Ruislip first XV
1: Jack Coleman, 2: Jamie Woodstock, 3: Liam Clancy, 4: Jerry Malawakula, 5: Harry Hughes, 6: Daniel Kane, 7: Ioan Lewis (capt.), 8: Sam Peach
9: Stu Pearham, 10: Conor Mullan 11: Jonny Baxter, 12: Stevie Walton, 13: Alex Fieldhouse, 14: Josh Horne, 15: Antonio Trofa
16: Charlie Doyle, 17: Sam Jones, 18: Georgie Bryant
On a quiet spring day West End Road welcomed a top of the league outfit Amersham & Chiltern RFC. The teams had met previously in the season in a game Ruislip would sooner forget after a torrid second half saw them go down by 35 points. Nevertheless a positive Ruislip side had a spirited build up and looked to use the tag of ‘underdog’ to their benefit.
As the game kicked off the intensity in both defence and attack from both sides was instantly high with a great kick chase led by captain Ioan lewis causing mayhem in the opposition half. Without reward the Ruislip team were constantly pegged back by the Amersham 10 using is right boot to relieve pressure.
The first 30 minutes had a wave of attack from both sides using the wide channels to gain yards. A heavy Amersham pack was largely held back with a good Ruislip line speed. However during this spell a re-occurring weakness of set piece defence allowed for two tries to be poached by the balanced Amersham backline. A lack of communication often leaving the outside defenders without any information.
The game swayed back and forth with exchanges all over the field. Strong runs from returning winger Jonny Baxter and captain Ioan Lewis made some major in-roads. Coupled with some quick thinking and fast tempo from Pearham, Ruislip built the pressure and the usual maroons (playing today in black) managed to get the upper hand and regularly into the opposition half.
This tempo didn’t halter on the 30th minute with Pearham’s vision picking a weakness at the breakdown. The scrum half got out to the 2nd defender, feeding a terrific line from centre Fieldhouse. Behind the defence the centre didn’t quite have the pace of old and was scragged by the full back only to deliver a scintillating offload to an unsuspecting support runner. Hughes the second row, more used to the engine room than open field managed to hold onto the offload and finish the try under the posts. Conversion added by Pearham.
The half played out and ended 17-7 to Amersham & Chiltern
Second half down wind, Indiscipline was the theme of the half and shape and heads began to falter. The once energetic chase lost its bite and began to leak tackles. This indiscipline led to multiple scoring opportunities for Amersham with some all-round balanced and impressive handling/carrying skills from 1-15.
Using their huge scrum with full effect, Ruislip had to show character to stand up to a heavy Amersham pack. Credit to the front row Clancy, Woodstock & Coleman for withstanding the pressure and not conceding any sin bins or penalty tries while camped on the Ruislip 5m.
The half was littered with breaks and Amersham started to get their tails up. Playing from side to side the and moving the ball everywhere they ran in a hand full of tries to create a huge ask for the Ruislip team. With a runaway on the cards Ruislip consolidated and focused on going forward in attack and defence.
Barnstorming runs from Trofa & Peach added yards however the only return was a well-read interception from Pearham picking the Amersham’s pass mid-flight to dot over and convert on 72 minutes.
With minutes to go chances were abundant and energy was high but too little too late. Great returns from wingers Baxter & Bryant and a workhorse performance in spells from the pack. With four games left a more consistent performance is needed to gain results and pick up valuable points.
A week off for the ‘Maroon’s’ then a huge away game at North Walsham where last year Ruislip gained a decent scalp. Support is needed in all forms so look forward to seeing everyone down the club for the next two huge home games.