MATCH REPORT: London Welsh 1XV (48) v TWRFC 1XV (33)

Match Reporter: Tim McCabe

A mild and thankfully dry day at Old Deer Park, the home of London Welsh, kicked off towards the Kew Garden ‘Great Pagoda’ end for this 4th and 3rd place battle in the Regional 1 South Central League.

Immediately Wells were under intense pressure. Welsh’s forwards crafted some pick and go, Tom Douglas, at lock, broke through and the try was converted by Harry Parker at 12. Score 7-0

Wells countered from kick off, fortunately Welsh’s intercepted pass was disallowed due to offside, so with the penalty in front of the sticks, Wells took the 3, aided by the trusty boot of Wells fresh faced fly half, Jack Greig. Score 7-3.

Welsh immediately replied with some flowing moves and their 15 trotted over to put the ball down on the nine minute mark. Conversion missed, score now 12-3.

Welsh were clearly dominant and with a midfield penalty, chose to make ground with a kick for a line out near the Wells 22. The lineout was won and with some swift hands, Welsh’s openside, Rhydian George, crossed the white wash for a well executed try. The conversion was added and Wells were now 16 points adrift. Score 19-3

Welsh applied more pressure from kick off. Wells tried to escape from their 22, but the pass went to the floor. Welsh scooped up the ball and nearly got over the line. Scrum five for Welsh. They went for the pushover but with pressure mounting, thankfully for Wells, the ball was held up and Wells cleared their lines.

Chapel Down Player of the Match – Josh Curtis

The game was settling. Wells realised they were in a dog fight. With 21 minutes gone, a Wells attack put more stress on the Welsh pack. They in turn were offside, so from the same spot as the Well’s previous penalty, Greig again, goes for the 3. The ball floats over, fighting some strong wind resistance. Score now 19-6.

Welsh kicked off, and once again they immediately got back into the Wells 22. Swift running from the Welsh 15, McAvoy, who created an overlap. Their winger Jacob Bulter was tackled without possession, so Wells saw yellow and Welsh were awarded a penalty try and their 4th try bonus point. Score 26-6.

From kick off, Welsh were bundled into touch, Wells lost their own line out and Welsh spun the ball wide out. The 12 handed-off, gave the ball to Williams (No. 20), who scored straight under the posts. With the conversion added, it was now 33-6.

Now it was Wells’ turn to apply the pressure with some solid pick and go from the forwards. There was a penalty option from a Welsh offside, but they didn’t need it, as Tom Webster, 13 for Wells, crashed over the line.  After a successful conversion the referee blew the whistle for half time. A very entertaining one at that. Score 33-13. 

The Wells support were under the impression that there was a 20 point ‘wind advantage’ and with that in mind, Jack Greig kicked deep to launch the second half come back. Welsh’s silky 15 got caught with the ball and didn’t release. Greig went for the 3 again in front of the posts. Score 33-16.

It was now Wells turn to soak up some pressure, a Welsh move broke down, and with no advantage they opted to slot over 3 points to keep the 20 point barrier raised. The score was now 36-16

With 10 minutes passed it was again an intense strain on a still hard hitting Wells side, Andy Black found himself involved in some quality back play and scored for Welsh. The score was now 43-16 with the conversion. 

At 60 minutes, it was now time for Wells to retaliate. The Wells backs got up close and personal with the opposition and with a great cross-field boot, Wells had a lineout, 5 metres from the Welsh line. Caught cleanly, the driving maul crept forward and Nick Doherty scored for Wells. Greig converts 43-23.

Two minutes later, Welsh were back on the front foot as Wells knocked on from the restart. The ensuing scrum allowed Welsh to attack, but their player slipped as he reached the last defender. Moments later, a cross field kick from Welsh ended up in the hands of the Aussie lock, Tom Douglas, who, with his brace, made the score 48-23, as the wind blew the conversion off its correct path.

Wells were not down and continued to attack. The heavenly hands of Ben Whale, show-and-go, from a line out rampage, allowed him to feed the advancing Josh Curtis at blind side. The try was duly scored and Anthony Storkey, in place of the injured Greig, misses the conversion. Score 48-28

With 10 minutes to go, Josh Curtis broke from the base of the scrum, a loose pass was hacked-on, but Welsh were penalised at the breakdown. Wells went for a line out.

Wells valiant till the end were still pushing forward with the clock running down. The ball was spun from left to right, then right to left. Fantastic passing from the Wells men. With the last move Tom Webster scored in the corner. With the last conversion missed, Wells picked up a try bonus point, with the final score 48-33, 

As both sides shook hands, the London Welsh President – John Taylor paid a wonderful and emotional tribute to Colin Bosley a London Welsh legend, as his ashes came home to rest in Old Deer Park.

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