Under 15 Bs
Man of the match:
Whilst the scoreline might have suggested a comfortable win for OAs, this match was anything but. Before kick-off, the coaches had cast a few worried looks around and took stock of a mounting injury list. With Jack (wrist) and Charlie (ankle) unable to take the field of play, OAs were down to two subs only. Ranks were however, bolstered by the return of Zac and Reuben. Some shuffling of positions saw Tyler making another start at No. 8 and Gonzalo shifting across the back row to openside.
Victory was never guaranteed, and it was only late in the second half when the coaches and supporting parents breathed a sigh of relief. Even then the dogged opposition scored late in the half to ensure that the boys could never relax. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic result with 6 well-worked tries and a hat-trick for Ollie McGowan. The reward for this momentous performance was to be top of the League.
For the first 20 minutes we rarely saw the ball and OAs were immediately pitched in to a huge defensive effort. Datchworth, playing to their strength with a huge pack of forwards battered the OA try line. OAs would turn it over and clear their lines, but back came Datchworth time and again. Eventually Datchworth infringed and lines were cleared.
Having weathered the storm and now enjoying some brief possession it was OAs who struck first. Against the run of play, Fly-Half, Ollie took a flat pass and jinked through the defence to score. His second was a more opportunistic effort with an interception on half-way, but good chasing from Datchworth preventing a regulation touchdown under the posts. Neither try was converted. 0-10.
Datchworth struck back immediately. Some strong forward play down the right hand touchline eventually paid dividends with a neat score in the corner. A superb conversion from wide out brought Datchworth back to within 3.
Half-time: Datchworth 7 – 10 Old Albanians
The second half started much like the first. The Datchworth pack, again very dominant and using their power game to great effect, struck first. 12-10.
After weathering the initial storm, and possibly with the opposition beginning to tire, the OA pack were now beginning to exert some pressure. Cameron was at the fore with his ball-wrecking runs. With more possession and some clean ball the OA backs kicked for territory with good effect and making Datchworth play from deep.
OAs third try came from a clever chip ahead that forced the Datchworth fullback to carry the ball back in-goal. From the resulting 5m scrum, Cameron powered over with a classic pick-up from the base. 12-17.
Datchworth continued to press, but from turnover ball inside our own 22, OAs scored two quick tries from Ollie (to complete his hat-trick) and another by Tyler (now having a rest on the wing). No conversions as yet, but a healthy lead. 12-27.
More was to come. From a scrum on the opposition 22 line, scrum-half Ben fed to Fly-half Ollie, who feigned a pop pass to Dan on a crash ball. With the defence sucked in by the dummy runner, Ollie passed the ball out the back to Zaid to scamper in under the posts. 12-34.
At this point, Datchworth could have given up, but the last 10 minutes saw the game reach a frenetic pace. Having already seen OAs cough up a 10-0 lead, Datchworth were clearly not going to lie down.
With both sides tiring and some missed tackles, Datchworth enjoyed a purple patch that saw a flowing move down the left hand touchline and a well worked try that was converted. 17-34.
Full-time: Datchworth 19 – 34 Old Albanians
Man of the Match: Goes to Ollie McGowan for his hat-trick, but this really was a team effort and everybody deserves a mention.
Under 15s Fixture Secretary
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