After our narrow defeat at Bridport there was a feeling of optimism about the visit of Oakmeadians. Simon was able to recall, Josh Cameron, Neil Hamilton and Chris Hurrell and there were first games of the season for Rich Polley, Craig Steele and Johnny Young. However from the kick off Oaks were camped in our half and it was thanks to a resolute defence that they were unable to score. The pressure was eventually relieved when Ian Dixon made a determined run out of defence and from a resulting penalty Alex Toms was able to find touch deep in the opposition’s half and it was our turn to apply pressure which resulted in Dan Bowditch picking up the ball from the base of the scrum to power his way over from 10m out. Alex converted and we were 7-0 in the lead. After a couple of disastrous lineouts Karl Sankey was able to find our jumpers, Rich and Chris Norton and things were beginning to look good. From another scrum in their 22 we got a strike against the head and after initially going to the open side, Alex went blind and put Lewis Richards over for our second converted try. Oaks were seemingly more dangerous when breaking out of defence and but for a bone crunching tackle into touch by Lewis they would have scored a runaway try. Then just before half time we were caught sleeping when they ran in a try from a 22m drop out to make the half time score 14-5.
The second half was dominated by both defence although centres Luke Savage and Dan Cranham both made useful breaks that unfortunately did not alter the score line and it was Oaks who were first to score an unconverted try to make the score worryingly 14-10. The pressure was relieved slightly by a penalty from Alex but for the last 10 minutes the game was played too close for comfort near our line. Fortunately our defence held good and when the referee blew full time we had won our first game of the season.
Man of the match award goes to Chris Norton.
Starting Team: Lian Berry, Karl Sankey, Andy Bowditch, Ben Billington, Rich Polley, Ian Dixon, Chris Norton, Dan Bowditch, Josh Cameron, Alex Toms, Johnny Young, Luke Savage, Dan Cranham, Craig Steele, Lewis Richards.
Substitutes: Elliot Curley, Neil Hamilton, Chris Hurrell.
Congratulations to Josh Cameron in being selected to represent the Royal Navy U-23 team.
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