Spartans began their pursuit of the MMT 4 crown with an away match at Hampstead, which led to much discussion about George Michael’s latest release and an unfortunate misunderstanding between Paddy Tomlinson and a gentleman user of the Heath, when Paddy declared he also enjoyed cottaging in the Cotswolds.
With the addition of some new faces in the Spartans ranks, we started the game with gusto looking to use our forward strength to give the backs a platform. And for the first 10 minutes that’s what happened. Some good structure and sustained pressure led to a penalty right in front of Hampstead’s posts and new scrum half Tom knocked over the kick to give us a 3-0 lead…
Unfortunately we then lost our way a little bit… well for 20 minutes to be exact! Despite continued domination in the scrum, we started getting a bit loose and Barbarian like with the ball. Not one to name names …. we were throwing around Hollywood passes and not really hitting attacking rucks with the necessary aggression needed to keep the ball.
Despite some robust defensive work by us, Hampstead worked the phases and it was only a matter of time before they crossed the whitewash for a try. Another was soon to follow with the conversion making it 10-3.
We tried to get ourselves back in the game and our new centre pairing of Dan and Steve were making inroads into Hampstead’s defence. Elsewhere, England’s answer to Captain America Jake O’Brien was making a welcome return to Spartans and nearly broke free down the left wing before the attack fizzled out.
Despite these signs of life the next score went to Hampstead and we finished the half 15-3 down. Stern words from Choc sent us back out with a renewed determination and we got ourselves on the scoreboard first. A smart move left saw Steve Smith with space in front and despite a shoelace level pass he was savvy enough to kick ahead allowing roving flanker Bruce Banner to touch down.
Unfortunately Hampstead remained a threat and with some pace in their back three it was likely they’d score one more try before the day was done. To round things off Spartans suffered their usual catalogue of injuries with Christian, new boy Ceri and Ben Banks all receiving knocks of varying degrees of seriousness (delicate flowers that they are … )!
So the first game finished Hampstead IVs 22 – Spartans 8 but the guys weren’t too downhearted following that much improved second half performance. Notable turns from new hooker Ollie, and Dan and Steve in the centres gives the team hope for the season ahead but sadly this report must end with a farewell…
Marauding prop and resident train anorak Jamie Heaton is leaving for pastures new. Well Milton Keynes. So the lads made sure to give him a rousing send off on Saturday night. We hope to see the previously unnamed sixth member of NWA on the pitch again soon as there will always be a place for our very own Phat Controller.
MOTM: Steve Smith
1. Jamie, 2. Ollie, 3. Christian, 4. Newey, 5. Soups, 6. Banner, 7. Ceri, 8. Banksy, 9. Tom, 10. Callum, 11. Paddy, 12. Dan, 13. Smithy, 14. Jake, 15. JJ, 16. Gavla, 17. Robling, 18. special guest Peter Kim!
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