Match Report – Farnham Hornets away at Teddington 2nd XV
Farnham Achieve Gritty Win in Horrendous Conditions
With several regulars unavailable Farnham rocked up at Teddington with a side bolstered by academy graduates. As it had on the journey toward London, rain continued to fall throughout the warm-up where Farnham looked sharp.
Andrew Freshwater kicked off for Farnham and the initial collisions offered a preview of the slugfest ahead. Teddington attacked strongly to begin with, using their well-built fly half to gain momentum in midfield and look for the offload. Some dogged defence from Farnham repelled these attacks.
Once Farnham got the ball, they attacked through the centre with some good offloading (despite the conditions) with Russ and Sam Greensitt gaining significant yards. The initial score of the game was achieved when slick handling out to Dwyer Ogdonson who twisted through two tackles to touch down over the white-wash. The difficult conversion was unsuccessful, Farnham ahead 0-5.
Apart from a brief respite, for the remainder of the half Farnham were camped in their own 22. Several kicks for touch were missed or countered strongly by a fluid Teddington back three. At one point, within a ruck in the Farnham 22, an opposition player squealed and complained that he’d had his gentleman area squeezed by a nameless Farnham forward. Suspicions were that it could have been Scots Guard Domo, who turned to a team mate with a raised eye brow and said “Rugby”. A stern talking to by the referee and both captains, everyone drew a line under Knobandbollockgate.
Despite some strong defence from Dwyer Ogdonson and Matt Shorock, an attack down their right hand side resulted by Teddington, left an opening on the blindside of the ruck which was exploited by the opposition support players. Another difficult kick was missed and the score was level at 5-5.
In the set-piece Farnham asserted their dominance and were strong in both the scrum and the lineout. Front row players, Ben Vialua, Lenny Jennings and Dan Ross enjoyed the contest, and boosted by the second row engine room of Gareth Yeomans and Cairan Hannon or Craig Macey, they pressured the Teddington scrum even when down a man due to a yellow card.
The conditions only got worse after half time when some changes were made. George Northwood came on to make his debut for the Hornets but left only moments later, suffering a concussion on a try saving tackle. Matt Shorock was vocal from the full back position, and then the wing, as he came back on to stand in for Dwyer who had a blood injury.
When the Farnham backs did keep the ball in hand, they generally achieved good things, with Adam Hailstones repeatedly making inroads into the Teddington defence. Good support play by Freshwater saw him make strong break down the left side, before he was muscled into touch by defenders.
Prop Dan Ross made a marauding run, and delivered the infamous “Handoff of Justice” to a few opposition players. With fifteen minutes remaining, Hailstones surged through again and he offloaded to Oli Richford who got fairly close to the line before being floored by a swinging arm in the tackle. The ball was recycled swiftly and Fijian substitute Rab powered over to put Farnham 5-10 ahead. The conversion attempt was short of the posts.
The game had a strange finish with Farnham scrum half Alex Chalker sin-binned for swearing, whilst the rest of the team raised their game to meet the repetitive wave of attacks by Teddington. Inevitably given the conditions, there was a knock-on forced before a score could be achieved. Farnham sealed the away victory 5-10.
Man of the match was undoubtedly Charlie Warburton, only recently playing in the Farnham Academy, who was sure-handed in the lineout and tackled dominantly from the flank.
Farnham can be happy with this victory that solidifies their position in the top half of the league. Next up are Weybridge Vandals at home on the 21st of November.
Written by Oli Richford