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News > Sports > St Mary's Old Boys v Old Elizabethans 30 Mar 2024

St Mary's Old Boys v Old Elizabethans 30 Mar 2024

2 Apr 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies

Old Elizabethans v St Mary’s Old Boys
30th March 2024

A cool but sunny afternoon greeted Es’ players and supporters. The Es’ squad was showing a few changes but this always gives opportunities to other players, on this occasion Andy Adams (OE Thundercats’ skipper) stepped up to secure a good front row that also starred Martyn Beddows, and Archie Walker also making the squad. A big welcome return to the side to Benji Wagstaffe (I think this is his first game back since breaking his arm). Also, a big welcome to Es for winger Alex CS.

1st XV SQUAD: Martyn Beddows, Fergus Blythe, Andy Adams, Adam Skyner, Dougal Broom, Teddy Bristow, Henry Kirkpatrick, Benji Wagstaffe, Sam Hygate, Alex Potts, Arthur Mills, Wil Patterson, Pat Dore, Alex CS, Matt Carr, Archie Walker, Tom Cole, Kit Douel

The first half saw Es kicking into the wind/ breeze which might play a part in the game! Within moments of kick off there was a really good early hit from skipper Pat Dore. First scrum OK. Good break by Arthur Mills, who is looking more and more a settled 1st XV starter. Good lineout then penalty to Es followed by a lineout and drive and as it opened up Benji Wagstaffe broke through the defence for a try not converted (0-5).

A deliberate knock on by Es saw SMOB kick to corner and from their lineout they worked the ball into the centre and scored under the posts and conversion (7-5).

A missed tackle from Es and SMOB attack again. SMOB suffer a 2nd Row injury and he was then replaced. The next Es’ scrum was mullered giving SMOB a penalty kick, duly converted. (10-5).

A great pick up from the restart by Teddy Bristow saw him make good ground, passed to Fergus Blyth and then onto Martyn Beddows for a try under posts for a well-deserved score from the Prop + Sam Hygate conversion (10-12).

Adam Skyner usually totally reliable with his hands then began a difficult period where it looked as if he had soap on his hands!! He got involved in a scrum half mess up! However, Es recovered and a good Es’ scrum and good hands by Matt Carr out to Alex CS for a try under the posts and Sam Hygate converted (10-19).

Another good Es attack saw Fergus Blyth probing the SMOB defence before a stylish 3/4 move ended up with the other winger Arthur Mills for his own try, not converted (10-24).

At this point it looked as if Es were going to pull clear of SMOB however a good SMOB 3/4 move broke the Es’ defensive line for a try and conversion (17-24).

A great take by Arthur Mills from the restart, attacking the ball as everyone should, but unfortunately the ball was lost after a Wil Patterson break, but the Ref brought play back for Es offside and SMOB elected to kick for the posts via the penalty bringing the score back to (20-24).

Two minutes to half time Es win their scrum and through a few phases shipped the ball out to the right then back to left to find Adam Skyner, who thankfully caught this one and went over for a try and Sam Hygate conversion (20-31).

Then before the half time whistle a further electrifying move from Es involving Adam Skyner, Patterson, Fergus Blyth, and Sam Hygates box kick was followed up by Pat Dore who scooped the ball up for a try and Sam Hygate conversion.

Half Time score (20-38).

Second half ES were playing with the wind and this contributed a little to a fantastic second half display of running rugby.

Benji Wagstaffe picked up from the base of the scrum after a win against the head in our own half and breaks the SMOB line for a fantastic 60m try and Sam Hygate conversion (20-45).

The restart and the ball floated in the air towards Adam Skyner who had obviously wiped his hands on his shorts for a good catch!!! Crowd impressed backed up by President Cheek.

The Es’ crowd were then treated to a great run by Adam Skyner followed by good slick passing once again, for a second try for Prop Martyn Beddows with Sam Hygates conversion kick rebounding in off the post (20-52).

An immediate break from the restart by Patty good hands, to skipper Pat Dore who put on the after burners from half way to score his second try, not converted (20-57).

Another half way scrum saw Benji Wagstaffe pick up, then out to Arthur Mills who kicked the ball through the defensive line and with a good bounce Pat Dore went over for his hat trick try, Kit Douel added the conversion (20-64).

A good break by Archie Walker saw Es up into the opposition 22 followed by an Es’ penalty but SMOB survive. A rather unfortunate Andy Adams was then shown a yellow card for tackling not having retreated 10m! The next Es’ move saw Tom Cole, Fergus Blyth and Alex Potts combine well but SMOB recovered the ball and suddenly for the first time in the second half applied some pressure in the Es’ 22 and following a scrum they looked to have scored in the corner but the Referee was on hand and adjudged that the ball had been 'held up' by Matt Carr. So, Es continued with a good goal line clearance kick to keep a clean sheet in the second half.

A scrum on half way and Es penalised with SMOB kicking to touch for a lineout where Es were penalised again for playing the man in the air and SMOB stole through for a try and conversion (27-64).

At this point it became clear that SMOB wanted to target a fourth try to get themselves a bonus point.

Es became a bit loose in the last quarter and SMOB looked like scoring again but for a great last gasp tackle by Es but then break from their own 22 with Pat Dore kicking a loose ball on the ground into the SMOB half and looked like scoring a fourth try, however the ball bounced right and Arthur Mills was on hand to take over kicking the ball over the line to score another Es’ try, not converted rebounds off post! (27-69).

Benji Wagstaffe then completed a fantastic return for him with a third try again running from Es’ own half and Sam Hygate converted (27-76.

Finally, from the restart and from Es’ own 22, Es attack spinning the ball along the line through numerous hands and eventually onto Matt Carr who broke free for a well-deserved try and Sam Hygate once again converted (27-83).

We should not under estimate the importance of the high kicking success rate from Sam to help the score board ticking over and another Es win.

This was a highly entertaining game, a 5 pointer, and although maybe SMOB were not at full strength, you can only play what’s in front of you, and so to the last league fixture next weekend at home to Frampton Cotterell with Es still hopeful of securing fourth spot but will probably need something from this game as Dursley have an easy game at home to Whitehall RFC. So, a big day next Saturday with hopefully a double header with Es Thundercats playing Frampton 2nds TBC.

FINAL SCORE: St. Mary’s Old Boys 27 – 83 Old Elizabethans

Man of the Match: Benji Wagstaffe, great to see him back in an Es’ shirt and looking stronger than ever.

Spectators Man of the Match: Fergus Blyth - another great all-round performance from Fergus

Tries: Benji Wagstaffe (3), Martyn Beddows (2), Alex CS, Arthur Mills, Adam Skyner, Pat Dore (3), Arthur Mills, Matt Carr
Conversions: Sam Hygate (8),Kit Douel

Full Table and Fixture List below

Report by: Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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