League: Croydon RFC vs Wandsworthians RFC

MATCH REPORT: CROYDON VS WANDSWORTHIANS 6th Oct

Croydon entered the third week of Surrey 4 fixtures with a set of results more random than the contents of Broadbent’s dirty pint. Shipping 40+ points to league favourites Egham was followed by some fancy new shirts, a walkover win against Horley, and a surprise upset victory against London Media. A success against the visiting Wandsworth could therefore stabilise things and start a winning run.

As the game kicked off, two things quickly became clear:

1)      Croydon looked the better drilled, stronger team

2)      There was no way Ginge was lasting 80 mins in this torrential drizzle

Sensing his time on the field was limited, the diminutive scrum half wasted no time in taking control of the game. On the back of Croydon’s complete dominance over the sent piece, Ginge darted through a confused defence and gave the Poppies a 7-0 lead.

  Wandsworth crumble under the pressure of Croydon’s pack

Wandsworth crumble under the pressure of Croydon’s pack

Clearly in the ascendancy despite the challenging conditions, the home team ramped up the pressure and set up camp in the opposition half. Drummey could have doubled the lead after finding himself with an open run in from 20 meters out but opted to trade away the 5 points on the scoreboard a for a crisp, refreshing Drummey pint.

Nevertheless, more tries were on their way. Slick back play with smart handling from Gleig and Henderson combined with some astute kicking from Drury gifted Bond an open lane to slide under the posts. Likewise, the Matthews-dominated forwards owned the set pieces through a powerful core of A Matthews, S Matthews, G Matthews and Matthew D. The pack forced a try of their own with Matthew I boshing over from 5 meters out to complete the half with a healthy 21-0 scoreline. The only negative to a great half was Glenn having to leave the game early with a lump or his head so big it needed its own team shirt. Lyell was pulled in as cover on the flank as his career inches ever closer to the front row.

  Taking the positives with the Egg-itives

Taking the positives with the Egg-itives

Some inspiring half-time words from Defrates were immediately washed away by the rain and Wandsworth ran in a soft try to start the second half. Ginge left the field to be thawed out but Croydon answered back, Irvine switching to the blind side and finding Jeffrey who swooped in under the posts to secure the bonus point and gift another straightforward conversion to Bond.

As the game became scrappier, solid defence from Broadbent, Shrimpton, and Lyell (definitely a forward) kept Wandsworth at bay but tired legs and slippery conditions meant the home team could not regain the upper hand. Colcutt entered the fray to maintain Croydon’s grip on the scrum while Kilcoyne tried to emulate Glenn’s forehead fashion with an ambitious, face-first, chop-tackle.

  On Target: Bond slots another conversion

On Target: Bond slots another conversion

With the clock winding down, Croydon broke through again and Drummey finally got on the scoresheet. Jeffrey then doubled his tally, benefitting from a neat chip to the corner, some ambiguously painted pitch lines, and an Oscar-winning “definitely not out of bounds” try celebration which was enough to convince the ref.  With Croydon raining tries, Bond took full advantage from the kicking practice, impressively slotting conversions from either sideline.

Wandsworth rallied in the final minutes to score a second try but Croydon could take plenty of positives from a comfortable win, moving them up the league table to third. Very hard to pick out individual performances as the whole team raised their game and should be proud of a well-earned victory.

Final Score: Croydon 42 – Wandsworth 10

Tries: Curtis, Bond, Irvine, Jeffrey (2), Drummey

Conversions: Bond (6)

Open run-ins dropped: Drummey

 

MoM: S Matthews (Forwards), Henderson (Backs)

 

Honourable Mentions:

McCallister: Mick saw out the last days of his thirties by trying to rewrite the rulebook and secure the coveted Drummey pint a few days before the match. Rather than sliding over the tryline, Mick chose to slide into the club’s DMs with some unsolicited details of what he gets up to in the shower. Unfortunately, the second team stalwart was unavailable for comment as “his hands were Thai’d”. #fourtyandnaughty