The Old Boys resumed their league programme on Saturday with a narrow but hard fought loss against league second placed Old Mid-Whitgiftians. Considering that the earlier league match loss was a massive 5-62 this was an amazing turn round.
The first half saw the home team being regularly pushed back in both loose and tight, in fact conceding two pushover tries. However, half backs James Howell and Richard Travers kept their backline working despite receiving the ball often on the retreat. Several threatening half breaks from skipper Rory Southgate and George Fairbairn nearly breached the visiting defence but they could not fully get away.
Turning round just fourteen points adrift there was still all to play for. After ten minutes there was some patient play, going through the phases, which advanced OWs to the opposition twenty-two whence quickly recycled possession was spun right to tyro Nick Blain who scorched over in the corner. A magnificent kick from Jason Murphy added the extras.
The Old Boys held their own for the remainder of the match buoyed by the possibility of a losing bonus point or even snatching a win. An excellent long range penalty from Jason Murphy for handling in a ruck gave them added encouragement. Sadly, it was not to be and in fact the visitors clinched the game with their third try with only moments of the game to go.
This was a greatly encouraging performance and gives hope that with consistent availability and the return of several injured players some victories could yet be attained.
E G Bell
Updated 08:39 - 18 Jan 2019 by David Doran