Sat 21
1st XV
Sat 21
15:00
Friendly
Beccehamian XV
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

By trevor newnham
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VIGO 12 OLD BECCEHAMIAN 24


So, it’s back. Rugby at Swanswood. With all the trials, tragedy and tribulations of the last 18 months, it was almost a blessed relief to once more be back on the High Veldt and welcome our old friends, Old Becs, for a pre-season warm up match. A decent crowd turned up, considering it was just a curtain raiser, one of three or four. We also welcomed some new faces to the Vigo ranks, and they looked very promising.
Becs started quite sharply, full back Paul Broadhurst showing some nifty footwork as Vigo tried to get a kicking game going. The trouble was, the chasers weren’t quite on the ball allowing Broadhurst ample opportunity to show off some decent footwork. But it was his sidekick, Jed Sext6on, who showed equally nifty footwork to sidestep through Vigo’s defence setting up Nick Brown for the opening score.
New signing, George Cook, at scrum half looked to set Vigo’s back-line going, with a slim-line Tony Whitehead at 10 and Tommy Barrett, recently returned from Uni , looked dangerous at times. In fact, a great break by Cook split apart the Becs’ defence and Vigo really should have scored, early season rustiness contributing, no doubt, to a spilled pass with the Becs’ line beckoning.
So, the first third reached, and just a score behind, John Whitehead rang the changes. Liam Wiltshire, another looking like the Covid break had allowed him to shed a few pounds, became quite prominent, working hard with Phil Sewell to make inroads. All the time, Nick McPherson showed customary industry, but all too often, Becs were able to steal the ball at the breakdown. After an initial bout of pressure by the visitors was repulsed, Vigo began to advance down the pitch with some menace, drawing any number of penalties from a beleaguered Becs’ defence. Eventually, referee Andy Bishop – who had a strong game – lost patience and brandished a yellow after too many penalties. Vigo, with their numerical advantage, began to pile on even more pressure. Again, a chance went begging, the ball grassed when a try beckoned. But Vigo kept trying and another yellow card for something illegal – don’t ask me what, I spent 45 years playing in blissful ignorance of the Laws . This time , Vigo were not to be denied. A superb rolling maul trundled forward for about thirty metres. Just as I was leafing through my mental history books for the longest rolling maul in Vigo’s history, it came to a shuddering halt, probably two metres short of the longest knock-on in Vigo’s history – 32 yards by Mervyn Hughes in 1974 . But the stoppage was due to another penalty so Vigo simply hoofed it into touch, caught the lineout and rolled forward a mere ten metres for Dan Norton to plunge over under a welter of bodies.
So, Vigo and Becs entered into the third period and things all went a tad Pete Tong for the home side. Becs started very strongly, and after just a couple of minutes, they regained the lead with a try (not too sure who scored – wearing a number 18 jersey, ‘one of the new blokes, I think’, was my informant’s opinion. But it was Sexton who converted. Nick Brown soon added to the score with a try as Vigo were slow in regrouping after giving away a penalty. Sexton converted with a great kick from wide. Now, Vigo looked to be blowing a bit and Becs’ , relaxed and confident, were rather dominating proceedings. Sexton sliced through again for an imposing 24 – 5 lead.
Recent history has taught us though, that Vigo have a huge will and they refused to lie down and have their belly tickled, so to speak, by a team from the division above, and prompted by Cook, Barrett and Whitehead, they surged back. George Cook broke and found another new arrival, Miles Cook – no relation apparently, screaming up on the outside. Pass safely delivered and equally safely gathered, Cook – Miles, that is – talk about too many Cooks – tore away for a very good try – his first but surely not his last. Whitehead chipped over the conversion. So, at least Vigo had the last word, although that was ‘amen’.

Vigo team: J.Clemmence; E.Stickings, L.Byrne-Stevens, T.Barrett, A.Fitzgerald; T.Whitehead (capt.), G.Cook; W.James, B.Buckland, O.James; B.Moorhouse, P.Sewell; D.Mickelburgh, L.Henderson; N.McPherson
Replacements; L.Wiltshire, G.harrison, M.Cook, N.Covill, D.Norton

Referee: Andy Bishop (SEF)

ON Thursday evening Vigo’s 2nd XV host Faversham under the lights with a 7.30 kick off . All spectators are welcome of course.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Aug 2021

Kickoff

15:00