Vigo blew away the cobwebs of a long lay off with a comfortable, though hard fought, win over local rivals, Old G’s. Guilty of starting slowly recently, especially when kicking uphill, Vigo confounded their long suffering loyal band of supporters by actually starting with some vigour. Sam Smith, making a welcome return after a long lay off, opened the scoring after Vigo had put together a sweeping handling movement. Although, Old Gravesendians possessed a formidable obstacle in their big Fijian centre - in fact, it was suggested that the combined weight of the two teams’ centres was probably more than either team’s pack ! (a bit cruel, one might say) – Vigo managed to outskirt his formidable tackling, Harry Pattison scoring a typical quick thinking try from a quick tap, to extend the lead.
By now, Vigo were playing some decent stuff, actually playing structured rugby, running moves and supporting play, and all that good stuff. Lewis Pitchell, a promising winger, got on the scoring charts with a fine blind side move started by Sam Smith, Nathan Covill adding the extras. Things were looking decidedly rosy for the Villagers, with teenaged prop Harry Newby showing distinct promise in the scrums. Needless to say, just when it all looked done and dusted, Old Gravesendians struck. Their number 10, Liam Cole sped through a startled and rather statuesque Vigo defence to score a superb solo try, which he converted to leave the score 17-7 at the break.
Vigo made a whole raft of changes at half time, to give everyone a game, that old Viking, Dave Dunn, celebrating the birth of a new son, ran half the length of the field for a fine try. So having re-stamped their seeming authority on the match and thinking the slope would help to carry them home, Vigo switched off. Old G’s saw the gaps and went for them, the centre Francis (the Fijian) smashing through closely followed by George the Ginge (name unknown by his team mates but he did have ginger hair – or as Tom Emmitt insists ‘’strawberry blond’’ – to haul the Old Boys right back into the game at 22-17.
Things might have got worse but old G’s rather messed up a further try with a blatant forward pass which the excellent referee, Kevin Sell, in his first match – had no problem spotting, and to be fair, drew no protests from the visitors – so Vigo breathed a collective sigh of relief and roused themselves to further action. As quickly as the Old G’s storm broke, then just as quickly it abated. Vigo took control of the scrum and line out and the visitors’ challenge faded with the light. Vigo strung together some good passes down the line to Mitch Higgs who flew over, quickly followed by another from Harry Pattison , selling dummies to friend and foe alike, Covill converting. Matt Griffiths thought he was next but after a thunderous run almost the full length of the pitch, a brilliant cover tackle by the Old Boys say Matt brought down a couple of metres from the line, his face making a furrow near the line. But Nathan Covill was close by and picked up the loose ball to score.
With time running out there was enough time for Adam Fitzgerald, another returning from injury to make a typically robust burst, and with Martin Lingham busting a lung in close support screaming for the ball, Adam totally ignored him, instead picking out new dad, dave Dunn, for his second. And that was that. The scoreline probably flattering Vigo, as Old Gravesendians fought hard.
Star players: Nick Haigh.
Vigo Team: W.Millins; L.Pitchell, M.Griffiths, O.Jarman, N.Miles; H.Pattison, N.Covill; H.Newby, J.Smith, S.Smith; M.Lingham, Josh Miles; M.Gregory, N.Haigh; D.Couchman
Replacements (all used) D.Dunn, M.Grayland, G.Luck, M.Higgs, A.Fitzgerald