Match Report - Surrey 1 - Vandals v Old Haileyburians
Disappointment was etched on Vandals faces as players had played with great spirit and commitment, and were unlucky not to secure a consolation bonus point.
OLD HAILEYBURIANS 33 WEYBRIDGE VANDALS 19
Disappointment was etched on Vandals faces after this defeat at the hands of the old boys of Haileybury College. This was understandable as they had played with great spirit and commitment, and even in the dying minutes were fighting hard to score a fourth try and gain a bonus point which their huge efforts deserved. They will rue a few defensive lapses in the second half which effectively cost them the game but there was much positive team play, and every player from hooker Lewis Razey, prominent throughout, to fullback Fraser Mills, who often attacked from deep, played their part in a stirring performance.
Vandals were first to threaten with a penetrating run from centre Joe Spencer, and thrusts from Fraser Mills and then flanker Darren Lockyer, but it was Haileyburians showed the way to the try line with a dazzling movement from a lineout. The try was converted, and after some direct running from Vandals skipper Adam Bullet and Darren Lockyer had tested the home side’s defence, it was the hosts who increased their lead with a second converted try. A great line by Joe Spencer followed up by fellow centre HARRY Reed almost brought Vandals a try, and they continued to build up the pressure with Razey burrowing over to bring his side right back in contention. They had to defend stoutly as the home side powered forward again, but fullback Fraser Mills pushed Vandals up field again with a fine clearance kick, and it was he who scored the second try after a scissor move with scrum half Dan Wellden converting both tries Vandals were level pegging at 14 points all and looking the stronger side leading up to the half time.
On the resumption Haileyburians were quickly on the attack with their back line breaching Vandals defence and going over for a converted try to retake the lead. They threatened to go further ahead as they won more possession, but indifferent handling let them down, and it was Vandals who now threatened, with winger George Bolster showing his counter attacking skills. Setting up a ruck deep inside Haileyburians twenty-two. A try beckoned in the corner but the referee spotted an offside infringement. Conceding another penalty Vandals found themselves back on the defensive, and from a lineout the home side’s prop peeled round and crashed over the try. Now trailing by twelve points, Vandals stormed back and from a penalty set up an attacking line out, and with the pack trundling forward from the set piece, flanker Darren Lockyer sealed a fine all round performance as he borrowed over for a well deserved try. Now only a converted try in arrears, Vandals knew if they could get this score and draw level they would then have a chance to snatch a dramatic victory, but as so often happens in such situations errors occur and the chasing side get turned over. This was the scenario here, and regaining possession Haileyburians raced away to score a crucial try. This was a killer blow for Vandals, but nevertheless they refused to lie down and battled away to the final whistle. Had they scored a fourth try it would have been nothing less than they deserved.
Surrey one is proving to be a highly competitive league with Reeds Weybridge and Haileyburians setting the pace in first and second place respectively. Having shown what they are capable of against the latter Vandals will feel they have plenty of opportunity to come out on top against home opponents Chipstead this Saturday and then away to Old Wimbledonians on Saturday 3rd November. Skipper Adam Bullett, very much at the heart of Vandals efforts will demand nothing less.
Written by John Farrow