12:19pm Monday 7th April 2014
By Rob Murphy
Old Walcountians gained valuable points in their struggle to avoid relegation from Surrey One when they defeated fellow strugglers Old Freemens 27-12 at Clock House on Saturday.
They remain bottom of the table, and must beat third-placed Old Wimbledonians in their final match this weekend and hope the teams above them slip up.
Walcountians got off to a lively start, with the front row of Dan Bell, Remy Claustres and Steve Cowlin anchoring a dominant scrum, and they pinned Freemens in their own half for the first 20 minutes.
The first Walcountians try came after 10 minutes when centre Fred South straightened up and accelerated through a gap in the Freemens defence to touch down - he then converted his own try.
Walcountians extended their lead to 12 points in the 21st minute when the scrum drove Freemen’s back over their own line and rangy number eight Gerry Connor touched down for a try.
Unfortunately, Walcountians began to rest on their laurels and allowed Freemens back into the game.
Three minutes from the break, disaster struck as a loose Walcountians pass in the Freemens 10 metre area was intercepted by Freemen’s outside-centre who put his unmarked right-winger in to a converted try.
The malaise continued into the second half when Freemen’s left-winger touched down for a try in the opening minute, putting the visitors level.
Walcountians survived several awkward minutes early in the second half where last-ditch defending was needed to prevent Freemens from crossing the line.
However, as the second half moved towards a conclusion, Walcountians found a second wind and regained their early supremacy, with the front row now featuring replacement prop Matt Ratana roasting their Freemens counterparts, and lock Will Thornton and flanker Simon Fowler putting in immense contributions in the loose.
On the edge: Wing Tom Naylor tip-toes up the touch line in front of the faithful Walcountian supporters
Fred South steadied nerves by kicking a penalty in the 29th minute and, in the 37th minute, scored a brilliant try after breaking from the 10 metre line and outpacing Freemens defenders.
Ten minutes of stoppage time was added on and this provided Walcountians with the opportunity to gain bonus points with a fourth try, which fell to energetic scrum-half Callum Stone who finished off a tap penalty move in the final minute.
Old Walcountians: Beales, Tutton, Drinkwater, South, Naylor, Harrison, Stone, Bell (Dan), Claustres, Cowlin, Bell (Dom), Thornton, Adams, Fowler, Connor.
Subs: Dunne, Ratana.
Coming through: Veteran three-quarter Chris Drinkwater runs the ball back at Old Freemens
Rising like a salmon: Simon Fowler rises high to steal a Freemens lineout
Power: Powerful forward Dom Bell drives into the heart of the Freemens defence
Livewire scrum-half jinks through the Freemens defence to secure a vital bonus point for Old Walcountians
Superman: A jubilant Freddy South scores the crucial try to put Old Walcountians two scores clear
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group