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5th (Vets) XV - Match centre

O.Albanians Grizzlies
Hertford Termites
Sat 3 Feb 14:00 - Hertfordshire and Middlesex Rugby Merit Tables - MERIT TABLE 5 Full time Attendance 28

OAs 4s 26 v Hertford Termites 7

Match report from Ian 'Chippy' Collins

Without any regard for personal health we braved the elements and weaved our way over to noisy neighbours money bags OAs. Firstly it was raining and to add to that it was a bit cold but Olly was having none of that self preservation stuff. He eats hyperthermia for breakfast that one. The game was on.

Spirits were high with the stellar line up spread over the palatial changing roomS. None of that ‘get out we need it for the oppo physio’ stuff, oh no, two rooms, two pegs each. I fancied moving in. Young Billy freshened the place and the team up sharing a fragrant Christmas present called cockscratcher or something very similar.

Two good sides started at a furious pace in front of a bumper crowd and gave a cracking show of Merit 4 rugby. Having whooped them at ours we fancied this. OAs went a couple of scores up after some good defending against a Termites barrage; the difference over the 80 being their backs on the counter and some decent colts playing off the base and attacking around the fringes. Our scrummage was fantastic with our front row of Jack, Neil, and 57 years of Steve hooking for fun. We didn’t go back once if there was any consolation from this torrid grit fest this was it.

Their 10 had a duel with the ever wonderful Albon, both looking to punish deep kicking into the opposition half. But with Jacob and his ladders and my MoM Mitch hoovering up for us we were never threatened. The opta stats show Mitch covering more miles from deep than that wacky American dudes red sports car has done in space.

Captain Olly and his stealth warrior backs pumped but didn’t get their own way such was the quality in defence. Moment of the half went to one of their front row who got his clown outfit out and rolled around for ages swearing some stuff about the rugby being too rough. The OA medic found a footballers bucket and sponge and he was back on in 20 minutes. Going in 12 v 0 down at half time we still had it all to play for.

Welcome back to big G after a few weeks out with a case of weakness leaving the neck and he was back with a bang powering over taking us back to 12 v 7. The affair got a tad scrappy with captain Olly entering into some lively debate with the excellent ref. Byrne, big Jim and Besty punished and we spent much of the half in the oppo 22 but we couldn’t break them, alas it was the counter that killed us and they scored some fine tries through their backs.

Ironically the score mirrored the slapping the OAs 1st team suffered against proper old school rugby giants Blackheath on the adjacent sandpit. With Clifton back in the fold we enjoyed showers and the glove. And luckily not so much of the aftershave.

Back at HQ it was ghost town. We have a rugby free week this Saturday but the club I’d OPEN. The shop isn’t. If you are reading this and don’t want to die from the inside at the shops or on the end of a paintbrush get yourself up the club this weekend for the 6 nations and someone who can remember might give you a better account of this game.

Groves, Neil, Steve, Jack, Bingham, Chippy, power, Best, Byrne, Hawthorne, Albon, brewer, Bishop, grace, Jacob, Risley, Mas, big g, Mayes

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other MERIT TABLE 5 results

17
8
Tabard 2nd
Berkhamsted 1st
25
0
Cuffley 2nd
Vacant
C
C
Royston 2nd
Finsbury Park 2nd
Pinner and G 2nd

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Cuffley 2nd 17 68
2. O.Albanians Grizzlies 16 63
3. Hertford Termites 16 59
4. Chesham 2nd 16 54
5. Finsbury Park 2nd 13 50
6. Berkhamsted 1st 13 39
7. Pinner and G 2nd 14 36

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