OLD MID WHITGIFTIANS 62 OLD WIMBLEDONIANS 5
After a disappointing result in their seasonal opener, albeit one with some positive indicators for the future, Mids welcomed to Lime Meadow Avenue an opponent who had got off to a winning start by the narrowest of margins. The opening salvoes were all rather cagey, although Mids did confirm that they are very strong in the set piece this year, causing huge problems to the OW scrum and taking a couple against the head. Gibbon-armed jumpers are also a threat to the opposing line out. That said, the visitors gave as good as they got early on when the ball was in open play and it was nearly twenty minutes before the scoreboard operator was arisen from his slumbers. That came via an excellent individual score from winger Brad Greer and within a few minutes the forwards pitched in to make the score 12-0. Despite playing uphill and losing lock Matt Shillabeer to the sin bin, Mids dominated the remainder of the half and added points via a Dan Crouch penalty, an Andrew Dean try and after counter attacking from behind their own try line, Greer put in lock Dave Spedding to finish of the final fifty metres. 29-0 and a bonus point by half time, avoiding what has become the traditional three tries and out malaise.
As is often the case, there was a touch of complacency to start the second half and OWs scored first. Mids reacted by returning to the sort of play that had worked so well in the first period, including another try from a counter attack that went the full length of the pitch. Especially pleasing to coaches Andy Edwards and George Daniels was the support play, with breaks not failing through absence of a follow up when the stubborn OWs defenders made a tackle. By the end of the game Dean had completed a rare hat trick, Temi Okenla scored two, Nathanael Briggs one and the forwards occasionally were able to take a bit of glory themselves. The rugby was summed up in four words “Run fast, evade defender.”
A fine performance and now Mids have to learn to keep up the standard with consistency through the season.
The Shillabeer yellow card was for not rolling away from the ball, occurred close to the Mids line and in the eyes of the law, “I had a big fat ****** laying on me” was no defence. Meanwhile, in a shameless attack of jug avoidance, Mr Okenla did his absolute best to be yellow carded soon after scoring his second try. Fortunately the referee refused to the enabling agent of such dishonourable intent.
The other feature of this game revolved around the presence of Jake Bacon on the pitch, Chris Maiden on the sideline and one of the OWs backs which made this match a major heat in the “Surrey’s Palest Man 2018” competition. Another success coming the Mids way?