Friendly: September 7
IGNATIANS ARE THE COMEBACK KINGS AGAINST BELSIZE
Development Side 15 Belsize Park IVs 10
The Development side go into the new season in very good order after coming from behind to beat a physical and well drilled Belsize Park IVs side at Donkey Lane.
Having inched past Stockwood Park IIs a week earlier, something more substantial was called for. It duly came in a cat and mouse game in which the visitors struck first to lead 5-0 at the break.
Five minutes after the interval, Paul Duke pegged back the Belsize lead by rifling over a penalty from in front of the posts. However, that seemed to spur the visitors on, as they rolled the dice and extended the lead by carving enough space for their number eight to go over.
Digging deep, Ignatians dug themselves out of a hole by working the ball into the path of winger Harry Masini. The speedster had a 5m channel in which to work-in but, having showing the benefit of regular gym work, he used his strength to barrel his way past two defenders.
Some sterling build-up work pre-faced the second try and, with the bit between their teeth, Lewis White’s successful pick and go from the base, enabled the forward to force his way over following a sustained period of pressure. Duke added the conversion as Ignatians successfully turned the game on its head despite having David Togher sin-binned around the hour mark.
Ignatians also reverted to smart mode to run down the clock, as the forwards worked the ball through multiple phases to keep their noses in front.
Paul Duke said: “There were loads of positives to be had in the game, and, for 60 minutes of the match, there were genuine signs that the new structure which we have implemented is working. We look a different team compared to last season. We executed some dangerous moves and it took some last-ditch Belsize Park tackles to prevent them from coming off.
“Harry Masini was our Man of the Match following a fine display, and Ethan Robinson, who made one telling break, also showed well.
Our pack also scrummaged well against a big Belsize Park unit, and the front row of Alex McCall, Vinnie Sellick and Matt Pollard, had a good afternoon.”
The only blip on an otherwise good afternoon was the sad sight of Seyi Adeosun dislocating his knee. Both sets of teams wish him a prompt and speedy recovery.
The Development side have laid down a marker. However, it’s only that and the acid test will now come in the league.