Old Walcountians prove too strong for Junior Vase visitors
Old Walcountians ended their losing run by sweeping aside Herts/Middlesex 3 opponents Watford 48-22 in the opening round of the Junior Vase.
There was little indication from the first half that Walcountians were to win as they struggled against opponents from a much lower level of rugby.
The visitors gained the upper hand in both set scrums and the loose and Walcountians did themselves little favours by conceding an endless string of penalties.
It took Watford eight minutes to open the score with a penalty and, had further penalty attempts in the 14th and 15th minutes been successful, the Old Boys would have been nine points adrift.
Walcountians took the lead in the 25th minute, when number eight Simon Fowler was driven over the line for a try, but this lead vanished in stoppage time when Watford put their lock Kingsford in for a try from a tap penalty.
The second half saw Walcountians come to life as they finally began to play as a team.
Inspired by a dynamic performance by their back row of Greg Fairchild, Joe Henderson and Simon Fowler, the Old Boys began to put the ball to hand and open up gaps in Watford’s defence.
Following a score-levelling penalty by centre Ben Davies in the third minute, they launched a six-try blitz which overwhelmed Watford.
The first try came in the 11th minute when winger Ben McDaniel left the Watford defence floundering with a spectacular left wing break, from which he passed inside to centre Callum Stone to cross for a try which Davies converted.
Stone scored his second try of the day after 23 minutes when fly-half Fred South looped round the backline to open up a gap in the visitors defence.
By now, Walcountians were on top of their opponents and hit them with four more tries.
The first came in the 25th minute when Simon Fowler won the ball at a ruck and fed scrum-half Will Diamond who put in winger Liam Moorhead to go over.
Five minutes later, Walcountians’ pack turned over possession at a ruck and, from the break, fly-half Fred South found winger McDaniel who left Watford’s defence for dead as he broke from his own half and touched down. Both tries were converted by Davies.
Another turnover of possession at a ruck set up Walcountians’ sixth try of the day in the 34th minute when Diamond and Stone set up Davies to touch down.
Two minutes later, Walcountians extended their lead to 40 points as Joe Henderson counter-attacked from his own half and, after fending off two attempted tackles, put Stone in the clear for his third try of the day. With Davies off the field, South converted.
Watford refused to give up and ran in two deserved tries in stoppage time.
This weekend, Walcountians resume their League campaign when they take on Old Whitgiftians. Kick-off at Croham Road, Croydon is at 3pm.
Old Walcountians: Drinkwater, Moorhead, Stone, Davies, McDaniel, South, Diamond, Howard, Houghton, Bell (Dan), Bell (Dom), Deakin, Fairchild, Henderson, Fowler.
Subs: Brown, Cowlin, Richardson.
Happy man: Callum Stone
Leaving them for dead: Ben McDaniel
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