farnham.
Playing out of position at number 8, Fran Meagher earned the man of the match accolade with recognition also going to Ben Crean for an outstanding contribution in the backline.
Next week the Hornets travel to Old Emmanuel for their final league game before Christmas.
By Oli Richford