There was a good start to the New Year for Purley John Fisher at Parsons Pightle on Saturday, as refreshed from their 3 week Xmas recess, they set about visitors Trojans. A bright start had PJF on the attack, pinning Trojans deep in their own half with the forwards carrying and recycling the ball. From a ruck, near the visitor’s line, PJF’s second row Alex Wilson scooped the ball up and crossed to open PJF’s account. Captain Dan Martin slotted the conversion. Despite PJF’s superiority in the opening 15 minutes, Trojans did manage to take advantage as a PJF drifting pass in the strong tailwind, was easily intercepted allowing the Trojans centre to run the length of the pitch unchallenged to score a try.
This seemed to irk PJF who then secured sufficient possession and territory to score another 3 unanswered, converted tries before half time. Firstly Mark Trumper, playing at fullback, entered the line to complete a flowing back move that outstretched the covering Trojans defence. A 22m drop out was charged down and collected by James Quigley who fed his fellow prop Ben Grundman on the burst; drawing in the defenders Grundman freed a pass to the supporting back rower Tom Leather who floated across the try line for PJF’s third try. Just before half time, the PJF pack took a good line out and set up a rolling maul. From this momentum PJF’s backs broke hard and fast passing the ball quickly amongst themselves before Fly Half Dan Leidecker hit the line at pace and carved his way through to score PJF’s fourth and bonus point try.
By half time PJF were well in control and appeared to be cruising to a hefty win – until the beginning of the second half when the visitors came out firing, reverted to type and through sticking the ball up their jumper managed to amass 17 points through 3 tries and a conversion. Their pack dominated and crunched the PJF scrum, line outs became a bit of a lottery and Trojans hard work was rewarded with their scrum half popping over the try line from a series of scrums and mauls. From the kick off PJF’s flanker, Phil Jones secured possession and managed to run deep into the opposition half. Ably supported by his fellow forwards, the ball was kept alive and moving and PJF thundered towards another score. Quick hands from scrum half James McPartland, through Leidecker and the centre Nick Owen presented Martin with the opportunity to cut back against the flow of play and score PJF’s fifth try. He then managed to kick the conversion.
This was to be PJF’s swansong as for the remainder of the match they rarely got out of their half and conceded the remaining 2 Trojan tries. Despite this loss, Trojans worked hard and through solid forward first phase play, in the scrums got within 11 points of PJF.
Although a good 5 point win, PJF could have put this to bed a lot sooner and closed the game out instead of leaking 4 tries. Admittedly they were thwarted on many occasions as the official seemed to penalise the home side quite heavily throughout the game. Still we are now lying fourth in London 3SW and next week the 1st XV visits Old Tiffinians.
Whilst this was going on PJF’s Marlin XV entertained Sutton and Epsom and treated them to a 36-12 defeat. Tries by Chase Thompson, Ollie Davies, Miles Whicher, Norm Collier and Dan Crumplin saw the home side through. Captain Julian Emmauel said “it was a great game especially when you consider that we lost quite heavily to these guys earlier in the season. Today’s side was a good blend of youth and experience across the team. We played well”