Local Derby Winners
OMT come out top after 4-year break from playing Harrow.
OMT 1st XV 27 Harrow 14, report from Sam Isaacs
A local derby to open the 2018-19 campaign at home for OMT against Harrow proved as exciting as expected. Harrow fielded a young team who were overpowered by a talented OMT backline and some outstanding defending. Harrow opened the scoring with an early penalty as a result of some sloppy early mistakes from OMT. However, OMT settled into the match and the cracks began to appear in the Harrow backline, with Tesh Edwards coming out of retirement to open the scoring. A missed conversation from OMT, and another penalty from Harrow, put OMT momentarily behind, before eight phases were finished off by the boot of Joe Little who nudged the ball deep into the Harrow corner, only for Tesh Edwards to receive and score under the posts. OMT clearly benefitting from a fast and dry track. OMT continued to dominate in the centres, nullifying Harrow's only real threat at 13. Brian Bernardez and Joe Little linked well once again at 9 and 10 to put Simon Mataceva in for his first of the season, as OMTs stretched their first-half lead to 19-6. However, some quick thinking and great lineout work from the heavy Harrow pack put them back into the game, scoring a penalty and their only try of the match following a maul. OMT led 19-14 into the half time break against the wind.
OMTs started the second half exactly as coach Francois Lombard ordered, with defensive intent and a great adjustment to their discipline. The second half proved much quieter than the first, with OMT protecting their try line outstandingly. The backrow combination of Naty De Richemont and 18-year-old debutant and Man of the Match, Ben Gould, personified OMTs’ performance throughout the afternoon, putting in the hard yards on and off the ball. Joe Little managed to put OMT 22-14 into the lead with a penalty in front of the posts, as key personnel changes to Harrow heavily weakened their pack. Five minutes from time, Joe provided another beautifully executed cross field kick into the arms of Naty De Richemont, who was able to work his hands free and offload to OMTs Naca Kinikinilau. An appropriate way for OMT to receive their bonus point, given the endless yards Naca had put in throughout the match. Overall, an extremely hard-fought match by both sides, with OMT proving too strong and winning 27-14, despite the valiant effort put in by the Harrow pack.
If you would like to see what Harrow made of the game, click on the link to see the report from Andrew Smart: