Vets Pipped in Evergreen
By Richard Cebreiro
Purley John Fisher's Veterans were unable to progress any further in the Evergreen Cup on Sunday as they were shaded 28-24 by their hosts East Grinstead.
This was PJF's 4th game on the road in this competition (?) and it proved too much as they chased this game from 21-5 down. Dogged determination saw them pull back to within 4 points only to run out of time.
EG took the initiative from the off and soon had the ball spinning wide through their effective backline. They ran straight and moved the ball quickly in the hands to pose all sorts of threats to PJF. PJF's answer was to resort into the the comfort zone of their much superior pack. The scraps of ball that EG got was courtesy of the art of the dark side of rucking and mauling, which frustrated PJF throughout the game.
EG scored four tries out wide and then through converting them saw their control of the game take shape. PJF hung in with a try off the back of a driven line out take by Pete Doyle. With the wind at their back in the second half PJF's fly half Simon Witham pinned EG in the bottom corner with many good touchline kicks. Captain (or should it be Sergeant ?) Wilson was dominant in the lineout ably supported by the soon to be 40 year old Bob Scarborough.
It was from 2 clean line out take and drives, that PJF worked themselves into the strike zone and from the ensuing mauls, hooker Allan and scrum half Dolye both scored a try each.
EG tried hard to regain the initiative but PJF proved too strong up front. From a strike against the head PJF worked some space and Witham crossed the whitewash in spectacular fashion that scored 3.8 from the judges. Converting his own try meant that PJF were 4 points adrift. EG then mounted a defence similar to that of Rourkes Drift as PJF encamped on their 5 metre line for 10 minutes chasing victory. EG were resilient enough to hang on and the final whistle went much to their relief.
PJF's comfort can come from the fact that they gave a good account of themselves and showed character and ability to come back from the dead. This, in my mind, was due to the leadership Nick Wilson gave from the front, taking Man of the Match award.
Guys, Keep The Faith, and remember to tell the Ladies that we won; that way we can choose a Sunday in March to be the next round and go off to the Pub for a nice Lunch and couple of beers together.