First Team
Sat 27 Jan 2024  ·  Counties 3 Herts/Middx (Phase 2) Middx
Actonians RFC
First Team
Another close encounter ended in a narrow loss

Another close encounter ended in a narrow loss

Steve Partridge30 Jan - 11:58
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Actonians travelled to St Mary’s University to face Thamesians and were looking to avenge a narrow 28-29 home loss from earlier in the season. Conditions were perfect for As to continue their heads up rugby that had resulted in back to back victories against Uxbridge and Kilburn in their previous two games.
Playing up the slope and into a slight headwind Actonians quickly gained field position and, after rejecting a shot at goal to kick to the corner, Will Rogers made a line break from the resulting line out and was held up just short. Acton weren’t to be kept out though and some quick hands put Johnny Tolan over for an early converted try.
Thamesians hit back quickly with a penalty to reduce the advantage and gained a foothold into the game with some strong carrying phases by their typically physical pack. After sustained pressure their pack was able to break through the Actonians defence for a converted score and a 10-7 lead.
From the kick-off a failed goosestep and fumble from the eventual Thamesians DOTD gave possession and field position back to As who were able to put Will Rogers over in the corner after some good hands from Sam O’Connor and Ben ”Scottie” Watkins. The conversion was missed for a 10-12 lead.
The set-piece was working well for As with the scrum particularly dominant which was creating space for their backs out wide, however frustrating they were not able to finish off these chances. Thamesians capitalised and after a period of heavy forward carrying were able to put their winger over in the corner with the conversion from the touchline making the half time score 17-12 to the home side.
Acton started the second half much like the first with the forwards competing well up front to give good ball for the backs. This paid dividends when As secured lineout ball in the Thamesians 22 and a set piece move off the Gunnersbury Avenue training paddock put Legendary old timer Jon Perks under the posts for the away side to retake the lead 19-17. Despite continuing pressure in Thamesians half, some sloppy tackling gave the home team good field position and the next score via a penalty from their metronomic kicker and the lead swung back once again against the run of play.
This didn’t last long as Tom Knight was able to power over from close range for an unconverted score with 20 minutes remaining with the scoreboard 24-20 in Actonians’ favour. This lead was almost extended when Ed Scott-Bowden got over the line but was adjudged to be held up.
The final quarter of the game saw Thamesians’ pack get the upper hand in the set piece and Acton were unable to maintain enough pressure to get a decisive 5th try. They paid for this with 10 minutes remaining when after sustained phases in the Actonians’ 22, Thamesians were able to release their winger for their 3rd and final try to make the final score 27-24.
An entertaining game for the neutral with the lead changing 7 times, but another narrow and frustrating loss, with Actonians wondering what could have been if they have put away some more of their chances and made the most of their first half set piece dominance.

The leopard print Lycra shorts worn by the Thamesians player have been reviewed and will be dealt with internally by Thamesians.

MOM Sam O’Connor for set piece dominance in the 1st half
DOTD Will Rogers for bitch slapping their No.9 off the ball

Next week second place UCS visit Gunnersbury Avenue with Actonians again looking to avenge a narrow away defeat earlier in the season.

Match details

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Sat 27 Jan 2024




Counties 3 Herts/Middx (Phase 2) Middx

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