Pulborough Jets n Vets win a Thriller
Young bloods save the day
A game played in a great spirit by two committed teams ended in a narrow victory for the home side.
Having lost a few players to the seconds and unavailability (rumour has it Chunky Junior couldn't find his warm vest so couldn't play) a slightly reshuffled team (Jacob switching from prop to centre with ease and Ewan stepping in at ten) took the field on Saturday to take on Hellingly RFC who had won the reverse fixture convincingly early in the season while I was sunning myself in Karachi.
Playing down the hill in the first half ' Boro opened the scoring after some concerted pressure when new Prop Terry danced and weaved his way down the left hand touchline to score out wide. Sadly Josh was unable to convert, although it was closer than some of his warm up kicks!!
Back came Hellingly with some very strong running from their well drilled forwards and backs, which 'Boro managed to withstand, although at a cost, with Josh having to leave the field for a short while, meaning a slight reshuffle in the backs. Finally, after periods of pressure from both sides (Alfie and Callum really storming into them), Boro managed to score a second try but again the conversion went just the wrong side of the posts (10-0 Boro).
The ref blew for half time not long after (one of the few decisions he made that everyone agreed was correct - only joking Jerry). Following some stirring and strong word at half time about ball retention, playing heads up rugby and not letting Hellingly back in 'Boro responded magnificently by shipping 20 unanswered points to a determined, skillful and fired up Hellingly, to trail by 20 - 10 with ten minutes left. Added to this we lost Frank to a nasty injury to his arm that will certainly keep his night time manipulation to a minimum!!! Get well soon Frank :-).
Following some further reshuffles (some would say tactical masterstrokes) we entered the last ten minutes with nine players aged 19 and under on the pitch, playing up the hill against a resolute and well drilled team. Firstly, following some concerted pressure on the opposition Terry cut a wonderful line and stormed under the posts for his second. This time the conversion sailed through and the score was 17 - 20 with about five left. A couple of minutes later following a number of penalties on the opposition 5m line line a very smart piece of thinking by Howard (who shone at 9 all game) sent Ewan over in the corner to put us 22-20 up. The last minute or two were spent with 'Boro retaining possession and drawing some pressure relieving penalties, the last of which Howard kicked to touch to seal the win.
Overall a damned good and entertaining game of rugby, which players and spectators seemed to enjoy, followed by a few beers with the Hellingly lads in the clubhouse - a real advertisement for grass roots / social rugby.
MOM went to Terry for his two try performance but special mention has to go to the young guns who turned the game around, Alfie, Charlie Ansell, Charlie Planson, Anthony Anderson, Tate Edgar, Howard Blackbee, Ewan Gee, Jacob Temple and Sam Fisher. All of them are 19 or younger and showed that the future for the club is looking bright.