Injures the half term break and unavailability of u17s due to a league match, resulted with Tows Colts in travelling to Olney for a friendly with a very different looking team boosted by support form U16s Matt Hampson, Fraser Kirns, Ed Penn and Rowan Griggs and a backs shortage meant Flanker Charlie Wilkins moved into the centre position.
Olney looked full of running from the start and exerted early pressure with some effecttive wing incursions. As they approached the Tows line a quick tap penalty caught the soporific forwards napping resulting in a 3 minute score. Tows allowed themselves to be pulled in around the breadowns so Olney could exploit space out wide with a further score on the 10 th minute. Followed with a third on the 24th minute after Tows winger Liam Shackley left the pitch with an eyelid cut temporarily replaced out of position by Ed Penn. There could easily have been more were it not for some stalwart tackling from full back George Gardner. Tows scrummaging, firm all day, dominated and the team started then to wake up and put some pressure of their own onto the home side, although squandering some try scoring opportunities they eventually pierced the line with an effective six phases in the forwards causing gaps out wide for a strong running Jake Bates to score from. the visitors looked like they had the momentum in their favour as they went into the break at 15-5.
The second half brought Tows the diagonal cross wind advantage which enabled them to keep some early pressure. Scoring chances were apparent as the forwards battered the Olney defence, but some lose tackling, and an Olney turnover outside led to break against the run of play to make the score 20-5. Tows went back on the offensive and managed to keep Olney pinned down in their half, for long periods. Every Olney failed incursion was followed by impressive down field wind assisted nudges by Flyhalf Matt Hampson.
Tows then went about the business of trying to catch up continuing to work towards the the Olney line, but some lose hands and looser tackling allowed the Olney No 8 (from Bedford Academy) to power through the mid field to score under the post and enabled their beleaguered kicker a sitter in front of the posts for his only successful conversion of the day. Never a team to give up hope, Tows showed spirit to re-apply the pressure and after some battering ram attempts from the forwards, Matt Whitlock managed eventually to barrel himself over the line with assistance of his pod members for the final score of the day as the match closed. Final score 27-17. Congratulations must go to the four u16s who never looked out of place, their appearance allowing those colts that wanted to play had a match to play. Tows will revist Olney later in the season for a league match. Only way to improve is to get on the training paddock!!