Mids struggle to success at Wimbledonians
By Simon McInnes
But it was not pretty to look at
OLD WIMBLEDONIANS 10 OLD MID WHITGIFTIANS 21
After their most recent competitive matches fell foul of cup walkovers, Mids were at risk of approaching this game against struggling Wimbledonians in a rusty condition, and they also had utility player/cannon fodder Rob Farmer making his first appearance in the second row. It was also noted that the opposition had the return of a couple of their stronger backs compared to the earlier league meeting. These concerns were soon set to rest when Mids moved down the pitch via a series of penalties and then opened the scoring on seven minutes thanks to a pushover try scored by George Daniels. Soon after OWs launched their only major intrusion into Mids territory of the half, but lost ten metres over two scrums and the scoring threat had gone. Most of the rest of the half was occupied by unprovoked dropping of passes which hindered advancement of the score.
On the half hour mark Mids got close enough to add a second pushover try for Daniels, shortly after a minor flare-up led to a yellow card for both sides. And with half time closing in it looked as if a third score had been notched, by Andrew Dean, but it was disallowed for reasons not totally apparent.
The second half saw the run of play almost completely reverse. Mids showed a bit more talent for catching passes but they started to concede too many penalties along the way. More than a few of these were just being caught in the wrong place in general confusion when the ball did hit the ground. Was it knocked on? Was it dropped backwards? Ripped from the ball carrier? Kicked even? Out of reluctance to do nothing in these situations, players were caught guessing wrong. The end result was that OWs brought the score back to 10-14 by the fifty second minute, although the try came from a scrum and in that area they had long since abandoned a semblance of a legal put in.
In harsh reality, the next twenty-five minutes of the game were uneventful bar Mids opting for a scrum fifteen metres from OWs line, getting it reset twice and then losing possession when attempting to use the safe ball in the backs. Just as it looked that Mids were settling in for a dangerously close winning margin, Ali Hall burst into life in stoppage time, running in a score from forty metres out and in the process depriving OWs of a losing bonus point that they had earned.
Post match quotes
Any observations on the game? Andy Edwards, "No!"
Was the second half all about Daniels jug avoidance? George Daniels, "No!"
Dan Crouch, "I got all of my kicks."
Adam Stammers, " We had to be careful in the scrum in the second half because if we forced them to concede a yellow card, it would have gone to unopposed scrums and that would have suited them."
Team: McEvilly; Wilson, Okenla, Dean, Jenkins; Crouch, Bacon J; Hall, Stammers, Bryant; Harrison, Farmer; Maynard, Agbalaya, Daniels. Subs: Plumb, Williams
Watch "The Scorpion King" and come up with a reason why Bernard Hill did not base his portrayal of Philos the Inventor on Neil Pepper.