Streatham-Croydon 62 Lightwater 8
4:12pm Tuesday 15th March 2011 in Your Say
Streatham-Croydon 62 Lightwater 8.
Having struggled to impose themselves at Lightwater earlier in the season, Streatham recorded a comfortable victory at home to move within one game of winning Surrey Four, writes Charlie Greenhill.
Unusually, the home side followed the coach Bob Dean’s pre-match instructions to the letter, starting at a high tempo and Aaron Brown swiftly touched down in the corner to open the scoring.
After a try for centre Shane McLoughlin and a second for Brown, however, Streatham – perhaps complacent – started to make handling errors and to give away needless penalties.
They were punished first by a well-worked try for Lightwater in which the rolling maul from a line-out was used to exemplary effect and then a successful penalty attempt.
The opening salvoes of the second half were much like those of the opening period, with the home side dominant.
Streatham made full use of the dry ground and wide open spaces at Frant Road to play an expansive game, making the most of the abundance of pace in the backs, while the forwards demonstrated excellent offloading in the tackle and support play.
Things quickly went from the sublime to the ridiculous, however.
First, flamboyant Streatham hooker Ben Alsop outrageously volleyed a sliced kick-off over the heads of the dumbfounded Lightwater pack and, gathering the ball on the bounce, raced 40 metres to score.
Minutes later, though, Simon Hampton barged through the Lightwater defence and over the try line, but needing only to touch the ball down, he was unable to resist one last hand-off on the full-back - the ball squirmed free and the try was squandered.
Dean was pleased with his team’s response after an error-strewn second quarter of the game, singling out a dynamic performance from lock Anthony Calvert and a classy performance from man-of-the-match fly-half Tom Owen.
After next week's historic match against Esher for The Skull, Streatham’s final league encounter of the season sees them travel to Wandsworthians on March 26 in where a win will guarantee them the title