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News > Sports > Whitehall v OEs 9th Mar 2024

Whitehall v OEs 9th Mar 2024

11 Mar 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies

Whitehall RFC v Old Elizabethans 1st XV
9th March 2024

After a couple of recent disappointments in terms of postponed matches due to the weather creating water logged pitches, Saturday gave Es the opportunity to catch up on one of these rearranged matches versus Whitehall RFC.
So how would Es fair against this once giant of Bristol rugby teams?

1st XV SQUAD: Kallan Martin, Henry Oughton, James Brooke, Lucas Sadler, Tom Dunbavin, Wil Patterson, Henry Kirkpatrick, Ben Charlton, Sam Hygate, Alex Potts, Tobias Burden, Pat Dore, Sam Brewer, Ewan Crowley, Alex Lee, Fergus Blyth, Tom Cole, Teddy Bristow

Whitehall kicked off into the wind on a dry blustery day, on a firm wide pitch, ideal conditions for running rugby, and the spectators were not to be disappointed. Es worked downfield with the first of many incursions and looked about to score, only to knock on with the line at their mercy, to give the first scrum test for Es. The Es’ 8 duly put the squeeze on allowing hooker Henry Oughton to take one against the head, good hands enabled fullback Alex Lee to cross for the first score, duly converted by the ever-reliable Sam Hygate, (0-7).

Whitehall, under constant pressure were struggling to clear their lines, kicking into the strong wind, and penned back in their 22. The Es’ lineout was going well, James Brook throwing in accurately to find Tom Dunbavin at the top of his jump, giving clean ball. More quick ball allowed centre Sam Brewer to sell an outrageous dummy to go over under the sticks for a 7 pointer, (0-14) after 15 minutes.

Es were confidently spinning the ball, this time it was No. 8 Ben Charlton lurking out wide to get on the end of a backs move, and go over in the corner, another 7 pointer, (0-21) on 18 minutes.

A turnover in the Es’ 22 unleashed Tobias Burden, to set off on a thrilling length of the field run, weaving through the Whitehall defenders to score a classic wingers try, (0-26).

A massive 60 meter clearance kick by Brewer led to an Es’ 5 metre scrum, with the Whitehall scrum going back like it was on castors, No. 8 Charlton duly picked up to plunge over the whitewash, (0-31) on 26 minutes.

More good interplay between the forwards and backs, and flanker Henry Kirkpatrick’s deft pass allowed Lee to cut inside again for a well taken 7 pointer, (0-38), on 32 minutes.

Whitehall were starved of possession; they gamely ran at Es when they did get the ball. However, the Es’ defence snuffed out any threat. Fergus Blyth stepped up, to replace Charlton who suffered a nasty split eye.

Half time score: (0-38).

Half time replacements Tom Cole and Teddy Bristow came on for Sam Hygate and Sam Brewer. Cole was not to last long, he ran superbly out of defence, was halted with a thundering tackle, managing to offload to Lucas Sadler, who shipped the ball on to Pat Dore to coast over in the corner, (0-43).

Cole left the field with Brewer returning to the fray. Fly half Alex Potts, who always made good ground, found busy flanker Will Patterson in support who ran in from 25 metres to score out wide (0-48).

Patty then earned himself 10 minutes in the bin for some unnecessary back chat to the referee, who had been doing a good job, keeping play moving. Prop Kallan Martin caught the eye with a great carry and skilful offload to put Henry Kirkpatrick away for another 7 pointer, (0-55) on 64 minutes.

Es were playing lovely rugby, great handling and support between the forwards and backs. Brewer made another tremendous run down the touchline, held up just short of the line, Burden was on hand to dot the ball down for another great score, (0-60).

In the Whitehall 22, yet another great backs try, with Bristow passing to Burden, Bristow looping round to take the return pass for a final 7 pointer in the corner (0-67).

The game finished with Whitehall on the attack, winning a succession of penalties and scrums on the Es’ 5 metre line. Es, determined to keep a clean sheet, manfully defended their line, driving the Whitehall attack into touch, with the ref blowing up for full time.

A superb win against a poor Whitehall side. Es will be aware they also left a lot of points behind with knock-ons and handling errors, none more so than Tobias Burden, who, after a lovely floated pass from Bristow and whilst actually over the Whitehall line, inexplicably threw the ball up into the air, surely an act to be revisited in a full steward’s enquiry? Nonetheless, a thrilling, exhausting and entertaining game.

Many players could have won Man of the Match, prop forward Kallan had a great game, putting in the hard yards and demonstrating some lovely handling skills and great scores and involvement (most of it!) from Tobias Burden..

Former players, remember playing Whitehall back in the 80s and suffering heavy defeats. In those days, the strongest Bristol Combination sides were Dings, Old Reds, St Marys, Avonmouth and Whitehall. Dings and Reds are still doing well, playing National League rugby, the other three are below Es in the table, with the last two really struggling. Es are in the ascendency, a new clubhouse, exciting young players, more than holding their own against teams with massive catchment areas. Just as importantly the social scene and camaraderie will be the envy of many.

Next week we welcome Avonmouth to Hallen, for what should be another entertaining game.

FINAL SCORE: Whitehall RFC 0 – 67 Old Elizabethans

Spectators Man of the Match: Alex Lee, two well taken tries and a solid all-round game, well played Alex

Tries: Alex Lee (2), Sam Brewer, Ben Charlton (2), Tobias Burden (2), Pat Dore, Will Patterson, Henry Kirkpatrick, Teddy Bristow,
Conversions: Sam Hygate (6)

Full Table and Fixture List below

Report by: Andrew Tobin

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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