Mids dominated the opening exchanges but it was clear that they were up against a fit, strong talented outfit. The game was played at pace all afternoon and spectators were well entertained. Two lively home moves broke down through poor passes and Georgians hacked clear to threaten briefly. In the first scrum Mids won a clear advantage . Effective tight play, with captain Ali Hall prominent, forced the visitors offside and fly half Dan Crouch opened the scoring with a well struck penalty across the breeze from 35 metres after 7 minutes.
Five minutes later Mids defended sustained pressure from Georgians and won the ball back near their own line. Unfortunately they then lost control of it and the ball bounced loose for winger Jack Chard to pounce and exploit the generosity for a 5-3 lead. Georgians continued to dominate but the Mids defence was resolute with centres Brad Greer and Andy Dean solid. Mids came again and Crouch was narrowly wide with a long range penalty and then a drop goal attempt. Mids winger Harry Wilson was showing plenty of promise and Mids forced the visitors to concede a number of penalties. From a line out on the Georgians’ 22 Hall burst through and grounded for a try to regain the lead after 26 minutes. Georgians continued to infringe and were lucky to avoid a card after a high tackle on Dean. Mids exploited the decisions and on 32 minutes went 13-5 ahead when scrum half Harry Walkden grounded in the corner as he was tackled. The try was disputed but he was adamant he had got the ball down correctly and the referee agreed. Mids continued to boss the game and a Crouch penalty just before half time increased the gap to 11 points. They should have scored again in stoppage time when Wilson was clear but kicked for a chase instead of backing himself and Georgians escaped.
Mids led 16-5 at the interval.
From the kick-off the visitors were penalized for not releasing and Crouch, who had controlled the game behind the scrum well all afternoon, slotted an easy kick for 19-5. Soon after the referee lost patience with Georgians’ repeated infringements and they suffered the inevitable yellow card. Mids now dominated and laid siege to the visitors’ line. However, a lack of patience and failure to use their dominant pack denied the opportunity to put the game to bed. Georgians defended well and it seemed that Mids had allowed them back in the game when they picked up a loose ball in their own 22 and ran well for a breakaway 7 pointer. They were now rejuvenated and only a huge tackle by lock Mark Handley broke their momentum in the next attack. Mids regained their composure and a flowing move looked to promise a try on 73 minutes when a deliberate knock on frustrated them. Crouch kicked the penalty for 22-12 but Mids were not yet safe as Georgians played their best rugby in the closing minutes, forcing a succession of penalties and pounding the Mids’ line. Just on full time scrum half Jack Cooney crossed for a deserved try to finish the scoring and win a losing bonus point.
Mids will be pleased with their energy and work rate. Their power and experience stood them in good stead against a very promising Georgians’ team who should improve. Hall was outstanding, No. 8 George Daniel ruled the line out and led the forwards with his usual style and veterans Macaskill and Handley were most impressive over the 80 minutes. If Mids can put in as good a team performance they will fancy their chances against local rivals Old Whitgiftians at Croham Road on Saturday.