As Veseyans Colts continued their quest for their first victory they welcomed Evesham on a damp but dry afternoon for what turned out to be a true game of 2 halves. Evesham brought a very robust set of forwards and soon put them to good use pushing us off our first scrum and quick hands resulted in their first try after only 5 minutes and a 0-5 lead. Veseyans then found some good go forward which resulted in the visitors conceding several penalties. Unfortunately, following a good kick to the corner, we failed to secure the lineout and the pressure was relieved.
As the visitors moved up the field, from a resulting scrum they moved the ball swiftly through the hands and were soon ahead 0-12. However, the resilience and desire for the home team to continue to play rugby once again showed through and following a good chase from the kick off the excellent Nick Ward won us a penalty which was converted to get our first points on the board. Additionally, the scrum dominance was addressed and against a much heavier and experienced front row Finn, Many and Sam had an outstanding afternoon at the coal face. Once again, which has become common in recent weeks some poor handling when applying pressure allowed Evesham to move the ball swiftly to the outside and and were soon 3-17 ahead with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
From the kick off the visitors once again shown their intent to play and a good strong returning run coupled with a good kick chase and they were over again, 3-24. Still undeterred Veseyans continued to build pressure and some well executed interplay with forwards and backs got us into the visitors 22 and camped on their 5M line. But another fumble at the critical time and a length of the field return ended the half with Evesham 3-29 ahead and plenty of work for the home side to do to get back into the match.
The half time talk was very calm as despite the scoreline the team had been very competitive for periods of the game and just needed to stay composed, up their line speed in defence and move the ball wider when the opportunities arose. The intensity Veseyans started the second half rocked the visitors back and by now the visitors were conceding penalty after penalty which despite all our efforts we just couldn’t get over the line. Then a kick return by the ever consistent Jamie Higinbotham put us into good field position.
Then, having recycled the ball several phases later Jamie was about to run our first try in the corner when the referee blew his whistle to issue Evesham a yellow card? From the resulting penalty Max Powell ran directly and powerfully and we were on the way back 10-29. As Veseyans continued to apply pressure it was a full 25 minutes before the visitors set foot into our half and despite 4-5 minutes of pressure from a scrum on our 22 the ball was moved quickly through the hands to Max at inside centre who broke several tackles to move us up to 17-29 and a real chance of a remarkable comeback.
The home team then continued to pile the pressure on and the visitors conceding penalty after penalty which could easily have resulted in a second yellow card. The impressive Cam Longmore who played his first game at No 8 had a potential try disallowed along with Max for what would have been his hat trick. The visitors never again entered our half, we had wave after wave of attacks and the game finally ended with the second disallowed try for Cam.
There are too many good performances to mention but the front row especially did well, the pack as a whole put in their best performance of the season and our defence in the second half across the board was the game changer. The only sour note was the dislocated shoulder Nathan Perry received and we wish him a speedy recovery and return back to the team.
Well done to everyone and as the skipper said, "they should all be proud of their performances today." Well done everyone! We have a friendly against Lichfield next week and I may not bother to wash the shirts this week so they feel we are starting the game like we do the second half............ :-)