An Old Boys team desimated with injuries and absenties Start strong and finish strong but had a lapse that allowed their opponents back into the game.
Mid Table and with everything to play for Old Boys knew that an away win was key this week, against a side that are renowned for being tough up front. 7 Changes from the week before due to injuries and other commitments gave an interesting look to the team especially as only 2 names were in the same position for the backs, but spirits remained high.
Kick off was delayed for 15minutes due to the ref not being on time, both teams were edging to start. And it was Old Boys who came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. Quick ball from a lineout and a well cut backs play moved Old Boys into Ashley Downs 22, only resilient defending stopped the score from changing but with renowned persistence Captain Andy Fearn lead the way smashing over from short distance. Converted by Brian Hopkins.
Effort was high, Old Boys were shoving a much larger pack around the field and it came to the backs again to pull another slick play and allow Winger Dave Lacey an easy time running over. Converted
Ashley Down soon turned on and showed their strength witgh catch and driving each lineout ball, and it took every effort to ensure it remained a shutout. Old Boys backs were unlucky not to add to the score just before half time when Jamie Fairs found space and was eventually stopped just shy of the line.
14-0 Half time.
The 2nd half provided a problem with Old Boys now against the slope and the elements, for which Ashley Down took full advantage, scoring 2 tries in quick succession. Although leading by 2 Old Boys had a nightmare 20minutes and imploded, every ball being dropped, penalties thrown away and no forward movements eventually lead to Ashley crashing over for their 3rd. Dave Lacey unfortunately at the bottom of the pile whilst trying to defend the try was knocked unconscious causing a reshuffle to the backs. Many games and recent years before Old Boys have never recovered from these situations but Character and guts brought a renewed fire. 3 points down Glos turned up the heat rumbling forward, and camping down in Downs 22 for long periods of time. Eventual persistence resulted in a penalty, duly slotted by Hopkins.
With the scores level, the final 10 minutes brought a new lease from both teams. Old Boys had phase after phase going forward, with Downs on the back foot defending well. With the rain causing hard conditions Old Boys threw caution to the wind and went all out attack. Camping in Downs 22 the score was imminent. But good defending and a lack of time proved the final step short for Glos as the final whistle went we finished 5 yards short whilst in possession.
Overall 2 points from a match that we self destructed in could be seen as a positive, 3 points thrown away could be a negative but the attitude and Character shown is what we will take from this. Having such a different team and injuries to key players showed that we are starting to develop strength in depth of the squad.
Strong performances must be mentioned for all especially Steve Brown at 9 who organised us well, 3 Ryan McGurk who was a stone all day, 4 Oliver Padfield who stepped up from his 2nds to help us, and numerous others. Dave Lacey take time to recover as you are staking your spot in the firsts
So in all well done lads keep the effort high, training turn outs must maintain high and the team attitude is in the areas we want it. Next week a match will be on the cards with a big bonfire/Halloween event at the club after to build the spirits of the club.