Saturday 9th December 2017 saw Old Tiffinians travel to Petersfield in what was set to be an excellent mid table clash with both teams boasting similar track records for the first half of the season.
The first match of December brought with it truly artic conditions, cold enough to warrant a pitch inspection but not to dampen the Petersfield crowd, who after what appeared to be a lively lunch set about to remind Tiffs what coming to Hampshire was all about. Undeterred, the Tiffs warm up was slick and confidence was high going into the game.
The first 20 minutes set the scene for a good game and it looked like Tiffs might take first blood. However, after conceding a string of consecutive penalties, something that was to plague Tiffs throughout the 80 minutes, Petersfield crossed the line to lead 5 v 0.
Old Tiffs looked to respond immediately and after several try scoring opportunities were unfortunate to come away with only 3 points, ably slotted by Alistair Watkins. The previous pressure by Tiffs was soon undone with another spell of penalties and a corresponding yellow card, allowing Petersfield to extend their lead to 11 v 3. A further converted try by Petersfield put them into a significant lead at 18 v 3 going into half time.
The second half started poorly for Tiffs as Petersfield looked to put the match away with another converted try to take them into a 22-point lead. Tiffs however, were not to take the latest try, nor the crowds ever present vocal support, lying down. An increased match tempo saw Tiffs mount significant pressure, with James McCue crossing the line off the back of an excellent attack by Tiffs. A second try by Matthew Radley at the back of a driving maul brought the score to 25 v 13 and with that a possibility of a come-back.
However, a second yellow card following a high tackle and a disallowed try in the corner, ably spotted by the Hampshire club house, saw the momentum of the game turn back against Tiffs. Petersfield took the advantage and crossed the line with another converted try to win the game 32 v 13. Tiffs will look forward to giving Petersfield a similar welcome when they make the journey up to Grists.
Next week Tiffs travel to Teddington in a must win game going into Christmas that will need to see them be more clinical in the opposition’s 22.
Final Score: Petersfield 32 v 13 Old Tiffinians
Penalties:: Watkins x 2
DoD: Matthew Radley
MoM: Will Staples
Match Report by James McCue