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Vets enjoy first win against Barnes RFC

By Myles Woodley

Bares boshed 24-19

As Gary Linker once said "Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."

This has been rather like our Barnes experiences over the past five seasons - always a good game, some closer than others, but in the end the same disappointing conclusion and stifled mutterings in the changing room.

Nein. Not this weekend old bean. The Bosch were Boshed. Which was possibly a surprise given we were at the wrong end of a basketball scoreline against Sutton and Epsom.

However, we had rustled up a large squad for the first home game of the season with numbers clearly buoyed by the vets social in the evening (more to follow).

Some old faces (age wise I mean) returned and with Big Jim, and JD bringing welcome ballast to the second row and Mawson and Wally in the centres the spine of the team looked strong. Also Karl, had a critical impact on the match, apart from his usual impressive all court action game, he recruited a rather handy number 8 called Dave who tied with Paul Lister for man of my match. A good warm up was had, despite PA’s best efforts and with the team clearly keen to atone for the previous game’s performance, we were ready to kick off.

The first half was a frantic affair, which increasingly does not suit the match reporters one dimensional pace and despite some sustained early pressure we ending up conceding the opening try. Not to be outdone, we made our way up the pitch through some big drives from the forwards, led by Paul Baker and the returning Matt Ferraby, which led to Wally diving over for a much deserved equaliser. A second try quickly followed through a strong scrum with Daz, Karl and Dave Love giving a solid platform for Hugh to feed Loisoz who turned on the afterburners and smoked the Barnes team to score under the posts.

Despite some sustained pressure by Barnes, the team snuffed out multiple attacks with PA and Si Morgan a solid last line of defence. Half time beckoned and some much needed reinforcements were brought on particularly Andrew Johnson to inject some genuine pace on the wing. Barnes had clearly had a stern talking to and took advantage of the team changes to score an early try and level the score. However, impressively Quins Vets, expertly marshalled by Luke who had come on at fly half redoubled their efforts, and after a series of phases with Duncan T and Dave (New 8) making good yards, led to Mawson crashing over in the corner.

Not beaten yet, Barnes again levelled the score and the last twenty minutes turned into a nail biting affair. The whole team really came into its own with some heroic performances, a fantastic turnover by Woody, a tackle on the 5m by Wally and a superb charge down try by Lister to ultimately win a very close game 24 -19.

A word to Barnes, who played well as always, and were even more gracious in the bar, sticking around for a number of beers and being very good sports. It was particularly amusing to listen to Loisoz, who had gone past his customary three pint limit and spent five minutes recanting his try in elaborate detail before eventually realising he was talking to a Barnes player.

Also a word and thanks, to the non-playing vets who supported the team on the sidelines particular Mark ‘Claudio Ranieri’ Green our team manager who continues his good recovery!

Farnham in two weeks will be another challenging game having lost narrowly at the weekend to Richmond so early availabilities to the hobbit please!

This leaves the match report to finish on three questions:

After this performance can we do a Leicester city and win the league?
Will Karl bring another player of similar calibre in 2 weeks time?
After a stunning team performance can Claudio Ranieri fit Kirk into the team against Farnham!?

Updated 15:32 - 18 Dec 2017 by Si Warmer

Where next?

Vets Middlesex Cup semi final V Old Streetonians Vets go down 19-14 in the dying seconds
Vets players enjoy Surrey selection County selection for favoured few


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