Old Boots, Midwives and a showdown on a wet Wednesday

RUGBY ROUND-UP: With a game that would grace the last eight of the national schools competition, Whitgift School are due to take on John Fisher in the fourth round of the Daily Mail RBS Cup this Wednesday.

Under leaden skies, Warlingham’s teenaged forward Ollie Dodwell controls line-out possession

Whitgift’s squad had Saturday off, while Fisher suffered a 18-7 defeat at home to Brighton College in atrocious conditions, with back rower Jonathan Wallace getting his side’s only try of the match.

With much of the country flooded, a rain check ahead of attending Wednesday’s 2.15pm scheduled kick-off at Haling Park might be advisable.

If it goes ahead, this will be a game will be well worth seeing, with the winners just four more wins away from a Twickenham final appearance in the spring.

The weekend’s wet conditions are shown in the scorelines from many of the club rugby games, with thick mud and pouring rain making handling very difficult, even for the best sides.

Trinity School are now out of the Daily Mail Cup, having failed to fulfill their fixture with Langley Park, who in turn lost last week to Sussex Downs College, who are drawn to visit the winners of the Whitgift-Fisher tie.

In club rugby, Warlingham bounced back from the previous week’s defeat in London 2SE to claim a 20-10 win away at Heathfield & Waldron. The result puts the Mighty Warl in with an outside chance of promotion – although only seventh in the table, the Hamsey Green club is just four points off Crowborough in second in what is developing into a very competitive division.

Their next three weeks could define the season, starting with a cup trip to Brighton this Saturday. Warlingham then host Brighton, the league leaders, at Hamsey Green the following week, before a trip to struggling Sevenoaks.

Against Heathfield, Warlingham got off to a flying start when centre Ben Wimble charged down an early clearing kick and pounced over the line. Fly half Joe McEvoy added the conversion. A McEvoy penalty soon after gave the visitors a 10-point buffer that was never to be closed.

A further McEvoy penalty and a second converted try by Wimble, after a great run down the wing by Jon Osborne, completed Warlingham’s scoring.

Streatham and Croydonare another local side that look as if promotion could be possible this season. But the club is already celebrating, having been given accredited status by the RFU.

The Rugby Football Union Club Accreditation scheme aims to help all rugby clubs in England become stronger and more effective, recognising the excellence in the club’s organisations, and providing important credibility with local authorities, educational establishments and potential sponsors.

Out on the pitch on Saturday, S&C’s first XV also earned a good deal of credibility. After going behind to the opening, converted try, they conceded no further points in the game to claim a 36-7 win over the Law Society at Frant Road that puts them third in Surrey’s second division.

If S&C are successful in going up, they might just pass Croydon going the opposite direction. A 14-20 defeat to Old Tiffinians at their Addington Road ground in Surrey 1 on Saturday leaves Croydon just one point off the bottom of the table.

In the same division, Old Whitgiftians had a comfortable 40-7 win over Cranleigh.

And one tier higher still, in London 3SW, both local sides had wins on Saturday, though Purley-John Fisher and Old Mid-Whitgiftians appear to be set for a safe mid-table existance for the rest of the season.

PJF won 8-0 in a muddy battle at Old Blues, while two decades after a league system was introduced to English rugby, the fixture list still manages to throw up the sort of fixture between two “old boys'” sides which are redolent of a bygone era: “Old Boots v Midwives”.

On this occasion, Old Mid-Whitgiftians – notionally Trinity School’s old boys – travelled to Old Wellingtonians and won 25-11.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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