GUILDFORD VETS 24- OLD REIGATIAN VETS 17
Your roving reporter travelled to Reigate on Friday night, 8/11, to watch Guildford vets return to the affray to take on Old Reigatians Vets in their 2nd league game of the season. Reigatians were an unknown quantity so Guildford Vets were not sure what to expect, however the rumour was that their vets team had reformed couple of years ago and was made up from the nucleus of their first team a few years previous.
So to the back drop of firework displays in the night sky around the ground and loads of oohs and aahs from the assembled spectators the game kicked off. From very early on Old Reigatians signalled their attacking intentions as they fizzed and sprayed the ball around from within their own 22. The Guildford supporters who had come along to support the Vets took a sharp intake of breath as Guildford defence scrambled around trying to stop this very fast flowing Reigatians team. Within 10 minutes Guildford’s defensive line was breached. The Reigatian’s kicker stepped up for the conversion. Now you may have heard of the crossbar challenge, but have you heard of the two post challenge, well their kicker managed to hit the left post first, the ball then ricocheted across to strike the right hand post before toppling over the crossbar 7-0 Reigatians. Guildford regrouped after the early set back and slowed down Reigatians expansive brand of rugby. Shortly after the restart Guildford struck back. Ross put a superb cross field kick into acres of space behind the Reigatians defensive line. Phil King raced up, scooped the ball up and headed for the line. With cover coming across to shut him down Phil popped a sublime inside pass to the supporting Stoksey who raced in under the posts to dot down, Ross duly completed the move with the conversion, 7-7. Guildford increased their lead minutes later. From a ruck 30 meters out from Reigatians line Spencer Hudson picked the ball up and charged through the gate, with no one on guard duty behind the ruck, he rampaged off over the line, again duly converted by Ross, 14-7. Like a wounded animal Reigatians hit back on the stroke of half time when Guildford ran out of defenders out wide and their winger flopped over the line, not converted, half time 14-12 to Guildford.
What ever was said at half time in the Reigatians huddle certainly worked in Guildfords’ favour. Reigatians’ came out for the second half looking to take on Guildfords’ forwards in an arm wrestle instead of whipping the ball around in their backs. Oh boy wrong decision guys as Guildfords’ forwards licked their lips with delight and knocked the advancing Reigatian forwards backwards time after time and nicking the odd turn over. These knock backs got to the home team and a couple of wrongly chosen words to the ref from their second row resulted in him having a ten minute rest to enjoy the fireworks. The resulting penalty duly slotted by Ross, 17-12 Guildford. Reigatians regrouped and from a charge down of an attempted box kick by Danny, the Guildford scrum half, the ball flew backwards to land just shy of the Guildford line. Tommy did well to get back and fall on the ball. However with no support for him the chasing Reigatians forwards just stepped over him picked the ball up and dotted down, again conversion missed by their kicker, 17-17. Mid way through the second half after some lovely inter linking play between Guildfords forwards and backs, Tony King trundled over from 15meters out to score by the posts. I am not sure if it was the earth tremors from Tony hitting the ground but almost spontaneously the floodlights failed and we were all pitched into total darkness. Eventually after a 10 minutes wait and an appeal to the spectators for 50p for the meter the lights came back on, and Ross duly slotted the conversion, 24-17 Guildford. For the final 15 minutes of the game Guildford’s defence stood up to a barrage from the Reigatians forwards as time and again we knocked them backwards, stealing the odd ball and Ross banging it back down field into the Reigatians 22.
This was an outstanding effort by all the Guildford squad both on and off the field, however special mention should go to Ross (for his general bossing of the game and deft kicking from hand to pin the oppo back in their half on numerous occasions) and Rob Mitchell who just seemed to be everywhere smashing into anything that moved and dominating the lineouts. Also welcome to Ash Williams and Rob Uphill who made their debuts for Guildford Vets. A big thank you to the guys on the bench who didn’t get onto the field of play (JC, Phil Baker, Garry and Les), to Spencer and Danny from the third team and Wes (Axel’s mate) who helped us out and finally a big thank you to all those who came down to support the vets, much appreciated.
Guildford Vets Scorers
Stoksey – 1 Try
Spencer Hudson 1 Try
Tony King 1 Try
Ross Brooker 3 conversions, 1 Penalty
Guildford vets next outing is on FRIDAY 22nd November when we welcome Barnes Vets to Broadwater, 7.45pm KO.
Micky, Les, Welshy & Les