TWOS LORD IT AS CUP GLORY BECKONS AT HISTORIC GROUND
- Enfield Ignatians 2nds: 40 - Weston: 10
- HERTS-MIDDLESEX MERIT TABLE TWO PLATE FINAL
Two previous wins over Weston this season cast Ignatians in the role of firm favourites for the plate final. In this respect they didn’t disappoint as they finished the season on a high at the former first team ground of Saracens. A well-attended Tuesday training session was indicative that the Twos were prepared to leave nothing to chance, although they had had to weather an early storm in the drizzle of Bramley Road as Weston came out firing.
Weston spurned an early chance to score when the ball was spilled over the line, but once the danger had passed the blue and golds took charge and dominated the first half 26-0. Eron Dottin-Wilson didn’t go the distance because of an ankle injury, but the right-winger did get the all-important first score by using his main asset, his pace, to run-in from inside his own half. The later, although a catch and drive didn’t quite go to plan, Ignatians’ dominant pack were afforded a second chance from a five-metre scrum, and the prolific Seyi Adeosun picked-up at the base and forced his way over.
One of the most pleasing aspects was the high-octane contributions of the younger members of the side, and Man of the Match Frazer Briers (pictured) delivered a masterclass in the back row by crossing for two tries. A veritable nuisance at the breakdown, Briers was also an arch-opportunist with a fair turn of pace and, after snaffling loose line-out ball, he applied the after burners from just after the half-way line. The alarm bells were soon ringing in the Weston line and, although Briers was ‘clothes-lined’ on the line, more in desperation than malice, he somehow kept going as the rugby gods continued to smile on Ignatians.
Anzl Schwartz, another young-gun bristling with talent, also enjoyed a memorable afternoon in the nine shirt by virtue of his cultured pass and ability to boss his forwards. His really was a cool head on young shoulders. The half-back almost scampered free for a try. However, he also did the next best thing, on the stroke of half-time, by laying on a try for prop Ray Hayes from a position close to the line.
Given added impetus by the three conversions of fly-half of Jack O’Toole, Ignatians had plenty of cards up their sleeves, and one must also underline the sterling contributions of acting captain Jake Baker and Lewis White. Probably as fit as he’s ever been, Lewis White proved a veritable dog of war as he rolled up his sleeves, made his tackles and also got his side on the front foot when needed with some forceful carries.
Perennial slow-starters, Ignatians allowed Weston some space early in the second half, and a neat break from the scrum-half set-up the right winger. It also ushered-in a potential way-back into the game. Weston also spurned two other gilt-edged chances during the game. Cruelly denied by the bounce of the ball which rolled over the dead-ball line, they also knocked-on with the line in sight in the later stages.
From a stuttering start, Ignatians, now in fluid version, got some pleasing width on their game. However, the try opportunity, having been initially well-taken by the confident, Calum Middleton, was chalked off for a forward pass. However, the blue and golds did find time to engineer two more tries and the irrepressible Briers, with the game descending into hard, fast and loose mode, took his chance after winning the race for the line from the half-way mark.
The sixth and final try showed some good thinking from Anzl Schwartz. The 16th man in the side, the Ignatians’ travelling support, roared their approval as he dummied his way over from a position close to the line. Middleton, having taken over the kicking duties from O’Toole, who landed four conversions in all, applied the extras as the blue and golds finished with a flourish.
Weston claimed a last minute try but it was only a consolation in the great scheme of things.
Team spokesman Paul Duke said: “The boys were conscious of the massive occasion and, although we had to make a couple of late changes, it was nothing which was detrimental to the team.The attitude of the team at training was first rate and it showed during the game. The conditions didn’t suit us and, given the heavy ground, we kept it tight in the first 15 to 20 minutes. To be fair, both teams struggled in the elements. We were confident, having beaten Weston twice already in the league, that we could do it again. The tight five, with Jake Baker and Lewis White, who did a lot of the donkey work, both in fine form, helped lay the foundations of victory.
However, the Man of the Match award goes to Frazer Briers for his outstanding contribution and two tries.”
Team: C Middleton, E Dottin-Wilson R Bernard, B Smith, H Masini, J O’Toole, A Schwartz, S Blemings, A McCall, R Hayes, L White, J Baker (capt.), Euan Renny, F Briers, S Adeosun. Subs: all used: W Bruce, A Fordham. F Fayaz, A Dineen.
Tries: E Dottin-Wilson, S Adeosun, F Briers (2), R Hayes, A Schwartz.
Conversions: J O’Toole (4), C Middleton (1).