It was a good match up front with New Ash Green putting on the early pressure despite going against the gradient. OEs were holding up well in the scrums and our defence was solid however, we found ourselves down by one try about half-way through the first half. This seemed to spur the boys on who then got their rucking game together and were dominating play. Again, as so often this season in our tighter games, we failed to capitalise when we had good possission. OEs had several penalties where, despite practising our set pieces earlier that morning, chose the wrong options when in or close to their 22. Although Michael Do scored a great try in the corner after a well worked back move we went in to the second half at one try each. Not enough now that we were going uphill. Special mention to Kieran Dowse
who had had a great game up front (his best by far for the season) but had to come off with a stud injury to his shin.
The second half started with New Ash Green putting on the pressure again and scoring a well worked forward try after several penalties where our boys were coming in from the side. The Cannibals were steadily getting back into the game again but were riding their luck with some inaccurate and slow passing in the backs. Eventually this was punished by a well taken intercept try. OEs rallied again with some fine individual runs that deserved much more if the right support had been there. We then enjoyed some sustained pressure within the New Ash Green 22, but needed to go for the simple direct approach at our set pieces. Again poor decision making cost us. Although Michael Do went over for his second try of the day after some quicker back play, it was unfortunately too little too late. The eventual score was New Ash Green 22, OEs 10.
Special mention to Henry Rowbotham
and Michael Do for their tenacity and tackling, Josh Robertson
who squared off against their best forward and gave as good as he got as well as Callum Ralph
, Zubin Tanna and Callum Malloy
for some great runs.
Many thanks to New Ash Green for the food and hospitality afterwards and to the Referee for a great game. We now look forward to the return encounter in three weeks time.