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News > Sports > Old Elizabethans v Dings Crusaders 20th Jan 2024

Old Elizabethans v Dings Crusaders 20th Jan 2024

22 Jan 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies

Old Elizabethans 1st XV v Dings Crusaders II XV
20th January 2024

Saturday 20th January saw the rearranged pre-Christmas home fixture vs Dings II XV played out in front of a good-sized hopeful crowd. Whilst in our league Dings had only lost one game vs Bream RFC (away) Es were confident of giving them a good game and potentially stealing a win.
With the thaw happening just in time for this fixture to go ahead the pitch looked good and conditions were not too bad either but both players and spectators would have to deal with a very cold cross field wind. Spectators bar none were pleased to see Wil Patterson back in an Old Es’ shirt after a long layoff through injury.

1st XV SQUAD: Tom Brewer, James Brooke, Greg Foord, Tom Bendall, Ben Charlton, George Burnie, Fred Thefaut, Jakob Harding, Sam Hygate, Matt Carr, Tom Cole, Will Patterson, Sam Brewer, Kit Douel, Arthur Mills, Tom Dunbavin, Joe Mallender, Matt Bailey

After a promising first 30 seconds for Es it was straight into business as usual for Dings pushing Es back into defensive mode in their own 22. Pressure was relieved following a good steal on the ground by Arthur Mills and Wil Patterson playing at inside centre was showing early signs of being back to his high standards. Es then broke out of defence and with a kick through by Fred Thefaut a score was almost on the cards but unfortunately the ball ran dead.

Good Es’ pressure then materialised and a high tackle on Sam Brewer saw Dings No.2 Yellow Carded. Sam Hygate took the penalty kick on the 22 but the ball floated just wide. Dings kicked to clear their lines well caught by Fred Thefaut who ran down the left wing, tackled he popped the ball up to Sam Brewer who burst through the Dings defence to score under the posts and Sam Hygate secured the extra points from the conversion kick (7-0).

Dings responded strongly and a penalty kick for Es being off their feet at the breakdown saw Dings kick themselves back into the game with 3 points (7-3).

The Es’ scrum bolstered by a good front row of Brewer, Brookes and Foord and second rows Tom Bendall and Ben Charlton, looked strong against a large Dings pack and at this point Es stole the first of a few scrums against the head. A Dings attack was then almost rewarded but a good tackle saw them bundled into touch 5m out. Back down the other end of the pitch Kit Douel almost did the same but was also stopped short. Some continuous Dings pressure did then lead to a try, not converted which saw them to take the lead (7-8).

Tries scored when play starts in the 22 are always worth their weight in gold and the response from Es was just that Jakob Harding breaking out from the base of a scrum, and with most of the three quarters marshalled by Matt Carr and involving Tom Cole out on the wing and the final telling pass was given to a young Kit Douel cutting back inside from the wing receiving a try scoring pass, Kit going over under the posts giving Sam Hygate an easy kick for the extras (14-8).

The game continued to ebb and flow and Dings almost scored again but Es held the ball up, the referee however bringing play back for a forward pass. A 5m scrum saw Dings push Es backwards, the ball getting tied up, and the referee seemed to have forgotten the law about a scrum turning 90, and it wasn’t until the scrum had turned a full 180 that the referee had blown. A further set piece to Dings saw a good move off the back of the scrum and they scored a good try under the posts, the conversion kick only just succeeding clipping the bar as it went over.

Half Time Score (14-15).

Jakob Harding continued a good game at No.8 making good ground off the back of the scrum or giving Scrum half, Sam Hygate, more space with a pop up. One such move ended up with a great run from Es involving both Es centres before a pass was dropped 5m out.

Similarly Arthur Mills was also enjoying some good yardage on several occasions. Es stole a line out and Skipper George Burnie was well tackled on the 22. Good tackles from replacement Joe Mallender playing his third 1st XV game looked the part and will no doubt be pushing for a regular spot in the back row.

Overall Es were giving as good as they got with replacements Matt Bailey and Tom Dunbavin making their mark, and Dings certainly knew they were in a game. However, Es were caught out with a quick penalty taken by Dings which saw them steal through to score an unconverted try (14-20).

Quick resets when penalties are awarded may be something Es have to work on!

Sam Brewer and Kit Douel combined again saw a kick charged down and Dings were on the attack again stealing in on the left hand side for a converted try (14-27).

It started to look like Es were running out of steam and had it not been for a try saving tackle from Jakob Harding, dislodging the ball as the Dings player dived for the line, Dings would have gone further ahead. As it was it wasn’t long before this happened and another converted try under the posts for Dings took the score to (14-34).

Es rallied well though and not to be outdone some good moves involving Wil Patterson and Joe Mallender put them back in the oppositions 22 and a penalty move by Es gave Sam Brewer a good try scoring opportunity which he took well and Sam Hygate slotted over the conversion (21-34).

That’s the way it ended on a cold and windy winter’s afternoon at Hallen with Es able to take a lot of pride in their contribution to a cracking game where on another day Es might have scraped a win. Next week Es travel to North Bristol RFC looking to get their winning ways back on track - C’mon Es.

FINAL SCORE: Old Elizabethans 21 – 34 Dings

Tries: Sam Brewer (2), Kit Douel
Conversions: Sam Hygate (3)

Full Table and Fixture List below

Report by: Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website


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