Field Lose a Battle but Win the War
Field’s first season in their new league ended with a loss in a hard-fought, occasionally testy, away fixture at mid-table, Teddington.
The home leg of the fixture back in September was newly-promoted Field’s first in the London league and the omens looked good for the red team, as they started their campaign with a 25-13 victory. Since then, however, the fortunes of the two teams have differed widely with Field struggling to achieve wins in 2018 as selection issues hampered team cohesion.
This season, Head Coach James Alder has had to call on 41-players from all levels of the Senior section to ensure that the 1st XV could fulfil its fixtures. Despite this disadvantage, Field have always tried to play positive rugby and their second meeting with Teddington was no exception – both teams taking advantage of the improved conditions to run the ball.
Teddington scored first, catching Field from the back of splinter-drive maul. Field fought back after the restart, working hard to establish a strong attacking position in their opponents 22, only to lose possession and allow the defence to clear their lines. Clearly on top, the hosts crossed the whitewash twice more. However, in only one of their matches this season have Field failed to score and the obdurate reds set up a terrific try of their own – wing Will Jameson collecting a superb cross-field kick to score in the corner. The first half ended 19 v 5.
The second half slowly went away from Field as Teddington continued to punish loose play. As in the first half, each time the reds made good field position, they would lose the ball and be forced into scrambled defence – reactions exacerbated by a growing roll-call of injuries.
As the last quarter began, both teams were reduced to 14-a-side by yellow cards after a bout of aggressive cuddling and a stern exchange of handbags. Somewhat understandably given what had gone before, Field fared worse during this period and Teddington scored more tries to finally put the result beyond doubt. Rested after his enforced break, plucky lock Ryan Morse, was soon on hand to finish a good break from both backs and forwards. However, the final word went to the hosts as they scored once more to end the game.
Coach Alder was his usual philosophical self after the match, “This season has been a great learning experience for us. Whilst we have done enough to secure our league status for next season, we know that we will need to work hard on both individual and collective skills to ensure we can be more competitive at this level.”
Alder paid tribute to three players won’t be pulling on the red jersey next season. “Our vice-captains, Toby Sydenham and Michael Robbins along with three-quarter, Will Jameson, have all played their last game for the Club and will be greatly missed. The three have shown great commitment to their teammates both on and off the pitch, travelling down from London for training and matches. We wish them the very best in their future and look forward to welcoming them back to the Club.”
All that remains for Field’s Seniors is for the 2nd and 3rd XVs to finish their final matches – the 3s looking good for table-topping finish to the Solent 4 league – and then pull out the boots for a final time for Field’s ever-popular ‘Pub 7s’ on 6th May.