Old Walcountians 25- 26 Old Mid-Whitgiftian
There are certain games that will live long in the memory of both players and supporters and this classic definitely falls into that bracket. Two in form teams brimming with confidence and promotion ambitions gave it everything last Saturday in front of a
Both teams shared some good quality early possession but it was OMWs that looked more threatening working through a number of phases marshalled well by half backs Jake Bacon and Dan Crouch. Some strong runs from a number of forwards gave OWMs good field position however a mix up of running lines led to an unfortunate interception and a simple run in for Walcountians pacey winger, 7-0.
This score kicked Walcountians into life and Mids had to dig deep in defence. A period of pressure did lead to a number of penalties with two out of three successful shots at goal making it 13-0 to Walcountians. With half time fast approaching Mids were fighting to stay in this game, skipper Ali Hall making some strong line breaks supported well by lock Jack Whitewood and hooker Adam Stammers. Last play of the first half saw a number of phases deep into Walcountians 22 and Mids were eventually able to release young flyer James Jenkins for a well taken converted try to make it 13-7 at half time. Jenkins promotion to first team rugby has been a real highlight of recent weeks, with genuine pace and power his direct running style gives OMWs a real cutting edge out wide.
The second half started much the same way the first half finished. Centres Andy Dean and Dave Stanton running some piercing lines backing up a Mids scrum that was starting to kick into gear. Replacements Alex Scott and Nathan Bacon gave OMWs the fresh legs on a heavy pitch needed to build this pressure however it was Walcountians that extended their lead 15 minutes into the second half. A handling error from an attacking position gave Walcountians the opportunity to kick the ball deep inside the Mids half and a clear illegal turnover from the Walcountians 7 led to an undeserved score at that point of the game, 20-7.
Anyone who has had the pleasure to watch OMWs this season will know what a weapon our scrum has become and it was our pack that got us back into this game with a push over try from number 8 George Daniels, banging his way over from a metre out. The Mids front 5 doing the business for us at a crucial time in the match, 20-14 with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Both teams at this stage were giving it everything and showing just what an excellent standard of rugby Surrey 1 teams can produce. It was however a weak score defensively down the blind side that gave Walcountians a seemingly unassailable 25-14 lead with under 10 minutes to go.
In recent years being 11 points down in a tough away game with little time on the clock may of been curtains for Mids however this energetic, ambitious bunch weren’t finished there. A penalty try from another strong drive from the OMWs pack left the game in the balance with just 2 minutes to go. Phase after phase of well controlled possession from Mids eventually led to an Ali Hall score last play of the game and an unbelievable 25-26 bonus point away win for the Mids!!
Jake Bacon in only his second game back after ‘retirement’ was the deserved man of the match for his excellent control of the game.
OMWs now have a slight cushion in 2nd place in the table although a tough trip to Freemans awaits them on the 24th. This will be a critical week for Mids with the Surrey Cup semi final against Old Whits taking place on the 28th under the lights of LMA.