As the seas parted for Steve Cantrill....
On Tuesday Bucks looked to only have 13 players for this weekend but an appeal on Facebook and Green Machine for players to get ‘in the mix’ resulted in a squad of 18 - and what a squad!
Bucks started with great gusto and found themselves very quickly on OG‘s 5 metre line with a penalty lineout. From this lineout the ball was worked across the field to find pocket rocket Scott Bayes driving over the line for Bucks’ first try of the afternoon. The match see-sawed as each side tried to place their dominance on the game. OGs worked the ball into the Bucks 22 but Bucks stole the ball and slung it out wide where Phil Webb took off like the proverbial hare and, what was looking like a definite try as Phil jinked round the OG defence, was tackled 5 metres short of the line but good support running by Hooker Dave Roberts saw Phil pop the pass up to him for Dave to flop over the line for Bucks’ second try which Ryan Clark converted. Bucks, although on top, had to work hard as OGs gained in confidence and applied their own pressure. From an OGs scrum just outside the Bucks 22 they managed to spin the ball out wide to score in the corner. Around the 20th minute Bucks made their first substitution of the game to bring on Nathan Scott, Jake Okeife, Tobias Gooney for Steve Cantrill, Craig Darkes and Callum Evans. Straight away the substitution gave Bucks fresh impetus which saw Jake Okeife run a great support line as Edwin Sitch broke the line and passed the ball to Jake to touch down under the posts. Ryan Clarke added the two points for the conversion.
The half ended 19 – 5. A commanding lead for Bucks.
As with the game last week, the opposition made the first score of the half only 5 minutes in. In an opportunistic move, Steve Cantrill was put back on for Darren and within two minutes playing as a forward, for a change, it was as if the seas parted 50 metres away from the OGs line (actually more like 10 metres – sorry Steve) and Steve strode in to score Bucks 4th try of the afternoon. Converted by Ryan Clarke. Unfortunately OGs were not going to give us an inch and scored their 3rd try 10 minutes later. Was this going to be a repeat of last week’s match which, after leading throughout, we lost in the dying minutes of the game? The answer was to come as Bucks were determined not to lose this week. From a lineout just out from the OGs 22 metre line, the call went out for the Bucks special move and this time Craig York received the ball from Ryan Clark and powered to the line, bumping the last defender. He was quick thinking though and off loaded the ball to the support runner Jake Okeife 5 metres from the line with a clear run in. Unfortunately, before Jake received the ball an OGs player had already grabbed him and the referee had no option but to award a penalty try. This put OGs tail feathers up and they found their second wind coming back strongly against Bucks and scoring two further tries. The score was now 33-29 and Bucks looked like they were on the verge of throwing this game. But, with 7 minutes left Bucks shook themselves down and took control of the game - camping themselves into OGs territory. Then 35 metres out from the OGs line, with 2 minutes to go, Bucks won a penalty. With the crowd urging for a kick for the corner Michael Kemp, Captain for the day, and Ryan Clark decided to take the 3 points on offer which Ryan succeeded to do. Still only a score between the two sides but with seconds left on the clock, Bucks were awarded another penalty, 50 metres out. Up stepped Ryan but this time he was wide of the post and that was the end of the game 36-29. And the crowd could breathe again!
Both teams played a fantastic game of rugby and put an excellent 10 try display on for the crowd. As usual there were many contenders for the Man of the Match this week. Unsurprisingly Scott Bayes was in the mix for his non compromising style of rugby, Michael Kemp for the way he kept the tempo high and linked the forwards with the backs, and Craig York who had a stunning game at Lock making hard yardage and providing a strong defensive role. Man of the Match, voted for by the Long Buckby senior club members and presented with a bottle of Port, was Craig York.
It is the local derby next week with Bucks away against Daventry 3rds. It would be good to put out a strong squad so if you want to be “in the mix” let Deej know.
Tries: Scott Bayes, Dave Roberts, Jake Okeife, Steve Cantrill,
Penalty Try (1)
Conversions: Ryan Clark (3)
Penalty: Ryan Clark
Michael Van Milligen