The game of the season saw the Mighty 2nds hang on for a hard but well deserved victory.
In perfect rugby conditions this game saw a very even contest. Writtle had some speedy backs but the Witham pack made sure they never got the ball going forward. Early on, Writtle had us pinned in our own 22. While we failed to clear when we got the ball, Witham were also ferocious with the tackles and kept driving them back. Once he'd remembered how to catch the ball Paul Cole
tore away with an 80 yard gallop. When he was stopped just short of the line, we had a lineout in an attacking position. The Lineouts were good all day and this one was taken by Kevin "fingers" Hobden and the pack drove forward. Stopped short of the line, Lee Bywater
looked left (his weak side) and picked out John Cox
. A neat pop pass to Alex Beer saw the big centre bulldoze through to open the scoring. A Writtle injury saw them go to uncontested scrums and this would make a difference later on. The end of the first half saw Witham on the attack but couldn't manage to add to the score.
Early in the second half, Writtle were able to use the uncontested scrum to set up their backs from a stable platform. Their full back had pace a plenty and once they'd created the gap, he was able to motor through to score. Witham hit back from the restart, recovering the ball immediately and earning a penalty just inside the Writtle half. John Cox
drilled the kick right into the corner for an attacking lineout. The forwards worked the ball well and when Nathan Frost
got the ball a meter from the line, nobody was going to stop him. With Aaaron Coombs slotting the conversion, Witham had a 12 -5 lead. Our New recruit Harry was having a great game. Writtle must have hated him as he disrupted every one of their Lineouts. He capped his debut for Witham with a brilliant try. Big hits by Darren Smith and Lee Bywater
had flattened a Writtle attack and with their players out of position, Witham capitalised with Steve Tilbury playing a huge role in the counter attack. Coxy tested the crossbar and post with the conversion to put us 19- 5 ahead. Writtle were still benefiting from stable scrums to launch their backs. This gave them 2 converted tries to level the scores again. With 15mins left, the Witham pack went back to a pick and drive surge, pushing us relentlessly forward. Finally we managed to find Lee Wilkey and he bullied his way over the line. Rich Miller also rattled the crossbar with the conversion but we were 26-19 ahead. The last 5 minutes saw us with our backs against the wall. Most Witham players will be nursing bruises from this period as bodies were thrown in front of waves of attack. When the final whistle went, a lot of old bodies freaked with relief. Man of the match was Darren Smith- some big hits but also a calm head when it was needed. Coley was tit of the week for his juggling skills.