In the second pre season outing, the old boys travelled to Cranbrook RFC who had been promoted as champions the season before. In what was always going to be a tough encounter the Willies played with great character and captain Callum Bowie summed up the effort:
"Unbelievable performance today boys, immensely proud of every single one of you!!! Bring on this season!!!"
Hard to believe then that this came from a defeat but when the game is broken down the Willies can walk with their heads held high.
From the off the visitors defence was on top form. Bodies were put on the line and Ashley Smith left half his lip in the mud somewhere.
Tries from prop, Lewis Hepper, wing Remy Holmes, hooker Olly Woolcock, winger Ben Shears plus one unaccounted for score plus a Callum Bowie conversion put the Willies up to their 27 points. Resolute in defence the home side kept chipping away and as they always do were clinical in taking their chances.
However with 4 minutes remaining Cranrook forgot what a friendly was all about. Deciding that they needed to win at all costs they opted to kick for the penalty and hold on for the win much to the annoyance of the away side. In the same position would we have done the same? I hope not. At various times during the game the Willies has decided to opt for lineout ball by kicking to the corners instead of going for the three easy points and thoroughly played in the manner that a friendly should be with drop goal attempts for all tries. They didn't even take a kicking tee! Not for the first time though the opposition had other ideas.
Disappointing in the immediate but after downing a load of beers with the home side in the bar and watching England beat Ireland in their last World Cup Warm up game it was soon forgotten. Back to the club to join in with the O.W. Cricket Club celebrations after they secured promotion, the final word was had by scrum half, Will Burton.
"Last time a side in the league above beat us by a penalty, we went on to win the league!"
Watch this space.