The RLC Vets took on the Shags at Shrivenham on a damp wet Wednesday evening. Following a last minute call to arms the Vets managed to pull in a few younger members to ensure the old & bold didnt have to spend the full 80 minutes on the park.
Sporting the new strip the Vets looked the part as usual it was a drift up to the park with the forwards keen to get some practise and the backs spending the last few minutes doing their hair.
The first half was a evenly balanced affair with the Shags scoring 2 tries from missed tackles and good support, despite being behind the Vets had their fair share of the ball and made several forays towards the Shags line. A solid forwards performance from the old war horse Jase Lowe and the cart horse Mike Carron gave the Vets a platform to build upon. Oscar Todd and Morbs both debuting in the back row where ably supported by Stu Evans as they hounded the Shags in the loose. Scrum half Craig Johnstone was constantly pressurising the Shags scrum half, exploiting the fact that he could only pass of one hand. At 10 the ever buzzing Darren Price had a field day, several darting runs and finding spaces that never appeared to be there he had a lucky break when the ref appeared to miss a knock on with the Shags defence standing still waiting for the whistle Price broke free and linked to his centres Hull & Garwood and it was only a last minute tackle that prevented a much deserved score for the Vets.
The Vets front row of Corke, Woodward & Fletcher appeared to be extremely comfortable in the scrums and they even had a little trundle up the 5 metre tram line deftly moving the ball between the 3 of them and gaining some precious metres.
Just before half time it looked like the Vets were about to gift away another try having been pressing hard they lost the ball and the Shags fly hacked through and it was only the quick thinking and linking of the back 3, Rob Futter, Eddie Edwards & Lee Hanlon that saved the day.
To ensure everyone had a run out the Vets made 7 changes at half time some of the stalwarts came to the side line for a rest the younger element now had their chance to be blooded in a Vets shirt.
It was obvious that the Shags had have several games already this season and their ability to link and support began to find holes in the Vets defence, they scored several well worked tries in the second half, including a 60m forwards and backs combo that finished with the props united as they drove over the line having left several of the Vets would be tacklers in their wake.
The Vets fought to the end and a mazy run out of defence from the oldest man on the park, Richie Crane, put the Vets in an attacking position for the last move of the game unfortunately it didnt materialise and the Vets were unable to cross the Shags try line other than the walk back to the pavilion to shower, change and reminisce on the evening.
Thanks to all those Vets that made the effort to travel and play, a special thanks to those younger Vets who made the game possible and a plea to all those out there that are over 35 and can still move around the park.
The Vets are scheduled to play the Engrs next week at Minley this is always a good game but we did more players make the effort and get in touch with Craig Johnstone and commit to being part of the Vets set up.