After an excellent performance away trip to Shrewsbury last week, Veseyans returned
to action this week at The Memorial Ground against an out of form Stafford side
already battling for survival. From the off the V’s pack was on the front foot and
after Adam Ward and the opposing fly half swapped early penalties the V’s forwards
gained control and with big runs coming from Jimmy Hateley and Rob Lenderyou
V’s were soon camped firmly in the opposing 22. From a well-executed catch and
drive the ball was fired out to the backs where Matt Gillick produced a well-timed
pass to put Ryan Brunsden in the corner to make the score 8-3.

Following an impressive early display V’s failed to make their early pressure tell
and frustration and as a results mistakes led to a scrappy period of play, where a
charge down from the Stafford blindside led to an undeserved 10-8 lead to Stafford.
Stafford began to build in confidence and started to pile on the pressure, using the
weather conditions to their advantage. It was not long before a poorly executed
lineout on the V’s line led to another try for the Stafford blindside. Soon after some
miscommunication in the V’s defence allowed the Stafford outside centre to carve
through to make the score 22-8 just before half time.

After a stern telling off from the V’s coaches and senior players V’s were soon back on the front foot.
With the last play of the half, Jack Ward and Reiss Taylor put the Stafford defence on the back foot
with incisive runs which allowed the ball to find its way wide where Matt Hipkiss
pulled the ball back inside for Matt Gillick to go over the whitewash on the stroke of
half time.

With the pressure of being dragged back into a relegation battle providing enough
motivation the V’s came out in the second half and were soon putting concerted
pressure on the Stafford line. With the driving maul becoming a lethal weapon in the
V’s armoury it was not long before Rob Lenderyou broke from the back of a driving
maul to score to bring the V’s within one score. The V’s soon doubled their second
half tally, as Jimmy Hateley, following another well executed driving maul, broke
from the base of a ruck to bulldoze his way over the line to give the V’s the lead.

The lead however, was short lived as straight from the kick off the V’s were unable
to clear their lines and this led to a simple three point penalty opportunity for the
Stafford 10, which he duly converted. With time slipping away the V’s again used the
power of their forwards to break into the Stafford 22. With continued phase play from
the forwards orchestrated by Owain Luckwell and Adam Clark, it was not long before
Jimmy Hateley doubled his try count for the day and V’s regained the lead.

Veseyans went on to ride out the final four minutes of play with some excellent defence both
in the lineout and in loose play, to win 28-25. Veseyans are next in action at the
Memorial Ground against Stourbridge Lions on the 15th of November.