Hertfrord C's V Braintree
Tough Day with the return of Braintree
The C team hosted the return fixture of our friends from Braintree. As with our first meeting, and despite a night of torrential rain, amazingly there was bright sunshine. There were a few threatening clouds on the horizon, or was that just a few of powerful looking Braintree players?
A short staffed C team started brightly, Hertford clearly showing the training is paying off as we retained the ball well. We demonstrated safe hands as the ball was moved quickly and confidently through our backs. Max Maples continuing with his impressive form and with straight penetrating running gained valuable yards. Had Hertford finally shaken off their now infamous slow start to games, things looked promising.
Those earlier ominous clouds gathered, despite our early promise. Braintree collected the ball and, without any need of Hertford’s earlier handling skills, they broke through a rather light hearted Hertford defence to run home their first try of the day. Again after the restart Hertford paid the price for a lack of low, player collecting, tackles as Braintree’s heavy guns ran unimpeded through our defence.
A mere blip we hoped, and after their mid game snooze, Hertford showed some grit, Stanly Porter bringing down a gallivanting Braintree player showing his team mates how it can be done. Spirits lifted the ball moved around the backs and at the breakdown Hertford twice rucked with urgency and were rewarded as Braintree were pushed onto their back foot. Again great running by Max opened up the oppositions defence. A deft pass and Patrick Sullivan was away at pace and with the sharpest turn of direction to make it over the try line followed closely by a spirited number of Braintree players who demonstrated that you should never give up as they agonisingly managed to hold the ball up and deny us a deserved try.
Perhaps lifted by their excellent defence Braintree finished the first half strongly. Moving the ball to the big guns who unfortunately found our defence lacking running in two more try’s before the break.
Any hopes of a lack of similar pressure from the visitor’s were quickly quashed after the restart. Braintree again fed the ball to their strongest players and again they found their way far too easily across our try line.
Conor Murphy who had been a terrier around their scrum all morning showed great initiative and made the most of an infringement by our visitor’s. Not giving the opposition time to organise themselves, a quick tap and go and the ball found its way to Freddy Morris who’s strong running resulted in our first try of the morning.
The visitors were resilient and did not let their heads drop, running in two or more try’s in return. Again Conor led the way with a huge, injury inducing, tackle on a Braintree player running at pace. Our backs showed spirit as attempted to battle our way back into the game by moving quickly up on their opposition number, pressuring their play. Again Max opened up once the ball found its way to him, with that turn of speed we had our second try of the day.
All credit to Braintree, they came back strongly once again and quickly replied with a try of their own. A well orchestrated scrum by our forwards fed a clean ball through the hands of our backs and met with Max collecting it at speed to split Braintree’s formidable defence apart to run in what was to be our final try of the day.
The last few plays in of the day, in favour of Braintree, resulted in a final score of 15-40. A tough day that really demonstrates the importance of low tackling and the need of energy all around the pitch so we can be in support of team mates when required.
On a day of remembrance, maybe a game that we can let slip….
A personal note, but I’m sure coaches and fellow parents would agree, what a credit our boys are to the club, the respect shown and impeccable behaviour demonstrated by the boys during the remembrance service made us all vey proud. Well done boys.