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Old Walcountians off the mark in Surrey Division One
A determined and resolute Old Walcountians finally got their first Surrey One win of the season last Saturday, seeing off the challenge of Old Blues 15-10 in a tense and grim encounter at Clock House.
For most of the first half, there was little to separate the two packs of forwards as they fought hard for the upper hand.
The Blues pack was well-drilled and had the better of the opening quarter, in which they took the lead with a penalty.
But for sheer determination and grit, they could not match the Walcountians eight who were hungry for victory.
Centre Sam Naylor scores to put Old Walcountians two scores clear
With skipper Steve Cowlin and lock Dom Bell setting a formidable example at the coalface, Walcountians resolutely took on Blues at every ruck and maul and repeatedly disrupted their possession so they were unable to obtain any clear ball.
In addition, the alertness of lock Simon Fowler and flanker Jack South saw Walcountians turn over possession on several occasions.
Walcountians were level after 22 minutes with a towering penalty by centre Ben Davies and, a minute before the break, they deservedly took the lead when South took a quick tap penalty and found scrum-half Liam Moorhead in support, who fed winger Tom Naylor to crash through the Blues’ defensive cover for a try.
Blues laid siege to the Walcountians’ line as the half-time whistle approached, but were kept at bay by magnificent Walcountians defending.
Five minutes into the second half, Walcountians extended their lead. Full-back Chris Drinkwater joined the three-quarter line and it was his well-timed offload which put centre Sam Naylor away to touch down under the posts for a try converted by Davies.
Walcountians had their lead cut back when Blues were awarded a penalty try after their right-winger Ed Steele was impeded.
This led to a rather nervous final quarter for Walcountians who were aware that a further score could consign them to defeat.
However, they held their game together and ran out deserved winners.
The win has lifted the Counts out of the bottom two places in Surrey League 1 to third from bottom.
Next Saturday, Walcountians take on second-from-bottom Kingston in a critical match for both sides.
Kick-off at King Edward’s Recreation Ground, Hook, is at 2:30pm.
Old Walcountians: Drinkwater, Tutton, Naylor (S), Davies, Naylor (T), South (F), Moorhead, Cowlin (P), Houghton, Cowlin (S), Bell, Fowler, South (J), Fairchild, Connor.
Subs: McGibbon, Richardson (used), McDaniel (not used).
Influential playmaker Ben Davies stretches the Old Blues defence
Sam Naylor exploits a gaping hole in the Old Blues defence and races away to score the decisive try
Walcountians number eight Gerry Connor is thwarted by the defenders as he lunges for the corner
Winger James Tutton breaks through a tackle
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