RUGBY ROUND-UP: Old Mid-Whitgiftians welcomed Dan Crouch back into their side after more than a season out through injury, and 10 points from the boot of their fly-half, including a important penalty late in the game, was enough to secure victory in their opening London 3SW fixture of the year at Lime Meadow Avenue, 25-19 over lively opposition from newly promoted Andover.
Crouch’s points came from two penalties and from converting two of his side’s three tries in the afternoon, scored by Ed Underwood, an outstanding play finished off by Olly Rathbone, and a great solo effort by Rob Farmer, playing on the wing. Andover picked up the losing bonus point with a late try, which put some pressure on the home side, who may regret not capitalising on some of their opportunities to secure a bonus point of their own.
This Saturday promises one of the high-spots of the local rugby season, when Midwives make the short journey to Parsons Pightle for their derby with Purley-John Fisher. PJF lost 28-15 at Eastleigh last weekend, so will need to get a win under their belts as well as establish some local bragging rights.
In the division above, London 2SW, Warlingham also suffered an opening day defeat, going down 19-16 at home against Old Reigatians as the thickness of the goal posts was all that separated the sides.
Warlingham had been first to score, through a Joe McEvoy penalty, and were first to score a try, when new flanker David Thornton broke through the visitors’ defence and a pass from winger Jack Atkinson to Harry Wrightson was returned and Atkinson ran in unopposed. McEvoy’s conversion hit the post.
But with Warlingham down to 14 men after James Agate was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on, Reigatians clawed their way back into a half-time lead with a couple of successful penalties.
Reigatians extended that lead with a try off the first scrum of the second-half, and while another McEvoy kick pegged back some of the deficit, the visitors’ pack got another try, this time from a catch and drive move from a five-metre line-out.
Tom Street, Warlingham’s No8, scored Warlingham’s second try, but McEvoy’s conversion kick again hit the uprights.
With a minute to play, Warlingham were offered the chance of snatching a draw from this competitive encounter when a very kickable penalty was awarded. Maybe not wishing to risk hitting the posts again, new skipper Jon Osborne called for the scrum as a route towards the try which might win the game.
But the Reigatians pack held out, and they were ecstatic to get the win, as the hosts had just a losing bonus point for their efforts.
“We knew this would be a tough fixture and Old Reigatians have obviously prepared well pre-season,” Ben Stobart, Warlingham’s head coach, said.
“Hitting the woodwork twice was unlucky for us but that was the only difference between
Warlingham travel to take on Old Alleynians on Saturday, a tough encounter with the old boys’ club from Dulwich College, the winners of the last two Twickenham English Schools’ cup finals.
The area’s other clubs, in the county leagues, have another week before their league seasons get underway.
Contact your local rugby clubs here:
Coming to Croydon
- The Complete History of the BBC – Abridged, Spread Eagle, Sep 19-20
- South Croydon business breakfast, Sep 20
- Croydon Honey Show, Selsdon, Sep 20
- St Peter’s Church Book Sale, South Croydon, Sep 20
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Music At The Unit, Lives Not Knives, Centrale, Sep 20
- Open House London weekend, Sep 20-21
- David Lean Cinema: A Night At The Cinema in 1914, Sep 22
- Activity to Work back-to-work workshops, Sep 23
- David Lean Cinema: Jimmy’s Hall, Sep 25
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Fancy dress family funday, Sep 28
- Ukrainian choir concert, St John’s Shirley, Sep 29
- Tree Sides, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 2-4
- The Goon Show, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 8-11
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- Croydon 10km road race, Oct 19
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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