Just like old times ?? we certainly wound the clock back today.
The day was set. The Swanswood pitches looking inviting thanks to the TLC by Andy Carslaw, to play host to the 3’s against the visitors today - Sheppey.
Availability clearly getting better as the weeks go by. Some more old hands blowing the dust off the boots again this week - and boy they didn’t disappoint.
The guest referee called the two captains to the centre of the pitch for the toss, which they realised would be difficult without a coin. So resorting to rock, paper, scissors, Sheppy opting for paper and Vigo winning the “toss” with scissors!
The roving reporter was late to the pitch (too busy talking) so missed the first try. Sorry!
Still distracted, not sure what sequence of events led to the second Vigo try, but I’m sure it would have involved an incredible run from Couchie probably running the length of the pitch past every one of the opposition (hopefully Dan will be happy with this mention after complaining about my reporting last week!) to pop to Spiers who set up Nightingale to score the try. No conversion.
Sheppey come back fighting. But Vigo defended well. Despite a poor pass from Stu Spiers (said his brother!) which he made up for later. Penalty to Sheppey but didn’t make touch and Vigo maximised opportunity. According to Luke Spiers a classic “Razzle Dazzle” move from Emmitt to put it down under the posts. Converted.
The kick-off didn’t go 10, so reset for a scrum. Big mess on the floor resulting in turnover to Sheppey. Ball kicked but didn’t make touch, Dunn gave chase ran and got close but the ball went dead. Close but no cigar...
Nightingale received the ball from the back of a ruck and decided to run to the most congested part of the pitch... perhaps trying to better Jock’s record from last week of having 4 players hanging off him. Pass found Caton who rolled back the years and scored.
Good run from Warren Lee reminding spectators of that meme shared recently showing the moment a forward gets the ball and it’s like being chased down by a pack of lions. Loads of stuff happened that I can’t really describe but Wilf got the ball and scored a commando-crawl try right by the post. Not converted.
Something happened after the restart, described as a coat hanger (?). Vigo lineout but Sheppey stole the ball. Perhaps hands in the ruck led to a Sheppey penalty. Big push from Vigo in the scrum. Sheppey made good ground but Dunn emerged with the ball. Couple of line outs, Sheppey stole the ball but a charge down from Tom Spears followed by an amazingly athletic chase from Couchie to add another Vigo try. No conversion.
Sheppey full-back a little indecisive about whether to kick or try and run it from within their 22, Nightingale took advantage of his hesitations and got to him to make his mind up for him. Sheppey managed to retain possession but didn’t find touch and the ball found its way to Dave Dunn who powered over the line. No conversion
Scrum from start. Two penalties in quick succession given away to Sheppey. Wilf had words with someone.... the ref then had words with Wilf. Sheppey lineout not straight leading to Vigo scrum. Spiers kicked into touch for territorial advantage and this time got the ball clean through the posts... on the adjacent pitch! Loads of stuff happened, exciting play from both sides....and the Sheppey 12 scored and converted. The Sheppey account was now open.
From the kickoff, some good defensive tackling from Vigo... Alan Edwards putting in a particularly impressive one which I heard from the sideline! Stuart Spiers made some good runs, passing the ball out to his colleagues who passed cleanly along the line and back again to Spiers who took the ball over the line... he also successfully converted to much support (cheers) from his team mates!
Some quick passes out towards the far side of the pitch so I had no idea what was happening but I could hear lots of shouting from Toz. Forward pass from Vigo and called back for scrum with Sheppey put in. Biiiig push from Vigo.... maul turned in to a big pile up!
Half time 48-7 but Sheppy now have the sun behind them and downhill advantage.
