So Spartans were back after a summer away from the rugby pitch. And while lots had stayed the same, such as the oversized kit and risk of landing in dog poo, some things had changed! We were promoted to Merit Table 4, which meant new opposition and they didn’t come much tougher than beaten semi finalists Ealing Exiles… How would we fair?!
The answer was rather well actually. A summer of dedicated training, including the influx of a number of new players, meant Spartans were ready for Ealing. Despite having our heads shoved up our jacksies in nearly every scrum, the time spent post-season training truly paid off with the forwards and backs putting together a string of successful phases in the first half.
We never let up despite a scoreless first 20 minutes and were duly rewarded with the first try from the returning Simon Gale. Doing what he does best, Inchy targeted the Ealing defensive line and ran over whoever got in his way. Taity did the honours with the kick.
Further success was to follow as Spartans exerted more pressure and secured a very kickable penalty in front of the posts. While teams at our level often like having a heave at such times, Spartans decided to take the points and build up a useful lead. 10-0 and all was looking rosy in the garden.
As the first half drew to a close, there was still time for one last charge to the line and with the forwards drawing the Ealing defence across to the blindside, good hands from Callum and JJ put Taity through a gap in the Ealing midfield and suddenly Spartans were looking extremely comfortable at 17-0.
This was despite a very, very, very shaky scrum for much of the first half and a lineout that often resulted in more scrums than clean ball! Still Wellsy, doing a sterling job at hooker, isn’t known for his throwing in skills.
The talk at half time was about not rushing things and keeping the structure going. But as is always the case when you have a bit of a lead, things got a little ragged. Much of the ball was being sent straight to the backs and while Taity and James Roberts were finding gaps, the support players weren’t in position to recycle the ball. Much of the action took place in the middle of the field with knocks on from both teams leading to almost certain world record number of scrums in the 2nd half.
But once again Spartans got their collective stuff together and worked through the phases resulting in a second score for Inchy and one for JR. Taity expertly converted one, while it’s probably best for everyone not to mention the attempt for the second…
There was still time for Callum to secure the dick of the day award part way through the second half. With the line at his mercy and no one in sight, Master Godden contrived to drop the ball resulting in, thank god, another scrum…
With the final peep of the ref’s whistle, bringing to an end a 2nd half that lasted 57 MINUTES, Spartans had secured an outstanding result against Ealing Exiles. The result was duly celebrated at the pavilion where the Boot made its first appearance of the season and Jamie ‘so fookin proud’ Heaton confirmed his double life as the chief lyricist for NWA…
Tries: Inchy, Taity (x2), Roberts
Convs: Taity (x3)
Man of the Match:
Philippe Tait chalking up 14 points for the team, while developing a devastating combination with James Roberts in the centres.
James ‘Flymo’ Jeffs who, at fullback ran everything kicked at him back with interest.
Bradley Longstaff who foolishy attempted a tackle on the BFG (Big F**king Ginger? – ed) that nearly broke him!
Simon Gale… after a year away from the game Inchy still has it
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