Good playing conditions greeted Southam’s visit to Weddington Road. Equally welcome was the return of George Parker to the squad following an early-season injury. Eds’ produced a complete team performance relying on their powerful pack, tactical kicking from scrum-half, strong defence, and a potent combination of ball-carriers and strike-runners. Southam gave no deficit in spirit and commitment but were unable to convert a number of good positions into enough points.
Early on No8 Ryan Hatch made the first of what were to be many effective runs from the back of the scrum and the pack showed its early dominance with a pushover try dotted down by Hatch: 5-0. Southam countered well, getting into the Eds’ 22, but were unable to find a way through the Eds’ organised defence. Eds’ No2 Tom Leeson’s charge into contact introduced him to the Southam defence with whom he was to become well-acquainted for the rest of the match. After 15 minutes a brilliantly executed move resulted in a try for No15 Taine Young. This move came straight from the training ground and can hardly have been executed better as ruck ball in midfield enabled Brad Darlaston to pass to Hatch who drew enough defensive attention for his inside ball to Young, travelling at pace on an incisive line to cut through the defence untouched and sprint 50m to score: 12-0.
Slick Eds’ passing sent No13 Craig Jones through to power to the visitors’ 22 before being dragged down. Another charge by Leeson set up the ruck from which the ball passed quickly through the hands of Brad Darlaston and No10 Ryan Southall for Young to dummy his way to his second try: 19-0.
Early in the second half the speed of Eds’ recycling created an opportunity for Southall to grab his second try: 24-0. Flanker George Parker caught a tipped ball and sold a dummy to beat the first line of defence only to sell a more outrageous dummy to score from 40m: 31-0. Shortly after, Eds’ No4 Jason Roberts was alert to a quickly taken penalty by B Darlaston and scored in the left corner: 38-0. Southam enjoyed a good spell of possession in the Eds’ 22 resulting in their No10 spotting a gap on the blindside to scoot through for a well-deserved try: 38-7. Encouraged by this, Southam quickly returned to the Eds’ 22 forcing the home side onto the defensive. Unfortunately for Southam, Southall read a pass and intercepted for a long range try: 43-7.
The final score of the day was made following Eds’ Wing Dan Elkerton’s determined run creating a ruck from which Young, at first receiver scored under the posts for his hat-trick.
Final score: 50-7
Old Eds’ Scorers:
Tries: Hatch, Young (3), Southall (2), Parker, J Roberts
Conversions: B Darlaston (5)
Old Eds First Team: A Wilson, T Leeson, D McAdam, J Roberts, B Carter, J Graham, P King, R Hatch, B Darlaston, R Southall, D Elkerton, J Darlaston, C Jones, J Holder, T Young
Subs (All Used): B Jones, J Harrison, G Parker