“I’m obviously sad that we didn’t win today but I’m so proud of the effort the boys put in, they were playing with freedom and smiles on their faces which is all I want when I run out on a Saturday”
Abdul, Serpents Captain
With the mince pies fully digested and the bottles of sherry finished and long in the recycling it was time to get back on the rugby field. Our first game of 2019 saw the Serpents come up against Merton at home. Merton 3s couldn’t fulfil the fixture so their 1st XV stepped in ensuring the Serpents a very tough game.
The atmosphere was set before the game kicked off with very good home support. The first 15 minutes of the game was slightly cagey with both sides failing to take their chances. The deadlock was broken when Merton intercepted a pass within the Serpents' 22 and ran in to score. The Serpents hit back with their own intercept pass as Paul Spence intercepted and broke free, he linked up perfectly with his inside centre Ben Cowell who raced to the line, sadly his pace was lacking and he was tackled from behind but managed to offload back to his fly half who ran it in under the posts.
The Serpents' forwards put in a strong display throughout the game, putting in tackle after tackle as their team struggled to hold onto the ball. Dan Murley's work rate was astounding putting a number of crucial tackles across the park. One spectator questioned if he had drank too many glasses of sherry over the Christmas period as it appeared at times that there was more than one Dan on the field.
Merton hit back with an unconverted try created by tight play and a strong strike runner at number 8 who unfortunately caught Alex Pattihis' jaw during a tackle sending him to A&E. The Serpents noticed the loss of a key defensive player for the rest of the game.
The Serpents put Merton under refreshed pressure with Freddie Green running some devastating crash ball lines which really opened up the opposition. This platform allowed tight head Max Thomason to burst through the line to set up his fellow prop Michael Parker for a try by the posts. However the Serpents couldn’t seem to keep Merton out who scored again, followed up by a fantastic wide conversion from their no.10. Alex Tarrant had been having a great game at full back and was rewarded when he received a miss pass from his inside centre, and he put on the burners to run in a score. Merton finished the game off when then charged down a Serpent’s kick to score.
Man of the match was awarded jointly to Dan Murley and Freddie Green.
The Serpents are at home next weekend with a two o’clock kick off.
Updated 21:04 - 6 Jan 2019 by Millie Ross