Vigo’s second string played with a lot of heart and no small amount of skill to overcome a tough and seasoned Gravesend outfit. They got off to a great start when Phil Sewell started and ended a good move, with the ball recycled efficiently before he bustled over, but their lead was short lived, as almost from the kick off, Gravesend stole the ball in contact, spread it wide for a good try, converted. Vigo returned to the attack after this set back piling up the pressure on their visitors before Sam Smith bashed his way over from short range.
Once again, Gravesend responded with some good joined up rugby after stealing another turn over. Vigo defended well, but left a gap through the middle which Gravesend utilised for another converted try. In fact, Connor Cutts claimed an assist for a superb pass. Unfortunately, it was to an opposition player. ‘’Is there such a thing as an own goal in rugby?’’ he mused after the match.
So, Vigo turned round facing a small deficit. Their attempt at regaining the league was a tad hampered by Max Gregory’s predilection for the penalty. After yet another penalty – three in five minutes apparently – the referee, who had a pretty decent game, lost patience and invited a rather chastened Max to spend 10 minutes in the NBC (Naught Boys’ Corner). Vigo shrugged off the loss of an admittedly whole hearted player and tried to expand the game. With Chris King playing his first game in a long time, showing some neat touches in the centre including a lovely miss pass to James Hood, who sped to the line. James was guesting for a club he left as a youngster after his own game (Old G’s) was cancelled, and demonstrated a fair turn of pace. Joe Deeney, back from his Around the World in 180 days trip, found his kicking boots and converted Hood’s try. Back to full strength, Vigo’s confidence began to grow. Growing pressure on the Gravesend line gave Vigo a few penalties which they ran but experienced a temporary setback when Sam Smith was shown a yellow for flopping over the ball, quickly followed by a Gravesend number 8, their best player,in fact) also getting a yellow for something nefarious at the breakdown.
Vigo kept attacking and when Harry Pattison set up Connor Cutts for a good try, converted by Deeney, the game looked to be all over. However, there was still time for Phil Sewell to also receive a yellow for diving over the ball. So many cards in a good contest, Swanswood should be renamed Clintons. But by the time of Phil’s indiscretion, there was barely time for Gravesend to make use of the numerical superiority. The referee blew for time, and Vigo’s players trooped off, tired but happy.
Vigo Team: D.Williams; L.Pitchell, C.Cutts, C.King, B.Howe; H.Pattison, J.Deeney; S.Smith, W.Castle, P.Sewell; M.Szodi, C.Sims; B.Buckland (capt.), M.Gregory; D.Cox
Replacements (all used: J.Miles, J.Hood, K.Hall
Tries: Sewell, Smith, Hood, Cutts. Cons: Deeney (2)
Man of the Match : Phil Sewell.
Ben Buckland: Really pleased with the result. We didn’t panic when we went behind, and tried to open the game up in the second half, which worked well. Having three yellows didn’t help but the ref was consistent. He allowed the game to flow.