They say that perfect preparation prevents piss poor performance but our troop of intrepid Tourists decided to discredit this sentiment. We met at London Bridge for 13.00 giving us plenty of time to reach Bexley by 14.00 and enough time for a thorough warm-up. Sadly the rugby Gods had contrived to plan engineering works at London Bridge so we had to briskly walk across to Cannon Street and catch our steed from the other side of the river.
The team were in high spirits as we slowly chugged through the many sights of South East London, did you know that Lewisham has a very exciting one-way system? We had counted 16 players, which is a luxury at this level.
Arriving at the changing rooms at approximately 14.45 we scrapped all thoughts of a warm-up and headed straight onto the pitch. Sadly our phantom 16th player was nowhere to be seen so we had a flat 15.
A few notable mentions from the match.
The front-row of Max Fitzgerald, Gustavo and Richard Fenton were outstanding. We calculated that we must be about 80Kgs lighter than the Bexley pack but we won our own ball and quite a lot of theirs thanks to Gustavo's amazing go-go gadget legs.
Charlie Withers leapt like a salmon all afternoon and was a nuisance around the park, Maclee Fernandes was playing his first game in 10 years and acquitted himself very well, as did flankers Martin Hider and Dave Ellard, who I am told enjoyed himself so much he stayed out all night celebrating.
The match took on a fairly standard pattern. Individual excellence mixed in with individual errors followed by the inevitable blast on the referees whistle when Southwark did anything in a ruck or maul situation. The team agreed that it was best to not contest the breakdown and after about 60 minutes we started to do just that. It worked quite well!
Russell Grant had read his horoscope that morning and it told him of the bounty of try's he would score that afternoon. To be fair 5 is a little greedy though!
Phil Morrison controlled the game well, grabbed a try of his own and linked well with David Parkin who enjoyed keeping the game as close as possible by aiming for anything but the posts. Will Slatter had a composed game at full back and managed to break into full stride on a number of occasions, most notably when he started off from his own half to set up a two on one in the opposition 22 only to send a powerful pass about 4 foot over the onrushing Eric Clarke and straight into touch. Not to be outdone, Niall Flannery had one man to beat 10m out sold a lovely dummy and then decided to pass (again to Eric Clarke) only for the pass to be 4 foot forward. Poor Eric didn't know what to do to get on the scoresheet so instead he wowed the crowd by leaving the ball to go dead in probably the most dramatic and exciting fashion ever seen.
It was a good team performance that everyone can be proud of, much banter was had and a very enjoyable trip back to London allowed us to welcome Maclee and Russell into the Club.
Final Score - Bexley 2's - 21 - Southwark 3's - 39
Scorers - Try's - Russell Grant - 5 - Phil Morrison - 1 - Gustavo - 1
Conversions - David Parkin - 2
MOM - Russel Grant
DOD - Niall Flannery