First away win of the season!
Barton- under- Needwood 13- 35 Edwardians FC
On Saturday 14th of October Edwardians FC travelled North to play against new comers to the 3rd division, Barton-under-Needwood. Similarly, to the Edwardians, Barton had started this season slow and only picked up their first victory in their third game of the season. As a result of the recent league wins, both teams started well and were full of confidence.
In the early stages, Barton demonstrated good handling ability and a very competitive set piece, especially in the scrum. Eds front three of Chris Matravers, James McQuoid and Phill Bower knew from the outset it was going to be a tough afternoon.
The first points of the game came in the 8th minute when Jack Cheek on debut showed combined speed and power to brake two tackles to score a try 5 metres in from the touchline (B.U.N 0 – 5 Eds). With Gary Hawkins narrowly missing the conversion the score stayed at 5-0 to Eds.
The following 20 minutes were very even, with both sides scoring 3 points each from penalty kicks (B.U.N 3-8 Eds). Towards the end of the first half Eds improved and managed to increase their lead by another 3 points from a successful penalty kick 30 metres out (B.U.N 3-11 Eds).
Barton showed some attacking intent in the final minutes of the half, but were forced to kick out of play, as a result of brilliant defensive play from flankers Tom Barnfield and 17-year-old Daniel Irving.
Barton- under- Needwood 3 – 11 Edwardians
Despite finishing the first half as the better side, the home team came back fighting and managed to score a try in the first 5 minutes of the second half (B.U.N 8 –11 Eds). For the following 10 minutes Barton maintained possession well, but Ed's defence was strong, with some great technical tackles from Phill Bower and Morgan Hope.
In order to counter act the threat from the opposition, head coach Craig Lea made a few changes to give the Ed's more attacking impetus and fresh legs in defence. In the 56th minute the Barton winger made a reckless high tackle which set them back earning the player a yellow card.
With the opposition only having 14 men on the pitch and Eds fresh legs the game changed quickly. Returning from 5 months away due to injury Dave Gray showed great experience and ability to pick holes in the Barton defence which moved the Ed's swiftly into the oppositions 22. Constant pressure forced Barton into conceding a penalty which was converted by Dave Gray giving the Eds a six-point lead (B.U.N 8 –14 Eds).
In the following minutes, Edwardians were able to score two tries in quick succession. The first from Dillon Farrelly who showed great effort to support another break made my debutant Jack Cheek. The second try and the third Eds try of the match was a fast break away try, starting from a quick-fire pass from Kenny Simpson to replacement ten Dave Gray, who firstly dummied two opposition players and then fizzed the ball out wide to full back Gary Hawkins to finish off between the posts. In the space of 9 minutes of play Eds managed to rock up 17 points on the scoreboard and in truth finishing the game off (B.U.N 8 – 28 Eds).
However, Barton never gave up and achieved their second try of the match from some poor defensive play from Eds backs.(B.U.N 13 – 28 Eds)
Despite the disappointment of conceding late on, Eds still found time to score another try, which was easily the best try of the match. Play started from an Eds line out at the half way mark which was brilliant thrown in by skipper James McQuid and caught by Tom Barnfield at the back of the line out. The ball then came out to the backs and to John Ferdinand who again had a brilliant game, especially in defence. On this occasion he showed good offensive play with a well-timed short pass for on-coming runner Luke Mason to pierce a big hole in Barton's defence. Luke then carried the ball into the opposing 22, with support from fellow backs Matt Bentley and Morgan Hope the ball came out and was finished by Jack Cheek for his second try of the match (B.U.N 13 – 35 Eds).
Barton- under- Needwood 13 - 35 Edwardians FC
Tries – Jack Cheek (2) Dillon Farrelly, Gary Hawkins
Convertions – Dave Gray (2), Gary Hawkins
Penalty kicks – Gary Hawkins (2), Dave Gray
On the whole it was a solid performance from Ed's and a vast improvement on their start of the season. The Eds man of the match was a difficult decision as there were many candidates who played a very good game, such as Tom Barnfield for his all-round efforts around the pitch, John Ferdinand tackling master class and two try man Jack Cheek on debut. In spite of the options highlighted, the opposition chose young new comer Matt Bentley for his brilliant ball carrying, kicking and tackling display.
The Ed's host top of the league on Saturday and there's strong belief that they can make it 3 league wins in a row!