Actonians welcomed Uxbridge to Gunnersbury Park on the 21st September. There was a minute silence held before kick off in honour of Garry Woods who was not only a life long Uxbridge player and true legend but had become a London Society referee over the last 5 years and had passed away last year. Robert Park who was today's referee presented Garry's family with a cheque for monies raised at a recent Rugby Gala dinner as a thank you for Garry's services to the London Society as a referee. What a truly great gesture, thanks to Rob and all at the Society.
Actonians were looking to build on their solid start against Ealing the previous week. With similarly baking conditions, the home team struggled to get started, with early injuries to Ben Watkins and Chris Barnard hampering the fluidity of their play. Uxbridge, however, grew into the game, using their heavy runners to set up camp in front of Acton’s 5 metre line. Eventually, their game plan worked and they went over for the first score.
Recovering from this, Acton went straight on the attack. With the backs, once again led by Matt Lloyd, making inroads and the forwards assisting nobly, debutant Dominic Pitt scored in the corner with Nino Musolino adding the extras. Actonians, however, struggled to capitalise on their possession and field position, dropping the ball over the line or conceding penalties at the breakdown. Whilst Nino was able to add a penalty to the scoreline, the home team went into half-time with only a slender lead.
This was soon cancelled out when Uxbridge scored early in the first half. Again, Acton struggled against the visitor’s defence but managed to jump in front when Dominic Pitt chased through a well-judged kick to dot down in the corner. Once again, however, Acton’s lack of discipline allowed Uxbridge to score again and take a narrow lead into the last few moments. Frustrations boiled over and with more penalties conceded, Uxbridge managed to strangle the life out of the game. Despite chances, Acton were unable to finish and the game finished 17-18 to the visitors. Whilst a losing bonus point was better than nothing, the home team hopes to bounce back with a win this weekend at Pinner.
Dominic Pitt won MOTM for his excellent debut, whilst the mysterious ‘David Barnes’ became Duck of the Day with his rather lax interpretation of post-match attire. A good evening managed to wash away the disappointment of the day, although ask Zak Taylor and I am sure his punishment for losing the club mascot Gerty soured his mood a little. Fingers crossed Barnsey can find her before Saturday