Veseyans travelled away this week to Wolverhampton for a mid table clash where Veseyans looked to right the wrongs of the first fixture before Christmas. Veseyans came straight out of the blocks with some excellent phase play and after some well architected kicking from Sam Irvine Veseyans were camped on the Wolverhampton line.
Wolverhampton were unable to withstand this early onslaught and from a textbook catch and drive James Hateley snuck over to open the scoring. Nathan Spinner added the extras with an impressive touchline conversion before adding to this with a much simpler three points from in front of the sticks. With an early lead Veseyans tails were up but this soon came to a crashing halt as the V’s kick chase was poor and the Wolverhampton 15 was able to run in from the halfway line.
This however did not stop the V’s momentum and if not for a couple of knock ons and last ditch tackling from the home team the lead would have been extended. With the added pressure V’s should have come away with more points but Sam Irvine rolled back the years with a drop goal from the 22, to make the score 13-5.
This appeared to bring the Wolverhampton pack to life and the V’s had to withstand some heavy pressure, some impressive defence kept Wolverhampton at bay with in particular some excellent last ditch tackling from Dan Locke and Adam Ward who was a constant hindrance all game. Unfortunately just before the half Wolverhampton snuck over and converted the try meaning at the break the score was 13-12, a score line which did not give Veseyans justice for their first half display.
The second half opened in complete contrast to the first with much of the play coming from the hosts. This led to two early scores in the second half for the home side. Veseyans then showed some real character as they again took the ascendency and within a couple of minutes had two tries of their own, both coming from Ryan Brunsden down the left wing, who showed a fleet turn of foot for someone who resembles an out of shape marsupial. Some excellent play out wide from Sam Irvine and Adam Ward putting Brunsden away. From here the game became quite scrappy and with what has become quite synonymous of Veseyans matches this season Ali Booth was shown his marching orders for his accustomed ten minutes on the sideline.
With Booth off Wolverhampton went back on the front foot, scoring in the corner with a well-executed catch and drive before the fly half impressively converted the extras. With Booth off Veseyans showed real grit and if not for a couple of errors in judgement could have replied. Coming into the last ten minutes of the game, Wolverhampton took the ascendency and from another catch and drive looked bound to score, until from within the maul it was brought down. This led to the referee awarding a penalty try and Ali Booth taking a right hook for his trouble.
This saw the Wolverhampton second row sent off and with 3 minutes to play Veseyans looked as if they would not take anything away from the game. Again the group showed real character and grit and soon found themselves on the Wolverhampton line, James Hateley intercepted a pass meant for Matt Hipkiss to go in under the posts, giving the V’s the try bonus point and a losing bonus point which the team so richly deserved.
As with many games this season Veseyans came away regretting the missed opportunities and thinking what might have been, but again the evolution of this Veseyans squad highlights the potential and expectation which will come next season. Veseyans continue their season with a home tie against till now undefeated Bridgnorth on the 28th March at The Memorial Ground.