Having suffered a postponement of the Droitwich game which is now to be played on the 6th September, the V’s managed to get a pre-season friendly against Ashbourne RFC away. Ashbourne are a Level7 club just like ourselves and they finished 3rd in their league last season playing in Midlands Two East, so this offered quite a stern test for us.

Both sides were very evenly matched during the first period of 20mins which finished 0-0 with the V’s starting the brighter out of the two sides. The V’s were at times seriously tested defensively and to a man everybody stood firm as the V’s line was not crossed.

The 2nd period saw the V’s fitness and set piece really started to
perform and Ashbourne could not compete at the scrum or line-out. Some very strange decisions from the referee at times left both players and spectators confused to say the least. The V’s line-out often caught Ashbourne on the back foot who then continued to infringe by entering from the side which went unpunished. The V’s scrummage whilst been dominant was penalised for driving forward even when the opposition often choose simply to stand up, again unpunished. The V’s eventually took the lead through a driving maul and Vice Captain Cherry Bakewell was credited with the try converted by Adam Clark. Ashbourne responded quickly from the re-start to score in the corner when the V’s failed to deal with the kick-off sufficiently.

The third period was very much all Veseyans, although against the run of play Ashbourne counter attached and scored a good try in the corner and converted to take the lead.

The final period was all one way traffic, the V’s continued to ware
Ashbourne down at the set-piece and in the last 10minutes spent the rest of the game camped on the opposition’s line. The V’s seemed to have won the game when No.8 Dan Lock touched down from a push over try under the posts, who then picked the ball up and walked back to the half way line only for the referee to disallow the try as he said he never saw the touchdown. Long periods of play on the Ashbourne line continued and the home side continued to infringe and continued to get away with it surprisingly. It was felt that it was ‘Penalty Try’ time but not according to the man with the whistle not even any yellow cards.

From the final scrum of the game, 5metres out from the Ashbourne line and again the V’s went for the pushover try. On this occasion the home sides 2nd row decided to sit down on the ball whilst over the try line, the V’s then pushed him off the ball for Dan Lock to score……..again try disallowed.

An awful lot can be gained from this game and it shows that the Veseyans can more than cope at this level having played against a side that is well established at level 7.