Uxbridge bow out of Floodlight Cup at semi-final stage
By Mark Coles
Bridge come out second best to Ruislip Second XV as home side advance to final with 29-15 win
Uxbridge returned to action having sealed fourth place in the league and looking to go one further than last year in the Floodlight Cup and make it to the final against holders Ealing.
On what can be only described as a well-worn pitch after a long season, Bridge began with the slight hill advantage and were under no impression they needed to take the game to the home side.
The opening exchanges were cagey as a sizeable crowd assembled to watch the match unfold and it was first blood to Ruislip as a loose kick from Bridge was snaffled up by a lively Ruislip back three who worked the hands well to find space out wide and score.
This whirred Bridge into action and after Kyle Buckingham took a lineout and made good ground, the ball was quickly recycled through the backs to Ieuan Jones to dot down. The conversion was sadly missed.
With the game end-to-end and tackles flying in everywhere, both team could stamp their authority and it was the home side who took the half team lead with another effort in the back line ten minutes before the interval.
The half-time message came that more directness and width was required and Bridge had a 10 minutes to forget as the ball was ran back hard from the restart and Ruislip added two quick tries to their ledger.
With Bridge pack tiring and the home side’s half-backs seeing increasing amounts of the ball, Bridge were really under the pump and Ruislip extended their lead when a gap opened in the middle of the park and the centre forced his way through.
Bridge were down but not out and solid running from Buckingham, Tom Redrup and Sam Dillamore made half-breaks and told Ruislip they’d have to work a bit harder for their victory.
A series of penalties for a litany of offences let the visitors siege the Ruislip line through lineouts and plays off the base and the pressure eventually saw tries in quick succession from Jake Lamport and Sam Dillamore. Sadly both kicks were missed.
With a mini comeback on Bridge needed something special but it wasn’t to be as Ruislip marshalled their defence well to see out the game and advance to the final and make the final score 29-15.
Overall, a disappointing end for Bridge to a largely positive season, but fourth place in the league is something to be proud of and we’d like to wish Ruislip all the best in the final. A big thanks to all the players, supporters, coaches this season and we'll be back stronger next!
Next Saturday sees our annual Club Awards Dinner (19:30 at the club, tickets £25) and Friday 24th May will be the annual club AGM. Please try and make your way down for both.