Time not on Evesham's side

Evesham 19 - Southam 20 (Midlands 3 West South)

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2013 06:15pm
Evesham, Wychavon
By Liam Green
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The first league game of the campaign started very well for ERFC, continuing on from the end of the last season with good, clean and open running rugby.

Early strong running with the ball in hand from Matt Adams and pressure at the rucks from Nathan Chambers and Luke Matthews meant that Southam were pinned in their own half. However, the affair soon turned scrappy with the ref seemingly unable to keep up with the play or keep a control on the game.

After a tense opening encounter, the first chance fell to ERFC after a high tackle on Dan Humpston at the base of a scrum. Mike Diston didn’t need a second look, slotting the ball over for 3 points.

This pressure seemed to spur on the Southam side and after a couple of phases ERFC were caught creeping in the middle of park and the penalty was given. The Southam flyhalf, with some good form off the tee, made it 3-3.

In a game where the momentum was swinging from one side to the other, the next chance came to ERFC. A nice set play move in the centres gave Alex Jackson enough time on the ball to offer a cheeky back-hand pass to Zac Reid who, despite still having a lot to do, managed to burst through the centre and round the fullback - Mike Diston’s conversion making it 10-3.

Again, Southam reacted very well to going down in the game and started to exert some pressure on the home side with strong running through both forwards and backs. When ERFC were unable to clear their lines by kicking directly to touch, Southam were able to take advantage through a strong lineout and drive. This allowed the backs the go-forward ball which caught the backline flat-footed and the Southam 13 rounded his opposite man, putting the winger in the corner. Southam were able to draw level with another good kick from the 10.

The game was clearly going to be won by only a small margin and both sides were defending knowing full well that one slip would possibly cost the game. In anticipation, Southam were caught creeping at the ruck this time and allowed Mike Diston to easily convert to nudge the home side ahead.

After a very solid Southam scrum, they were able to execute a well-rehearsed 8/9/14 move to allow the winger a relatively easy run in out wide but from a difficult conversion, they were unable to capitalise making It only a 2 point difference at 13-15!

Even though the Evesham pack had already worked themselves into the ground, they were clearly not willing to leave it at that and when they were presented with yet another scrum, they took the opportunity to make a difference with Kerren Lippett and Tom Gaizey managing to force a penalty. Again, Diston slots to put the tie back in Evesham’s favour, 16-15.

Both sides at this point were desperate to get their grip on the game but this pressure meant that the mistakes were creeping in. Despite this, ERFC were able to keep the game in the middle 3rd and away from their own line. Dan Humpston continued his fine start to the season by grappling the opposition 9 at the base of a scrum and turning him over once on the ground, Mike Diston rewarded this remarkable work by knocking over the penalty – ERFC edged further away at 19-15.

Now in the final few moments of the game, ERFC had cleared their line from a penalty resulting in a home side lineout on the halfway line. This is turned over by a strong Southam lineout and, from good counter running, they were able to keep the ball for a few phases and finally ship the ball wide to score in the corner. From wide out the 10 wasn’t able to convert but time was not in Evesham’s favour and the game ended without any further twists.

Both sides played out of their skin and the game could of gone either way but edged Southam’s way, 19-20. This was a great start to the league season from both sides and Evesham look forward to travelling to Cheltenham North next week.




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