The Vets took on the Saxons for the Sir Cecil Smith Cup and the conditions were perfect for rugby and the sizeable crowd who would not be disappointed.
The game started well for the Vets as the Saxons struggled to compete against the experience and power of the old boys. The Vets dominated up front with Micky Poland, Stu Evans, Farard Darver, Mike Carron, Jase Lowe and Big Craig Morgan pinning the Saxons within their own half, but as the match wore on the Saxons began to find their feet and in a blink of an eye they stretched the Vets and ran in tries from distance. It wasn’t long before the Saxons added to their early score, taking what seemed like a commanding lead against the run of play. 19 – 0 to the Saxons
The Vets Manager had seen enough and threw on Geryn Jones, Dean Hammett and Mark Stuart. It wasn’t long before the switch paid dividend with Geryn cruising home 19 – 5 (Dean missed the conversion). After some good old up the jumper rugby Farard Darver wriggled over the line 19 – 10 (missed conversion).
During the interval the Vets Manager rang the changes, but it was the Saxons who struck first 24 – 10. The Vets regrouped and slowly started to assert themselves, dominating the game. As the pressure cranked up it wasn’t long before it took it’s a toll on the young upstarts, it was like rolling back the years with fantastic interplay between backs and forwards with slick hands, just how rugby should be played. Inevitably this resulted in more points for the Vets and the Man of the Match Mike Carron led by example – “I never knew he was so nimble on his feet” and the dummy he threw combined with a step sliced open the Saxons defence allowing him to power over the line, 24 – 17 (Jack Horner with the conversion).
The backline was being well marshalled by the evergreen Richie Crane, with solid performances from Dan Ratu, Chris Evoy, Axle Foley, Dave Clark and Eddie Edwards. Some excellent footwork and hands provided Richie Crane with the chance to cross the line, but his grounding was debatable and it looked like he had been auditioning for ‘the Harlem Globe Trotters’ with a neat little bounce and dribble (clearly missed by the referee – Maj Al Tindale), 24 – 22 (Jack Horner missed conversion). The Vets continued to dominate and the Saxons simply had no reply to the power and experience of the old boys. A slick move between backs and forwards saw Mike Carron trundle at least half of the pitch; bulldozing the Saxons out of the way before he cruised over the line, giving the hardworking Jack Horner an easy conversion 24 – 29, to the Vets.
With 5 minutes to go the Vets started to tire and the Saxons sensed this was their opportunity to get something from the game. In the dying seconds of the match the Saxon’s crossed the line 29 – 29 (missed conversion). A fitting result in what was an extremely exciting match to watch and play in.
A massive thanks to the officials on the day and of course to all those involved in what was a cracking day of rugby; this is what rugby is all about. Of note, a big farewell to Chris Evoy who played his last match for the Vets – we wish you all the very best.
Man of the Match – Mike Carron
Player of the Year (The Tinders Trophy) – Jase Lowe
Squad: Craig Johnstone (Manager), Jase Lowe (Skipper), Richie Crane (Vice Skipper), Chris Evoy (last match), Col Mason, Stu Evans, Farard Darver, Leon Williams, Axel Foley, Boxhead Smith, Eddie Edwards, Mike Carron, Ice Gonewai, Matty Matewale, Neil Kendrick, Jack Horner, Dan Ratu, Mark Stuart, Micky Poland, Dave Clark, Sean Beck, Tee Tawalo, Bo Boakye, Joe Nakuta, Origi Ravovula, Geryn Jones and Dean Hammett.