Season opener V the old enemy
By Phil Parker
Dominant Bedians narrowly miss out.
Bedians 2nd XV welcomed Toc h 3rd team squad to Millgate Lane for the first game of the season, without their skipper who had answered the 1st XV’s call. Stand in Cpt Andrew (Elton) Welsby led by example from the kick off with a pinpoint kick easily collected by Kilo, at 8 for the day, who drove at the heart of the toc forwards. This produced the start Bedians wanted and was the beginning of Bedians forward dominance of the game.
Toc played their part well, spoiling almost all Bedians quick ball and disrupting play at every opportunity. A slick scissor move saw the Bedian full back McKinan take a pass at speed from Welsby that was adjudged forward, this brought the first scrum of the day. After a couple of attempts, Toc h 9 put the ball in to the scrum only to see the Bedians pack, lead by Big Ben and Kevin Rowley, surge forward with a powerful 8 man drive. Ben Rogerson at 9 almost got hands on the frantic pass from the T hoc 9 who shipped the ball under immense pressure from back row Anderson and Parker. This toc attack was repelled with solid tackles and quick actions from the Bedian backs resulting in a rather confusing penalty being awarded and duly converted by Toc h 0-3. This seemed to be the catalyst for Bedians to step up a gear and, with another pinpoint kick by Welsby that saw Parker and Man of the match Williams disrupt the ensuing Toc line out, and with Kevin Rowley,Andy Welsh and Ash Thompson on hand to deny them a steady platform another turnover was achieved and our lines were cleared well by McKinan.
This was the pattern for the majority of the half with neither side managing to break the gain line. Another kickable penalty was awarded and once again duly converted by the visitors giving them a 0-6 lead that they did not fully deserve. More bouts of midfield action saw both sides make little forward progress until a clever well positioned kick from Phil Parker at 7 gave winger Jay Lau the chance to show his speed and strength with a chase that saw the Toc winger and full back decide to nudge the ball off the pitch rather than face his charge. With the loss of our number 8 Keeling to a recurring knee problem, the Bedian line out and scrummage suffered slightly but after a re shuffle at the break,and buoyed by the half time talk by Messer’s Welsby, Parker and Rowley, and with Parker now at 8 the forwards clicked again and drove the frantic Toc h defenders back deep into their 22. On about the 7th phase of the attack scrum half Rogerson crashed over from 5 metres out, ending another period of Bedian dominance with a well taken try 5-6. The kick was narrowly missed by Rogerson from wide out on the right.
Bedian hopes were now on a high after scoring what turned out to be the only try of the match giving them a morale boosting lift after several confusing decisions were given against them, and 2 more kickable penalties awarded for dubious reasons that were missed by Toc h just added fuel to the Bedian fire. With 20 mins to go Toc brought on the last of their many subs and the game reverted to the hard fought mid field clash, with neither side able to break the line with confidence. With Bedians looking most likely to score, Toc h were happy to kick deep and run down the clock at every opportunity. You may notice a lack of comment regarding our match official in this report the reasons for this are twofold 1: He may read it and press charges. 2: I can’t bring myself to put it into words the contempt I feel for the disturbing lack of knowledge and can not condone the fundamental errors made by him. Cpt for the day Andrew Welsby stated in his post-match debriefing that the team’s defensive organisation and aggression was the difference today, and on another day with another official it could have been a dream start to the 2nd xv season.