Old Georgians 43 - Old Mid-Whitgiftian 19
In sunny conditions at Cobham it was clear from the outset that the hosts were going to play open running rugby at pace and they soon produced a flowing move to cross the tryline only to be called back for an infringement.
On 9 minutes they had fortune in their favour when Mids seemed obstructed by a player in front of the carrier and space was created for fly half Toby Marshall to accelerate and sidestep his way for the opening score, converted by scrum half Jack Cooney.
Mids too were up for a running game and two minutes later were on the scoreboard when winger James Jenkins made a good catch and drove forward. Georgians were penalized for hands in a ruck and fly half Dan Crouch kicked the goal. Mids then made a good break out of defence and Jenkins again featured to get the line going but a loose pass spoiled the opportunity. Georgians came back and on 17 minutes scored their second try after slick handling.
Back came Mids and Crouch found touch in the corner. Georgians then failed to throw straight and from the resulting scrum the Mids eight, which had got on top in the tight drove over for a try, to make it 12-8. A second crooked home throw to a line out gave Mids another opportunity but they failed to control the ball. Instead they were penalized and then Cooney missed a penalty chance for Georgians but made amends soon after when Mids infringed again and the score was 15-8 after 32 minutes. From the kick off winger Marc McEvilly brought off one of his trademark restart catches and set up a platform for Mids to drive forward. They were patient now as they knew that their scrum was in charge. They turned the screw and, after three scrums, No. 8 George Daniels touched down. Crouch uncharacteristically missed the conversion when his attempt came back off the upright. Now only two points behind Mids looked in good shape as they laid siege to the line again. A penalty from Crouch to the corner and a driving maul promised points but Georgians defended the maul well. They then knocked on on their own line and Mids relished another scrum but the clock took precedence and the half time whistle denied them – 15-13 to the home side at the interval.
From the restart Mids managed to secure the ball, Georgians were penalized and Crouch gave the visitors the lead. This was short-lived as Georgians now took a line out and spread the ball quickly. Indifferent Mids tackling allowed Marshall to break and then time his offload in the tackle to perfection to create another try. Cooney’s excellent kick from the touchline made it 22-16 to Georgians. Mids replied with another penalty from Crouch and the result was still in the balance with a half an hour remaining. Mids now dominated and a magnificent sidestep and break from Crouch nearly brought a try. The pack kept up the pressure and had to score but a wild pass butchered a vital try. There were more opportunities but the patience and control that had yielded two good forward tries in the first half had deserted Mids . When the ball was let out the Georgian backs were too good and the game now went one way with Marshall rampant and the hosts scoring three more 7 pointers in the last quarter. For half of this period Mids were playing with 14 men as they had lost their key central defender Andy Dean to a yellow card. Mids had certainly had enough ball and territory to be closer than they were but really had no answer to a classy Georgians’ attack.
Mids complete their league programme on Saturday away to Chipstead and then have two cup finals to look forward to in early May.