In previous seasons the two sides have had some close encounters and today was not the day to break with tradition. Not surprising it was also a windy, dismal day at Cranbrook, like the last few occasions. With Peter Cole failing a late fitness test, Reece "Cabbidge" Price was recalled from his prison cell and stalked the line.
The game was close throughout with Old Wills on the end of a number of penalties in the first half and Cranbrook doing role reversal in the second half. Cranbrook scored first with a conversion and went up 3-0. A try followed and with the conversion a 10-0 gap had been sprung. In reply the Willies got a try of their own with a number of pick and go and Lewis Hepper (I think/guess) went over. Captain Callum Bowie duly added the extras all with it a bit of help from the inside of the post and a penalty attempt unfortunately went wide with a lot of help from the wind. Before half time the home side scored again after some soft tackling and an acute running line from a Cranbrook back. With the added extras half time came and the Willies were 17-7 down.
In the second half the home side spent most of the time pinned in their own half and in all honesty they only made one decent break all half but were clinical enough to get over the line again. Conversion achieved. Either side of this try the Willies hit back with two tries of their own. New recruit Patrick Edgecumbe barrelled over after a great break from the backs down the left side. A continued process of recycled ball left a gap to the left of the breakdown and Pat leapt like a salmon over the whitewash. A superb effort from Bowie added the extras. The third try came from a great line from Aaron Dimmick who glided under the posts to leave Bowie with the last kick of the game. Conversion scored and whistle blown.
Another near miss with the Willies going down 24-21. Cranbrook knew they had been in a game and I'm sure at the end of the season they will be up there at the top. Two yellow cards for the home side put them under a huge amount of pressure from the Old Boys but credit due they put in a huge defensive effort against our boys.
Not to be disheartened the boys did leave with a losing bonus point which could be the differences across the season.
Man of the Match was Ashley Smith who touched their elephant's trunk and so had to do a shot of tequila in the eye. No problem from the machine and after seeing off all drinking contenders we left their bar with a small victory. Until next time.
(I accept no responsibility for inaccuracy of events reported on. To be clear, no report will ever be accurate but there will be a report.)