Match report by Martin Norton
With a total contrast in weather conditions from last week’s cold and rain, Fordingbridge travelled to Thames Ditton in London to play Old Cranleighans in the promotion playoff game for London 3SW in bright sunshine.
The pace of the game matched the weather and was a fast, physical flowing game with both sides showing attacking flair and stout defence. It was the home side who broke the deadlock with the opening, unconverted, try in the corner. Just before the mid break they extended this lead to ten with another try so the visitors finished the half ten nil down but the game was still wide open.
Fordingbridge started the second half well and despite going a further three behind from a well taken penalty, started to assert some dominance when Steve Brown
touched down for their opening try. The conversion was narrowly missed. However, shortly after that Mat Norton scored from a push over maul and then converted his try to bring it to a one point match with the visitors now trailing 13-12.
In the to and fro game OC’s scored another try and penalty to stretch their lead to 21- 12 and with only a few minutes remaining the game was still in the balance. Fordingbridge were keeping the home side under enormous pressure and the momentum was definitely now in their favour.
Again it was the ever sharp Fordingbridge fly half Steve Brown
who scored next with a well executed try. With the conversion achieved the score was 21 -19 but unfortunately it turned out to be the last kick of the game and that was the final score.
This was a superb game of rugby played in great spirit. Both sides can feel proud of their performances especially OC’s who will play their rugby next season in London 3SW.
Fordingbridge Captain Mat Norton commented after the match that it was probably one of the toughest games we had played this season and that the team and the whole club should be proud of the performance and their achievements this season.