Effingham & Leatherhead 24 – 17 Winchester
The Eagles welcomed Winchester to Browns Lane this weekend with both sides needing to secure victory in this season’s relegation battle. Winchester sitting at the foot of the table were definitely the brighter team at the start of the match and it wasn’t too long before they had crossed the Eagles line to score and convert to go 7-0 ahead. With their tails up Winchester maintained their pressure but the Eagles defence was strong and they kept the strong Winchester forwards at bay. After the frantic early onslaught, the game settled down and The Eagles started to enjoy a little bit more possession themselves. With a strong back line on show, outside centre Joe Lemon smashed through the Winch backline on a preset move and was hauled down just short of the line. From the resulting ruck, Eagles span the ball wide and found winger Danny Bomken in space to crash over for Eagles to go 7-5 with the conversion missed. Winchester bounced straight back and pushed down the field and created a 2-on-1 on the Eagles full-back which they executed well to run in a try on the wing to go 12-5. With half time looming, the Eagles needed to get back into the game and it was down to flying winger Joe Triegaardt to force his way over to take the score to 12-10 at the break.
Following the break, both teams exchanged good periods of possession and during another sustained effort from Winchester, they again breached the Eagles line to push the score to 17-10. The Eagles were not playing to their best and got caught in a forward battle with the big Winchester forwards. With only 6 minutes left on the clock, Winchester could almost taste the victory that would really help them, but the Eagles were deep in the Winchester red-zone and the ball was released to Brian Collins, who, despite a slightly pulled hamstring, managed to dummy his way through the defence to score under the posts. With Brian’s injury, kicking duties swapped to Luke Blythe who kicked the conversion and took the scores level 17-17.
From the kick off, the Eagles replicated the final play from last week’s dramatic win at Old Tonbridgians and drove the ball up the pitch with pick and drives from the Eagles pack. As they crossed the Winchester 22m, Eagles hooker Joe Brown broke free and with 2 desperate defenders clinging to him, managed to power his way over for the bonus point try. Blythe duly slotted the conversion to secure the 24-17 win.
Head Coach Dan Blythe said, “Sometimes in rugby you have to win ugly and today we definitely did that. We knew that Winchester would come out of the blocks at us as they need to win every game and, unfortunately, we were slow to react to that, but our guys just did enough to stay in the game. It was really only the last 10 minutes that we actually played to our game plan and that resulted in 2 great tries and secured the much-needed bonus point. ”
Next up is a trip to Gosport & Fareham after Easter.
1. Sam Maycock
2. Joe Brown
3. Joe Baker
4. Ollie Rees
5. Pete Sockett
6. Phil Entwistle
7. Jamie Thompson (Capt)
8. Luke Collier
9. Matt Manning
10. Brian Collins
11. Joe Triegaardt
12. Ben Lines
13. Joe Lemon
14. Danny Bomken
15. Luke Blythe
16. Patrick McDougall
17. Ed Waugh
18. Aaron Noakes
Try Scorers – Danny Bomken, Joe Triegaardt, Brian Collins, Joe Brown
Conversions – Luke Blythe x 2
|24/03/2018||3:00 pm||London 2 South West||2017-2018||80'|
|Eagles Senior 1XV||4||2||24||Win|
|Winchester RFC Senior 1XV||3||1||17||Loss|
|Effingham & Leatherhead RFC|
|Browns Ln, Effingham, Leatherhead KT24, UK|