Wanderers climb to play-off contention
The Wanderers continued their recent revival with a solid victory against a highly competitive Whitchurch RFC on Saturday at Weston's.
The blustery and cold conditions were always going to make things difficult for both teams but, they served up a 9 try thriller with the result only secured in the dying minutes, thanks to a penalty try, with both sides tied on 27 points each!
Both sides came to play and the opening exchanges were frantic and error strewn.
Tries from Mike Dodge and Dave Whiting gave the Wanderers an early lead with Ollie Meadows converting one but, it was Whitchurch who picked up the challenge and responded with a sustained period of pressure to score a converted try and two penalties to take the lead.
Back came the Wanderers and Meadows converted a penalty before Jake Saddington drove over for a try.
Whitchurch were right in the game and scored again to tie the scores after half time.
Once again the Wanderers responded and following some deft handling Paul Burton squeezed over for a good team try, Meadows converting.
Bill Harling, the Wanderers fly half, was ensuring the Wanderers were playing in the right areas of the pitch and with the Wanderers forwards starting to edge the battle up front, the Wanderers appeared to have control!
Whitchurch, however, had other ideas and took full advantage of a turnover to launch an attack from just outside their 22 and displaying good skills finished off a flowing move with a fine converted try.
With around 8 minutes left the Wanderers went for broke and they attacked the kick off, a fine leap from Andy Reid led to a penalty and the Wanderers opted for a 5 metre scrum.
Several penalties and scrums later the referee had had enough and awarded the Wanderers a penalty try, converted by Meadows.
The Wanderers collected the restart and controlled the ball, with Russ Marsland and Richard Ralph prominent, taking play to the Whitchurch 22 line.
With the clock ticking, Whiting wheeled out of the maul with the ball and hoofed it off the pitch to give the Wanderers a hard earned bonus point victory by 34 points to 27.
(All Jeff's photos for the season can be found at barrelwood.smugmug.com )