RFU Junior Vase Round One

Five Ways Old Edwardians 15 - 22 Harbury

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013 09:05pm
Harbury, Stratford-on-Avon
By Jerry Birkbeck
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Last season Harbury enjoyed an extensive run in the Junior Vase concluding as beaten finalists by two points in the final minute of play in the Midlands Vase by Old Yardlieans, just one game away from a Twickenham appearance.

However, they approached this fixture at Five Ways Old Eds in the opening round of the Vase with some apprehension.  Missing five forwards through injury and unavailability and as a consequence no recognised locks that the set scrum could be a potentially difficult area, That it was not owed much to JAMES BARDEN and JEFF FOSTER who both stepped up to the mark and a more than useful display by the pack as a unit that performed very well in the circumstances.

The game was managed by an official who never allowed the game to flow leading to frustration on both sides. Harbury conceded early field position to Old Eds through conceding a series of penalties.  The initial opportunity to open the scoring fell the hosts but the attempt was pulled wide. Harbury began to get into their flow and some excellent work by the pack and backs took play deep into the home 22. From a well worked rolling maul scrum half MARK FOLEY took the ball at pace to scythe through the opposition cover for a well deserved touch down.

Minutes later RICHARD MAZUREK added a penalty goal to put his side 8-nil ahead at the break.

Harbury dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half at scored on the 41st minute through a well judged take at the kick off by TOM KITTENDORF who moved the ball wide. The ball was carried on by the backs and was well supported by CHRIS MILBURN, who breaking down the blind side found ANDY SANDFORD in support who finished off the move. MAZUREK converted to place his team 15 -0 ahead. Another fine attack was finished off in style with a pacy run by STEVE ALFORD who crossed for the third try with MAZUREK again adding the points for a 22-0 lead.

Harbury were penalised on several occasions and Five Ways profited from this as the gained territorial dominance. The game became scrappy as both teams tried to exert their influence. Harbury were pushed back from promising positions through conceding a series of penalties. This appeared to be the principal way in which Old Eds gained ground and possession.

On the 70th minute Harbury repelled an attacking drive with a well won turnover. The ball was kicked to touch though no significant distance was gained and from the line out Old Eds took play to within ten metres of the Harbury line. Good defence prevented any incursions but Old Eds worked the ball down the blindside, the ball carrier was tackled and knocked on. The loose but was picked up by a support player who went over but was prevented from grounding the ball by some brave defence from DAZ NICHOLLS. Much to Harbury’s consternation a highly debatable try was awarded, although the conversion was missed it put Old Eds within a converted score of levelling the game.

Harbury refused to buckle and kept play within the home half for the remainder of the match and emerge deserved winners.  Whilst the score line suggested a tight game, some of the interpretations of the laws particularly around the breakdown left both teams and Harbury in particular bemused.

The contribution of all the players and the makeshift pack was immense and Harbury can be pleased by their hard working effort.

The next match is away to COVENTRY WELSH in a Midlands 4 Kick off 3.00 pm.

Photograph: File pic


HARBURY 2ND XV        14


The seconds enjoyed a close match against their counterparts from MANOR PARK winning 14-7. Tries were scored by CHARLIE GLADDEN and GAFFA with full back MARK FINCH converting both.


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