Old Walcountians’ chances of pulling clear of the Surrey Division One relegation zone suffered a major setback as they were well beaten 24-0 at promotion-chasing Old Cranleighans.

With six games remaining, Walcountians are third from bottom, eight points clear of bottom club Croydon, but just two points ahead of second-from-bottom Cranleigh

From the start, Old Cranleighans showed why they are second in the table as their superb distribution, support play and incisive tactical kicking put Walcountians on the back foot from the start. 

The hosts took the lead after seven minutes when Walcountians failed to tidy up a line-out tap and allowed the Cranleighans forward to breach the line and touch down. 

After 14 minutes the home side were 10 points up after their inside-centre drove through Walcountians’ defensive line and stayed on his feet to touch down.

Walcountians fought their way back into the game with some sterling efforts from the forwards, with Pete Cowlin, Dom Bell, Simon Fowler and Joe Henderson prominent. 

But they only managed to squander both possession and territory with misdirected passes, which allowed the home side defence time to regroup and a series of handling errors, and Cranleighans successfully held Walcountians at bay.

Five minutes from half time, Cranleighans scored their third try when their outside-centre carved his way through Walcountians’ defence to put the right-winger in for a try, and when the Cranleighans scrum-half touched down for his team’s fourth try of the day 10 minutes into the second half, the match was all but over.

Walcountians managed to hold territorial advantage for much of the second half but were unable to breach a solid Cranleighans’ defence.

This weekend, Walcountians take on Mayfair Occasionals in a friendly that may kick off early to avoid clashing with the opening Six Nations international between England and Scotland. 

Their next League game is on February 9 against Old Whitgiftians at Clock House - kick off at 2.30pm.