17-11-2018 - 1st XV @ Home vs Folkestone RFC
4 yellow cards, 5 tries and (almost) countless penalties…
On a cold and windy November afternoon, the Old Boys welcomed Folkestone to the school for a much anticipated match up with the south coast side being the only team last season to do the double over the OW.
The match started with some physical exchanges that demonstrated the dominance that the OW pack would enjoy all day in the scrum however it was Folkestone who took first blood with a penalty following some ill-discipline from a nameless OW forward. 0-3.
The first try of the game was soon to follow when the Old Wills had a scrum on the Folkestone 5-metre line. The pack put on an almighty shove that took the Folkestone pack back over their own try line and although No.8 Dimmick appeared to of placed the ball down, the referee adjudged the Folkestone pack to of infringed and in doing so stopping the try. This lead to a penalty try being given under the posts. No conversion necessary. 7-3.
Folkestone used this concession as a wakeup call however and pressured the Old Boys in their own 22 before gaining a crucial turnover, from which they broke and scored under the posts, which the Folkestone skipper converted for the lead. 7-10
Following a mix up at the resulting kick off and a sustained period of pressure from the Folkestone side, the game had its first yellow card when Cookie was sent to the bin for offside (team penalty), however Folkestone couldn’t add to their first half tally at this stage and the OW survived a scare. Further good carries from the Williamsonians forwards allowed the team to progress up the pitch and Rich Pearce powered his way over the try line right underneath the posts, taking several Folkestone players with him in what was a great finish. 14-10.
With just minutes until half time, you could be forgiven for thinking that Folkestone would be happy to shut up shop and get in to halftime. In the spaces of three minutes however they had their tight-head prop harshly yellow carded for not retreating following a kick. They then missed a penalty kick at goal before scoring under the posts with the final action of the half following an intercepted pass by their centre who had a clear run in from the half way line. Converted by the Folkestone captain.
HALF TIME Old Williamsonians 14 – 17 Folkestone
The second half started with sustained pressure by a Folkestone side rejuvenated by ending the first half on such a high. This pressure eventually lead to a Folkestone penalty wide on the left flank that the Folkestone kicker was unable to convert. Let off for the OW.
There wasn’t another score for some time as both sides traded bellows in the middle of the park. The penalty count however was racking up for both sides in a game that was so stop start it was becoming difficult to enjoy. It was the OW that eventually made the breakthrough however when they scrummed down on the 5 metre line and in a carbon copy from the first Willies try of the day, pushed their way over the Folkestone try line for Dimmick to dot down, this time with no issues from the referee. Conversion missed. 19-17.
Old Wills took control of the game at this point and the smart money would have been on the OW to push on and increase their lead, following repeated penalties from both sides however, the sting fell out of the game. Two missed penalty attempts from the Old Boys followed in the second half once of which was preceded by a yellow card to a Folkestone back for a deliberate knock on in the centre of the park. Ollie was also given a ten minute rest for a ‘tip’ tackle that can best be described as a very, very harsh decision. From the OW yellow card, the Folkestone kicker stepped up and under immense pressure converted the penalty into 3 points for the visitors. 19-20.
Old Wills, now chasing the game infringed again in their own half leading to the Folkestone kicker to add another 3 points to take the scores to 19-23. The OW now needed a try to steal the game. From the resulting kick-off however the away side retained the ball and placed it up the proverbial jumper.
The final whistle came, quite fittingly for the match that preceded it, following a penalty against the Old Williamsonians for chat to the referee. Folkestone kicked the ball off the pitch to celebrate a third straight win against the Old Boys in two seasons.
One spectator said they counted 26 penalties in the game…
FULL TIME Old Williamsonians 19 – 23 Folkestone
MOTM – Rich Pearce, a solid display in the lineout, scrum and in open play. Finishing his try very well and working hard all over the pitch.
DOTD – Cookie, for his yellow card and his various attempts to get a second one