Evesham 11 - 18 Southam
A calm and well crafted win to start the run up to Xmas
This game was one of Southam most composed and intelligent performances of the season, it could not be described as their best as the usually reliable line out never fired, the scrum was under pressure and several passes went astray, but through it all Southam stuck to their game plan, tackled hard right across the line and sealed the win.
Southam started strongly, hitting Evesham hard and gaining the ball in tackle, with good work across the line, notably from wing forward Pete Burnell and prop Matt Catterall. Southam had a lot of player juggling to cope with, and it started after 10 minutes, when scrum half Lewis Dodds retired with a head injury and full back Will Wood stepped up and John Lowden came on at full back. The first score came 3 minutes later with a precision up and under from fly half Harry Hewson, which came down just a meter outside the Evesham 22, forcing the full back to commit and he was met in the air by centre Tom Grimes, forcing the fumble, wing Sam Bench was in close support and he hacked on, picked up and went over the line under the posts with 2 defenders on his back, converted by captain Will Grindal. On 20 minutes Southam had to rejig again, when Grimes punched through the forwards and was through for the line, when he pulled up with a hamstring injury. Then wing Will Clarke moved to centre and Ally Thorpe came off the bench at wing. On the half hour strong positional kicking from Hewson and Lowden had kept Evesham pinned in their own half and some sustained pressure got Southam a scrum 5, from the break and subsequent ruck the ball was quickly recycled and Bench met the pass at speed, crashed the line and with a bit of a juggle got the ball down for his second. As the half closed Evesham used a mismatch to break the line on the halfway and get into the Southam 22, a superb covering tackle by Clarke looked to have snubbed the attack, but somehow Evesham kept it in play to be stopped on the line, they recycled the ball and got over the try. Southam got the last of the half with 30m penalty by Grindal for offside at the ruck.
HT 5 - 15
Southam started a bit quietly, but continued to snuff out the Evesham attack and winning ball with the power in the tackle or from some well worked choke tackles. 12 minutes in, Evesham started to become their worst enemies, when they were marched back 20m for mouth and eventually a yellow card making an easy penalty on the Evesham 22 for Grindal to convert. Southam rejigged again, when Thorpe went off with a twisted ankle and veteran Russ King came on at wing forward, Grindal moved to scrum half and Wood to centre, but still Southam stayed calm and with the rejig, some passes started to go astray, but they were dealt with well with Lowden putting some good work clearing up. Hewson & Lowden kept Evesham pinned back, by pumping the ball back into their 22 at every opportunity and Evesham became more and irritated and another player was yellow carded for mouth, they got a losing bonus point from a penalty, when Southam went offside at a ruck, but could manage no more.
FT 11 - 18
A significant win for Southam, who are looking for at least 2 out of 3 wins in December, before the Xmas break. The team stayed calm throughout all the changes, took the pressure and came away with the points. Credit to the versatility within the team, notably captain Will Grindal, who has played at 9 positions for the 1st team, our fake wing forward Pete Burnell who blags his way exceeding well, Will Clarke with his first time at centre for 2 years and some cracking tackles and John Lowden, who appeared all over the pitch with some good support and intelligent kicking from hand.
This middle and bottom of the table is really congested with only 4 points between 5th & 11th and this win takes Southam up from 9th to 5th.
MOTM John Lowden
Next Week Saturday Dec 8th :- 1sts home v Old Silhillians League KO 2.15
Also next Saturday is the Xmas dinner from 12.30, consisting of a turkey dinner, a lot of rubbish being talked and few pints sunk. There are a few seats left, if you have not yet got a ticket contact Andy Else on 07971 049098