A tale of two centres
By Matt Clarke
Despite dominating possession and territory for large portions of the game,it was the visitors midfield tandem that ultimately proved to be the difference.
Rumour and innuendo had it that the OGs were struggling for players to fulfil this fixture during the week,hence the Gannets arriving and finding the changing room across the corridor full of unemployed Swans kitting up for the neighbours.However,a late influx of players gave their squad an altogether more healthy look and the Gannets gratefully picked up said Swans to boost their options from the bench.The Old boys elected to keep hold of Vaughan and Mike Murray, a man that defies popular stereotypes of the scouse man by being not especially chirpy and In full time employment.
The game may well have taken a turn in a different direction had Matt Clarke's early try,following excellent build up play and a well worked overlap by Dan Grant,not being disallowed for a forward pass.The ref's always right as they say,especially this one who had a good game to be fair to him and who also looked a tad like Jeremy Corbyn if he were a wizard that refereed on his weekends off.
The pressure from the Gravesend pack eventually had the Old Boys pinned back inside their own 5 but instead of electing to clear,they used their aforementioned young and pacy midfield duo to outstrip their old and non pacy oppenents for a length of the field score and a 0-5 lead at the interval.To their credit,the Gees held on with 14 men until the break after losing Carl Sells to the bin for being repeatedly offside at the breakdown,all this despite Steve Woottons protestation that he wasn't doing it intentionally,he's just really 'kin' old and takes a bit longer to get back behind the back foot.
The first act of the second half saw the Gannets effectively camped inside the OGS 22 where a combination of great defensive cover,poor decision making and dropped balls contrived to keep the Gannets from crossing the line.Dan Grant eventually settled for a penalty to reduce the arrears to 3-5 and the Gannets were back at it again until a breakway from the centres,again following a telegraphed Dan Grant pass saw the visitors charge up the field for their second score.This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Gannets and it wasn't long before a penalty conceded at the 5 was conceded by a shattered defence.
Plenty of positives to be taken from the game though,not least Jetskis mate,Matt in his first game of Rugby putting in a decent performance in both attack and defence,Lloydy turning defence into attack,making 30 or so metres before sitting Vaughan down,all of this despite having a running gait similar to a man with both legs in plaster upto the groin and who could forget the pinpoint accuracy of the throws of Neil 'Tom Brady' Martin ...sorry how old is he...?...Neil 'Bart Starr' Martin.His line outs were,i promise you,as straight as an arrow.If that arrow were shaped like a banana.
There were,of course some downsides,not least Steve Wootton's bad case of the dropsies,Dan Grant not washing his knees in the showers post game because he can't see them and the fact that the game seemingly went to ratshit when Mayhem went off (his opinion).Senior,not junior as he's now robbed by the twos in another case of asset stripping by the club...on the plus side,it means that we got shot of Sargey.
Every cloud and all that.
Until next time.