A&C versus Readingensians
By Andrew Rooke
Successful First Game of the season
Some very welcome new faces to bolster our forwards in Ollie Walker and Gabriel Chadwick and a welcome return after injury-ravaged seasons last year to Tom Ates and Archie Palmer – welcome replacements as new schools far away has meant the loss of some long-serving players
Two short weeks of training had barely given the boys time to re-acquaint themselves with the oval ball before the first match of the season. Readingensians were our visitors, a club that we knew would provide a good test and a welcome addition to our fixture list with A and B matches.
The As started very strongly, almost as if they had been listening to the coaches’ pleadings over the past years; quick ball from the breakdown, sure handling and intelligent running enabling A&C to dominate much of the match. Just as pleasing was the strength of the defensive line with players constantly striving to act as a unit and Theo Weatherall outstanding. Readingensians were an excellent team, well drilled and doing the basics well, their counter-rucking especially strong, but the 30 – 5 scoreline showed the excellence of A&C’s performance.
With four of the expected A team unavailable changes had to be made to the B side, with a number of new combinations and positions. Readingensians started very strongly, and the Bs struggled against determined opposition suggesting a very difficult match in the offing. However they clung on, never letting Readingensians build up a significant lead. And as the match wore on confidence grew – the rugby was never as flowing as in the first game but the determination was very plain to see. Tries by Ollie Walker and Alex Greggor sealed a 10 – 5 win
So happy coaches, happy players and, with the unexpected autumnal sunshine, even happy spectators. Thanks as ever to Mark McKenzie-Crooks for exemplary refereeing