NEW LOOK SENIOR ACADEMY FLOURISHES IN THE SUNSHINE -
Enfield Ignatians Senior Academy 19: Bishop's Stortford U18s B: 7
- Jon Landi reports
This was an intriguing encounter. A far earlier than usual kick-off (10am), officiated by a National One referee Paul Carroll, combined with the presence of a few new faces in the Ignatians’ side, heightened the sense of anticipation.We weren’t to be disappointed as the Ignatians’ coming off a defeat against Woodbridge, put the experience to good use by playing to their strengths and particularly the forwards who put in a good shift as a collective.
After setting up an excellent attacking position following an intelligent kick to the corner from Calum Middleton, Ignatians even over-elaborated following an outrageous Barbarianesque stunt as the ball was passed between the legs. It certainly cost the blue and golds ground and momentum. However, Ignatians stopped, reloaded and took aim once more, and with attacking impetus restored, prop Kian Linnane (pictured) carried hard and straight over the line.
Ignatians won the battle of the breakdown hands down and one memorable carry by Patrick Izebhor which sent alarms bells ringing in the Bishop’s defence, ushered in the second try in the heat. The attacking thrust didn’t quite go all the way. However, the all-important breach had been made and the supporting Finlay MacKay, in low centre of gravity mode, was on hand to finish off by plunging over the line.
The backline, marshalled by fly-half Jack O’Toole, whose presence was an intermittent one because of an ankle injury, tried hard to get going, but the final word of the half was to belong to Bishop’s who beat Ignatians last season. Although they lost the territorial battle, Bishop’s orchestrated some dangerous attacks from deep and a couple of mazy runs set up the fullback, who cut inside and stepped the last line of the defence. The try scorer didn’t go the distance because of injury and, with Bishop’s down to 14, Ted Lloyd was temporarily ‘loaned’ to the visitors. A fate that also befell Farhad Fayaz in the second-half, although well to them for their sportsmanship.
It seems pertinent to mention the new blood with the U16s’ element, Lloyd, Daniel Redding, Anthony Cabaco, Jack Cook-Smith and Feidhlim Ginty, all introduced at some point. All made a seamless transition.Indeed it was Redding’s dummy and break-out which was the catalyst of the third try. Angelo Dineen carried on the good work before off-loading to Middleton, who also sold a dummy en route to the try line.
Ignatians had plenty of attacking momentum following some good breaks by the gainline-busting Jacob Wackett and Nathaniel Clarke. Not that Bishop’s were ever a spent force. They left two tries out on the paddock, including a glaring miss towards the end when the spilled the ball over the line but Ignatians were deserving winners on the day.
Coach Steve Renny said: “It’s well done to the team as they ‘managed’ the game particularly well for we took it up in the forwards when needed, and hit-up it in the backs when required. I also thought our U16s ‘element’ were awesome.”