Silhillians 32 Old Eds 13
Old Eds travelled to the Silhillians in search of their first away win this season.
Silhillians hit their stride last week – beating league leaders Malvern. The warm welcome in the clubhouse was in sharp contrast to the cold and still conditions outside as the Eds kicked off the match.
Early on, having won three consecutive scrum put-ins, No8 Tom Hill picked up from the base of a scrum drawing defenders to put right-wing Luke Roberts into space only to be brought down short of the try-line. Soon after Ryan Singh’s interception saw him make 25m before slipping the ball to No10 Ashley Kalnins who sprinted through to touch-down: 0-5 after eight minutes and the Eds were looking good.
From the restart Silhillians kept the ball moving as they made inroads into Eds’ territory until they worked an overlap for their left-wing to score a converted try: 7-5 after thirteen minutes. Encouraged by this success, Silhillians were soon back on the offensive as a flowing move launched their No14 through a gap in the Eds’ midfield, and centre Craig Jones reacted well to make a try-saving tackle. A Silhillians’ penalty soon after increased the lead to 10-5 half-way through the first period. The match was punctuated by penalties and restarts with scrum-half Brad Darlaston’s sharp passing featuring for the Eds. Tom Hill’s retaliatory actions earned him a yellow-card, and No7 Jack Darlaston made way for Brandon Carter to fill the No8 berth.
Eds kicked off the second half with Gareth Cartwright and Paul Levin coming off the bench at prop and second row respectively. A penalty for not rolling away put Silhillians into a 13-5 lead. Roberts did well to field a high ball and pass to No15 Dan Elkerton who passed out of a tackle for Craig Jones and skipper Phil King to work left-wing Alton McVey into space, beating his winger and eating up 30m deep into Silhillians’ territory. The ball was recycled but knocked on as Eds’ inaccuracy at key times told against them. Roberts was soon off his wing behind Silhillians’ defensive line, and will regret not looking to his left for his supporting players. However, a Silhillians’ offense at the resulting ruck enabled Brad Darlaston to reduce the deficit: 13-8 after fifteen minutes of the second period.
Silhillians kicked off, regained possession and fed their left-winger whose dive into the corner was, to the surprise of the Eds’ players, rewarded with a try after the referee consulted with the touch-judge: 18-8. Within a minute of the restart, Eds were facing another conversion as a quickly-taken Silhillians’ line-out led to a clear run for the line: 25-8. Further Silhillians’ success on the left-wing saw a chip into the corner yield a third second-half try: 32-8 with ten minutes remaining.
No Eds’ match is complete without a Paul Levin trademark run, this time initiated by a Silhillians’ handling error on the Eds’ 22. The Eds’ lock took the ball to the half-way line and quick support by the Eds’ pack enabled scrum-half Darlaston to get the ball quickly to the right-wing for Galloway to break a tackle, sprint down the wing and chip into the generous dead-ball area for a fine try. Final score: 32-13.
Clearly, Silhillians are a well-balanced side who will progress up the table. Eds also have that capability, but need to improve the accuracy of their play, and produce more scores from the opportunities they create.
Old Eds First Team: S Haberfield, G Parker, D McAdam, R Singh, B Jones, J Darlaston, P King (Capt.), T Hill, B Darlaston, A Kalnins, A McVey, C Jones, R Galloway, L Roberts, D Elkerton
Subs: B Carter, G Cartwright, P Levin