Coach Edwards wings it before MidWives extend their cup run

Old MidWhitgiftians’ scrum-half Jake Bacon (in blue) watches as his pack outscrummed New Ash Green in their cup win last Saturday

RUGBY ROUND-UP: There was cup action for Old MidWhitgiftians last Saturday, in the Junior Vase. They followed up a resounding 62-10 win over Fareham Heathens earlier in the month in the first round with a 36-12 win at New Ash Green in Kent.

Surrey 1 side MidWives were far superior in scrum and maul and used this advantage to secure the game. Skipper Ali Hall scored two tries as did flanker Ryan Williams.

The other Mids’ try came from winger Harry Wilson. Fly half Dan Crouch kicked four conversions and a penalty.

MidWives lie sixth in Surrey 1, going into tomorrow afternoon’s game at fourth-placed Old Freemans. The Sanderstead-based old boys’ campaign had taken a bit of a knock a fortnight ago, when they came up against Weybridge Vandals and lost 47-24.

Winging it: OMWRFC coach Andy Edwards

This was quite a performance under the circumstances, given that MidWives suffered three late withdrawals, forcing coach Andy Edwards to play, sticking himself out on the wing (presumably where he could do least damage to the slick backs moves his squad had been practising carefully in training).

According to one MidWhitgiftian on the touchline, Edwards “acquitted himself very well”, which may have been a case of damning with faint praise.

The scratch Mids side competed well, but a poor line-out performance and too much space allowed to the opposition in midfield, along with several missed tackles, were all exploited by a sharp and talented Vandals side.

Mids’ scorers were fly half Dan Crouch with a fine try when he dummied through a gap, a penalty and two conversions, one from the touchline, and scrum half Harry Walkden with a try. They were also awarded a penalty try.

MidWives’s Surrey 1 rivals Old Walcountians moved up to fifth a fortnight ago after beating Old Haileyburyians 44-12. A one-point defeat, 29-28, to Law Society at the start of the month is beginning to look like a missed opportunity in a division which is tightly contested behind runaway league leaders Reeds Weybridge.

Old Walcs play at Old Wimbledonians tomorrow, while Chipstead visit Law Society. Old MidWhitgiftians are away at Old Freemans tomorrow, with a home game against Law Society at Lime Meadow  Avenue on December 8.

In Surrey 2, there’s no stopping Purley-John Fisher, who have won all seven of their league fixtures so far, the latest a 37-19 victory over Cranleigh.

Tougher times for Streatham-Croydon, who have lost their last two matches, 60-0 at Old Wellingtonians and then 39-12 to Bec OBs last Saturday.

PJF are at Old Blues tomorrow, while Streatham-Croydon entertain Cranleigh at Frant Road.

The following week, December 8, in the clubs’ last league fixture of the year, the hip flasks will be put to good use when Purley-John Fisher host Streatham-Croydon in Old Coulsdon.

The long drop into Surrey 4 is proving to be a welcome fillip for Croydon RFC, for so long a win-free zone. They have won five of their seven league games this term so far, the latest a 24-0 romp over Raynes Park a fortnight ago. Tomorrow, they are at home against Horley.

New Ash Green’s defence (in green) was no match for MidWives’ Ali Hall, who scored the first try off the back of a maul

The area’s two leading clubs, Warlingham and Old Whitgiftians, playing in the lofty heights of London and South East 3SW, are enduring differing fortunes.

Old Whits haven’t had a sniff of a win since their derby day victory over Warlingham back in September.

They still sit two places off the bottom of the table, although they could do with turning results such as the 10-8 defeat to bottom club Petersfield a fortnight ago into wins.  A home game tomorrow at Croham Manor Road against Trojans, one place above them in the table in ninth, would be the perfect time to reverse their win-less streak.

At the start of the month, Warlingham just managed to beat Old Georgians 33-28 at Hamsey Green in a tight tussle (tries by fly-half Joe McEvoy, lock Paddy Green and Alex Skinner, together with three conversions and three penalties from McEvoy).

“Our defence let us down today but we showed great character to fight back when they went two scores up late on in the game,” said director of rugby Nick Warren.

Last week, fifth-placed Warlingham’s visit to Tooting produced a thrilling 31-31 draw with Battersea Ironsides, as the hosts – who began the day in second place in the table – had a chance to secure the win with a conversion as the last kick, which sailed past the posts.

Tomorrow, in their last home fixture at Hamsey Green before Christmas, Warlingham host league leaders, the unbeaten Winchester.

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