Strong start from Sheppy... it has to be said they played incredibly well and kept trying to motivate each other throughout. They were a strong team who didn’t give up and it was a great game to watch. Whatman got to a loose ball to get Vigo out of trouble and kicked to touch. Good run from Wilf after a lineout. Another great Dunn break through to score. No Conversion
Some good play from both sides. Vigo lineout to number 1 (I’m told this is called a gritty ball). However, It went “straight” to him... does that not count?! Apparently not and penalty to Sheppey. Change around... Nightingale calling for his scrum cap and moving back in with the big boys. Scrum. Couchie pulled all the skills out today and passed through his legs! Great run from Sam Scott. Penalty to Sheppey leading to a try despite good attempt from Alan Edwards to hold it up... think he got a little bit squashed! Converted
It’s all getting a bit scrappy! Vigo lost ball for “not using” and gave away another penalty despite Spiers shouting to his fellow players to leave it! Break away by Sheppey to score under posts.
Penalty after kickoff, ball passed out to young Lewis Pitchell (first senior game for him!...and what a game he had!!!) who made a great run....looked like a thinner Jock as 3 players brought him down! Penalty for some reason so another scrum to Sheppey. Good scrum from Vigo... all went a bit wrong for Sheppey as the ball found its way over the line to one of their players who managed to dead ball it before Spiers caused more grief! Scrum again... great big drive from Vigo taking the scrum “for a walk” to allow Couchie to pick up and go for a trundle with the ball to add to the score. Paul Gibbons has more than done his shift and gave way for the return of Neil Atkinson who moved into the engine room at 2nd row and added fresh ‘oomph’ to proceedings.
Great run from Pitchell who dispatched it before being taking into touch. Jeff Miles taking it away to safety. Out to Bob Fitton (who had a great game) took it over the line. Wind against Spiers who didn’t convert.
Nice catch from Wilf out to Spiers did a sterling run. An attempted pass out to Caton who unfortunately knocked on which was spotted by ref (any other week and perhaps we might have gotten away with it). Brought back for scrum. Two Penalties in succession. Their lineout in our 22. Bit scrappy but Couchie took it towards halfway line. Wilf didn’t look what he was doing with his big feet and hurt someone’s big toe! Some good ground covered by Vigo but forward pass resulted in scrum to Sheppey. Good drive from Vigo but Sheppey emerged with ball. Bad bounce but full back, Tom Emmitt got to it. Penalty to Sheppey and they played hard to find the line but Vigo defended well. Penalty to Vigo with scrum on 5m line. Good charge from Emmit. Nightingale stole Sheppey lineout. “Going lefffffft” shouted Jeff Miles, and thankfully he did otherwise that would have been embarrassing! Ball went out to right. Emmit scored. Bob Fitton attempted conversion from out wide but narrowly missed. “Best attempt all day” said Wilf!
Penalty to Vigo shortly after restart... I have no idea why! Lineout won by Sheppey. Some good play from Vigo with great covering tackles from both Bob Fitton and Lewis Pitchell but more penalties conceded by Vigo. Sheppey broke away with the ball to score a great try.
Didn’t go 10 from kick off so back for scrum, shortly followed by a penalty to Vigo. Good run from Couchie but Sheppey turned it over. Sheppey continued to play strongly towards the end, making ground towards the line but Vigo turned it over and Fitton kicked to find touch, with the ref blowing his whistle to call time on proceedings.
It has to be said that Sheppey didn’t give up. They applied pressure on Vigo right up to the final whistle. It was a pleasure to see old faces don the boots again and step across the whitewash. The league takes a 3 week break now (much needed have been the cries).
Team: Tom Spear; Alan Edwards; Warren Lee (rep. Jeff Miles); Sam Scott; Andrew Wilford; Paul Gibbons (rep. Neil Atkinson); Dave Dunn; Dan Couchman; Stuart Spiers (rep. Bob Fitton); Lee Whatman; Kerry James (rep. Lewis Pitchell); Matt Valentine; Jamie Caron; Carl Nightingale; Tom Emmit.
MOM a very close run thing. Lewis Pitchell received many plaudits but it narrowly went to Dave Dunn.