FULLERIANS 1st XV 34 Old Haberdashers 29
First game of the season is entertaining and earns Fullers a precious bonus point win
London 1 North League
On a bright September afternoon and with the pitches looking outstanding everything was set for a running game. Both teams came to throw the ball around and it was the home side who started the brighter with good early pressure. Strong running by centre Shaun Smith got us into the Old Habs 22 and a penalty was rewarded. Unfortunately this was reversed due to ill-discipline by Fullers.
Old Habs who have just been promoted into London 1 looked confident and moved the ball very well. Some strong running by their No8 and centres saw a gap appear and they scored first. The conversion was taken for a 0-7 lead.
Fullerians not to be out done worked the ball well and earned a lineout on Old Habs 5 metre line. Fullers caught the ball and simply drove their opponents back over the line for second row Liam Boyd to crash over. Dan Evans kicking well converted from the corner for 7-7 score.
Fullers continued to dominate the half with possession and territory but just couldn’t convert this pressure into points. They did add two penalties before the break which Evans converted for a 13-7 half time lead.
In the second half Fullers were slow and Old Habs walked in after some defensive display by the home side. Almost immediately Fullers responded with an interception try by flanker Calum Barrett ran in from 20 metres.
The restart saw Old Habs once again score a simply try as Fullers dropped off the tackles. The score was now at 20-19 and Habs had the ascendency. Fullers got their shape back and defended well to keep the visitors out.
Fullers we in fact the next to score as a simple move into the backline saw centre Shaun Smith in space to score under the posts. The earned a fourth try and bonus point when wing Tom Williams kicked through chased his own kick for the Old Habs full back to suffer that agonising awkward bounce of the ball and Williams was on hand to touch the ball down.
Game over you thought but Old Habs came back and scored a well worked try for a 34-26 score line. Fullers did produce a great scrum and thought they earned a penalty but somehow the ball ended up on Habs side who went down the field and earned a penalty as the scrambling defence were caught offside. Penalty converted and a nervous final play of the match which Fullers held on for a deserved win.
“We scored some lovely tries today and could have scored more if we kept hold of the ball. Our defence did let in two soft tries but we got a bonus point win on the first game of the season which is fantastic.” commented Fullerians head coach Rich Hoskins.
Team. Barson (Forshaw 50), Horne, Bushell, Boyd, McCabe (South 45), Hensman, Barrett, Harvey, Evans, Toon, Smith, Mann, Fawssett, Cavanagh (Maher).
Man of the Match: Liam Boyd