OHRFC 3 v 32 Old Rutlishians
One match too many, but we'll get 'em next season!
The First XV set out to defend the Surrey Bowl this bank holiday Monday after a physical semifinal and being crowned surrey 3 champions on Saturday after the perfect results went in our favour. With the chance of a double-double on the cards on Bank holiday Monday.
When others across London were waking from hangovers; the OH army must have turned down at least 30 parties to prep for the match, however it looks like some parties were too good to miss.
The match kicked off on the same pitch the OH had claimed victory against the Bec Old Boys last year, who finished Surrey 2 this year in 3rd place- a fixture we look forward to already next season.
The match started with typical fire- end to end stuff saw Ruts start the best in the first 5 with one kick through introducing us to the huge dead ball line, one we would meet a few times throughout the rest of the 80mins.
In return, we played up the field, and off a set play attacking from the left, the OH found space to work it through the hands finding Hugo in space of a set piece.
Great to see his almost full return to fitness, after a sneezing fit on the bus had held him back from reaching the line this time. Reaching the 5 yards line Jimbo reached for the try line but was held up illegally seeing the OH 5 meters out with a penalty. We continued to work it short before a missed opportunity wide say Ruts take control of the ball with a long distance to make up to get on the scorecard.
The hard ground took its taxes on the OH players, losing Fairlie early on meant our lineout had to be shuffled without our pack-leader, up to the mark steps Jonny B to call the shots and steady the troop after a few dominate scrums had left us confused 15 mins in we had lost 3 players and were 5 points down.
Our pressure continued, only to be met by equal opportunity and within 20 mins Will the bullet had cooly put us back in a sniff to make it 5-3 before 2 break away tries from Old Ruts put them in 15-3 at the half way stage.
The Halftime talk came, and after a fast-paced game moving both teams from side to side, we called on a shuffle again to strike balance into our team. We changed our flyhalf to bring Clarke in, after Wills London to Paris cycle on Friday and rejigged the pack to reassert ourselves once one.
The 2nd half started with the fire we needed, again we played towards their line and secured a penalty within range- but we knew we needed more from the pressure and played for the conner only to be turned away with some efficient defence in the air. The sign of intent was clear from the OH. we wanted to score and hit get the points we needed.
The blows continued, with big hits being required to stop the attack of the Old Ruts young team. Further injuries saw the entire bench employed, and with some notable impact Tim Parker on the wing beating his man in the final moment, Zulu returned to the front row with power and Rory finishing off a fine 2nd half at scrum half after losing Jimbo, Piesy and Hugo to injury.
Ruts had been the only team we hadn't beaten all year and got in the way of a double-double, but I think we can all agree the better team won on the day. A match we look forward to correcting next time we meet them in seasons to come.
2 matches in a week is a lot, and we gave it our all. I just wish we had more to give. but thank you for giving it.
Thoughts go to Fairlie who had to spend the night in the hospital, and requires another surgery- I think Jonny B sat on him, so that's going to cost you a beer of too. A special thank you for Fairlie and Jimbo for their fab. support on and off the pitch this season as the vice captains.
special thanks to the new players who deserve a mention, and make the club grow and remain on course for great things. Rory, Dom, Zulu all played a big part in this season and come to the 1st team for the first time this year- their enthusiasm and excitement is hugely notable, we are honoured to welcome you and am so pleased you enjoy the club. It is truly infectious and I hope we continue to provide a brilliant and exciting club for you, and the rest of the players who want to call this their club.
Another special mention has to go to Woody. For his help in turning us from friends to smart rugby players, we have seen a huge difference from the 1st match to the last few. We can believe in our defensive structure- maybe, more importantly, we now don't have to run as far and can hit twice as hard which counts in my book as a blessing. He has given up his time to help us be better and enjoy what we do. So please pass on your thanks to him for this season. It has made a clear difference to what we have been able to achieve.
Ben Carter lead the 2nd team with huge support from Bob Owen and The marvellous Aussie Tim, to a well fought league champions after constantly keeping the team involved and looking forward to matches. The belief, and enjoyment that the 2nd team have enjoyed this year is wonderful to see. We are looking at moving you to a new league to give you the best chance to continue to enjoy your rugby, but more often! we are sorry that so many teams pulled out, and with your focus and desire to keep playing you have earned the league title.
Matt Craig for the constant support throughout every week, and match day. Not only as one of the greatest men in life, we are lucky enough to have you help, and drive us to another fabulous season. You have managed to turn stressful situations into fun events, and the relentless kind supportive words that will ecco around this club- we are greatful for your time, heart and passion that has kept this club pumping. The support you have offered the playing committee, and the club committee is in your debt and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being such an insirational man on and off the pitch.
Hugo and Luke for the social events, and Chinese karaoke which will live long in my memory.
Will the bullet for match card registration, and team submissions weekly. ensuring we didn't get docked points and all the Met police shiii you and Matt helped sort out without a fuss. not to mention the conference calls and constant ability to serve me crisp passes as standard throughout the season. I thank you.
Piesy, who after 2 years as fixture sec, will be stepping down this year. He has, without doubt, enabled us to have a ref, kick off time, confirms teas, and arrangements for home and away matches without failure- thank you for always providing the lads with matches, and going the extra mile to sort out friendlies at the 11th hour every time a shit team pulled out against the 2nds and also making the dream of 3 OH teams play at home at the same time. Probably one of the best days at the club I have been lucky enough to be a part of. After skippering the team 3 years ago, he has continued to be a huge part of this club and we hope he enjoys playing for many years to come with us.
Ben DF after last summer's success at the 7s, Ben will be looking at some sevens tournaments through the summer and touch will return on Clapham Common shortly, so let him know if you are interested.
Tom Huckin, a man that needs no introduction, the chairman who has been the rock and support for this club over more years than we can remember. He loves this club, and is very proud of what we are doing but we have only been able to do this with his huge unwavering support and love for the players in this club.
Tom we thank you for all the support and hope we can continue to make it one of the best clubs in surrey, that you can continue to be proud of.
and finally the players, thank you for a great season, we were able to put our 3 teams at home for the first time this season, a created and testimony that the club will do everything it can to make sure you are playing and enjoying rugby. Thank you to all the old boys who continue to show us the way, the new players that are hungry to get more and more involved and the players who have introduced new players this year- and shared our club with your nearest and dearest.
Please continue to be proud of this club, and invite friends and family (and ladies for ladies day) to be a part of it.
This is our club, and we are lucky to be able to make it what we want.
some great moments, and some brilliant lads, some fabulous times ahead too! for your part, I thank you and here is to another great year in the OH colours together.
If you would like to be more involved last year, please take this time to talk to Matt Craig with ideas on how you can help, or if its just you would like to be more involved.
we have done what we wanted to do, and can only do more with your help.