Very windy conditions greeted the Eds as they visited the Spartans. Both sides did well to produce a decent match considering the influence of the strong gusty wind. The key difference between the teams was the Eds’ ability to convert pressure into points when in the ‘Red Zone.
Eds kicked off and Spartans kept possession for a couple of minutes as they got into their game, until a loose ball was seized upon by No7 George Parker who charged over for his second try in two matches: 0-5. The match was pretty open for twenty minutes, until the Eds established base camp in the home 22, a series of phased possession resulted in a penalty from which the Eds elected the scrum 10m out, No8 Ryan Hatch picked up from the base of the scrum and made a successful charge to the try-line despite the attentions of several defenders: 0-12.
From the restart, No3 Dave McAdams’ pass seemed to have opened the defence for Full-Back Josh Harrison, only for a last-ditch tap-tackle to intervene. Spartans enjoyed a good spell with the ball but were unable to penetrate the well-organised Eds’ defence. Another Eds’ visit to Spartans’ 22 resulted in a line-out. Hooker Tom Leeson threw in, Hatch caught, and No 7 Phil King swiftly transferred the ball to Leeson who rounded the tail of the line-out and galloped through the defence to score a well-worked try: 0-19. It was Spartans who scored next as their No12 made a decisive break through a rare gap in the Eds’ defence for a fine try: 7-19.
However, the Eds had the final say in the first half, again scoring in the 22 ‘Red Zone’. This time it was No4 Brandon Carter who battled through tackles to score: 7-26 at the half-time whistle.
Even though in front, and with the attacking bonus point secured, Eds knew there was still work needed to secure the victory. This was clear when a lost line-out led to a good period of attacking play from Spartans countered by Eds’ defence, until Spartans’ No13 deservedly finished off the period with a try from close quarters: 12-26. Ten minutes later Spartans came close to scoring again only for their No4 to be penalised for a double-movement to get the ball over the line. Eds put the result beyond doubt when Lock Barrie Jones went over from a line-out catch-and-drive.
Final score: 12-31
Old Eds’ Scorers:
Tries: Parker, Hatch, Leeson, Carter, Jones
Conversions: B Darlaston (3)
Old Eds First Team: G Cartwright, T Leeson, D McAdam, B Carter, J Roberts, G Parker, P King, R Hatch, B Darlaston, M Loveday, D Elkerton, J Darlaston, T Young, J Grubb, J Harrison
Subs: R Greathead, B Jones, D Oldham, R Singh