Earlsdon 35 Old Eds 31
Near Miss at Earlsdon
Old Eds travelled to Earlsdon in need of points to remain above the relegation drop zone. Their performance brought them two losing bonus points for scoring 4 tries, and finishing within 7 points of Earlsdon at 35-31. In the final analysis, Earlsdon were worthy of their win, being more positive and accurate when running with the ball at every opportunity. Having scored 5 tries to Earlsdon’s 4, Old Eds will reflect on what might have been, with some missed kicks for goal and, more importantly, a sequence of four lost lineouts in good positions in the second half.
Earlsdon started brightly, switching play from left to right, and back to left to score within two minutes: 5-0. The Eds responded well and forwards pressure enabled lock Barry Jones to touch down: 5-5. The next fifteen minutes saw an even contest, although Eds lost injured captain Phil King – replaced by Zak Cooper coming on at No8, with Brandon Carter moving to No7 and skipper. Old Eds conceded two kickable penalties and the Earlsdon kicker duly obliged: 11-5. Eds pressed into Earlsdon territory but turnover ball led to a long-range Earlsdon try finished by their No9: 18-5.
Again, Eds got themselves into Earlsdon territory. A fine line-out catch by Cooper led to a catch and drive, Carter took the ball deeper into the Earlsdon 22, the pack got to within a few metres from the Earlsdon line where John Deans’ dive secured the try: 18-10. From the restart Earlsdon, always willing to run the ball, were too ambitious and Ashley Kalnins’ interception put him under the posts from forty metres: 18-17 at half-time.
Alton McVey replaced winger Jack Holder at half time. From Earlsdon’s restart, Kalnins’ long touch-finder put them back in their half. However, quick line-out ball set their backs loose into Old Eds’ territory where good forwards’ support combined for a score under the Eds’ posts after just three minutes: 23-17.
To repeat the pattern of the opening minutes of the first half, Eds, through Ryan Singh’s line-out catch and charge, went through the phases, culminating in a 5-metre scrum, and worked the ball to full-back Sam Southall to score: 25-24.
The Eds’ then had a good period of play. Lost line-out ball was retrieved by a “choke tackle” as the Earlsdon player was prevented from going to ground. However, two more line-out losses enabled a sweeping Earlsdon attack from their 22, as their transition from defence to attack and continuous movement resulted in another long-range try: 32-24. Another line-out loss meant the Eds’ were struggling to get a foothold in the game, and Earlsdon increased their advantage with another penalty: 35-24
With just two minutes remaining, the Eds’ ran a free-kick from their 22 and managed to put centre Tay Brown into space, from where he ran some 70 metres for a magnificent score to finish the match at 35-31.
Old Eds’ next match is at Weddington Road on Saturday 8th April, versus Leamington, 3:00 kick-off.
Old Eds: J Deans, G Parker, G Cartwright, B Jones, R Singh, D Wilkins, P King, B Carter, T Short, A Kalnins, L Roberts, J Trowell, T Brown, J Holder, S Southall
Subs: Z Cooper, A McVey