On a hot summer night, Croydon was eagerly waiting for their first game of the season under the new guidance from an old Shirley Wanderer Louis Allen, whom said he was more nervous for this than all the games he had played before, as it turns out, Louis had nothing to be nervous about.
The whistle blows to begin the match, months of hard training is evident, as we camped in Wokings half.
Croydon kept probing Wokings defence, then a beautiful kick through from, scrum half, baby Alex Griffiths and then picked up from fly half, Sam Curtis but got held just short of the line. The forwards settled in for the first scrum of the game and pushed the opposition back for a victorious scrum, with the ball comfortably at the back of the scrum, the “Ladies” had plenty of space to work, thus the ball worked through the hands of backs to full back Ben Drury, who then saw the beautiful inside centre Harry Worsop, back from what was, decades of injury, through with the first try of the game/season.
This seemed to spur the boys on a few minutes later, again with a well organised attack, the ball flowed through the beautiful callused hands from almost the whole of the team to the reliable, openside flank or the club treasurer, Carl Shrimpton to go over for his wonder try into the corner, Croydons skipper, Jack Bond, slots it through the sticks from the touchline.
As Croydon win another scrum, the lads manage to get the ball out to winger, Jack Drummey who comfortably got his first try. Skipper converted again from a tight angle.
Then a little bit of ill-discipline creeps in to give them a penalty and 10 yards again for not retreating for them to jump over for their try which they converted.
Croydon pulled themselves together with some wise words from their Skip Jack under the posts.
Croydon regain the ball from the restart, with some great work from the forwards, and some immense handling, the ball goes across the field, to the reliable winger, Jack Drummey for his second try of the game converted by Bond.
Croydon now have the bit between their teeth and with a lovely backs move from the scrum out to the un-callused hands of the backs to, what can be described as a blow fish, Croydons other winger Alfie Jeffrey goes in for his first try. Converted by the soft foot of Jack Bond.
Croydon continue playing a flowing game, thanks to our Second row, Gareth Phillips, who also has returned from a long-time injury and has currently taken the mantle as Croydons 1XV oldest player and played 80 minutes, 3 accolades in one game! Croydon continue dominating all-round the park, thanks to props, Andrew Lyell and the cannonball, which is Chris Collcut, who by the law of physics, shouldn’t move as quick or sidestep, the way he does Croydons blindside flanker, Dan Tabatabai, putting extreme pressure on the opposition and when they came close, putting in some big hits
Croydon head for a line out, thrown in by Jonny Humphrey, off the lineout it falls this time to the beast, that is Croydons number 8, Billy Simons, who just back from injury, broke the defensive line, went through brushing off tackle after tackle and eventually offloading like an All Black out to the dependable Tom Defrates to crash over for the try, however as it’s Billy who is editing this for our clubs President William Simons. I won’t mention that I offloaded the ball to the opposition and Defrates ripped the ball back to score the try, because that would be silly.
Croydon now are well dug in and comfortable, the handling remains awesome and Alfie Jeffrey runs in his second of the game
Croydon is now camped in their 22, we comfortably won a line out, thrown in by hook, Stuart Matthews, Croydon was blessed to have two fantastic hookers on the day, as well as some very decent lineouts, they were a massive asset to have in the park. The pack dig in and squeeze for the maul, pushing Woking off, with strength added by blindside flank, Echez Udokwu. Defrates finishes for his second of the game, Jack Bond slots the conversion.
Woking retaliates, come back and get a try and convert.
With the great coach Louis coaching from the side, giving the lads a little bit of wisdom, the squad pulls themselves together. By this time, prop Andrew Lyell decides he’s not going to be out done and thinks himself as a centre again, gets the ball at the half way line smashes 2- 3 defenders over does a little sweet shimmy a little jumping step-side, wrongfoots , catches 2 more players of guard or in awe, as this is not natural for a prop, and gets a try, converted by skipper Jack Bond.
Croydon disrupts and wins Wokings lineout, the ball finds itself out to finisher Josh Fearon, who pops out to the maverick Ben Drury to go over for his first try of the game.
It’s coming towards the end of the game and we now already have the contender of the year for the Jack Drummey Award, a beautiful handling move out to Drummey sees him over the line, forgets for a moment that he’s playing rugby, decides to celebrate his would’ve been 3rd try a tad early, and not grounding the ball, only to get smashed and knocking it on.
To finish what was an outstanding first game of the season, the forwards and the backs combined with some lovely handling and eventually seeing Sam Curtis, over the line. Croydon win the game 14-71.
We’re afraid that we cannot decide who was the man of the match as all 18 players played really well and like a well drilled unit. Well done boys and a big shout out to coach Louis for making Croydon into a drilled unit again.
Woking RFC 14 - 71 Croydon RFC
Jack Drummey: 2 not 3
Alfie Jeffrey: 2
Tom Defrates: 2
Jack bond: 8