ARBORETUM 7th SEPTEMBER 2019
Team: 15. F Doonan (VC), 14. G Johncock, 13. A Thomson, 12. M Cant, 11. N Wood, 10. S Hainey, 9, E McBurnie, 8. . S McCullough (Capt.), 7. C Ward, 6. S Boendermaker, 5. H Balcerak, 4. S Jablonski, 3. R Tidy 2. A Philip, 1I Kirby. Subs: 16. M Razetto*, 17. D Tidy* & 18. J Tocher (* used)
Glorious weather for our first league and home game of the season. Leith finished 3rd in the league last season so were a good test for us to see where we stand in the pecking order. Leith started well, holding onto the ball through forward charges and back movement but our defence held out and eventually we had the ball. We put Leith under a lot of pressure and created at least 3 chances during this 10 minute spell. Unfortunately it came to an end when a chip through came off a Leith defender and bounced nicely for a counter attack from the 22. With our defence caught flat footed Leith went down field to score a converted try.
We had the majority of the next period but an attack from outside our 22 saw Leith cut through our midfield and move the ball for a score near the corner. The conversion was successful and we were 0-14 down despite having the most of the play. Our attack was finally successful when an inside ball to Mark Cant saw him cross under the posts and his conversion took it back to 7-14 with 15 minutes of the half to go.
Leith came back into it again when 5 minutes later a simple, but well worked, lineout peel round the front near our line saw them cross for a 3rd try. The wide out conversion was missed but Leith had pulled ahead 7 – 19. Our turn next when our forwards broke down the middle and Ash Thomson took the ball on to the left where Graeme Johncock finished the move off well. Mark Cant was successful with the conversion making it 14 – 19.
Leith came back again and a further miss tackle in the midfield saw them score under the sticks for a try bonus 4th try. This was converted and we were behind 14 – 26. Just on half time Leith were awarded a penalty in front of the posts about 30 metres out. The kick was successful making it 14 -29 at the break.
The second half saw the team lift their intensity as we protected our ball at the breakdown more effectively and repeatedly drove into the Leith defence. This was sapping Leith’s energy and holes started to appear and a break through one saw the ball moved to Neil Wood who crossed near the right corner for an unconverted try to make it 19-29. Leith appeared worried now opted to take a shot at goal after 60 minutes for a soft, not rolling away, penalty. This was successful making it 19-32.
We powered back and after being camped on Leith’s line Ian Kirby crossed from close in assisted by Simon Boendemaker. Mark Cant was successful with the kick to take us within 6 points at 26-32. Unfortunately we ran out of time as Leith held out for the last couple of minutes as they were definitely reeling at this stage and it would only have been a matter of time before we scored again. It was not to be, however, and we had to settle for 2 points from a try bonus and losing bonus.
This was a game of missed chances that we would normally expect to take. We performed or improved in most facets of the game and this augers well for the rest of the season.
There were many who played well but the official man of the match is “Ian Kirby” for his consistent performance and forward drives