It was a bitterly cold afternoon, but both teams had a good crowd of supporters. Most of the St Hugh’s squad were at Pinewood before the first Old Pinewoodian was spotted; in fact the last four players arrived less than five minutes before kick-off. St Hugh’s had 12 players whilst we had a squad of fourteen, but neither side had props so the scrums were uncontested.
As is normal with Pinewood it took them a while before they realized they were in a match. They made a good charge from the kick-off, but they had failed to register that with only 12-a-side there was no fullback. St Hugh’s kicked over the top and ran in the simplest of tries to take a 7 point lead. The Old Pinewoodian squad played well under the leadership of Will Fish, while Rory Hipwell, Joe Pittams and Tommy Cresswell made some excellent bullocking runs, but there was little, if any, support play and the ball was normally turned over. Eventually one of the charges from a short range penalty helped notch up our first points, but St Hugh’s immediately retaliated and ran in a well-worked try. After some excellent passing we clawed pack to 10-12 at the half-time break. The backs seemed to come alive late in the first half and Hugh Rayner, Alex King, Ted Slater, Freddie Hall, Will, and Rory started moving the ball.
I had a few words at half time and stressed the importance of having a man on the shoulder and requested a try in the first few minutes. Right from kick-off, which we followed up well, a St Hugh’s player misfielded the ball and we ran in a try in under 30 seconds from the restart! Our pack was now starting to dominate in the loose and support players were clearly in evidence. Theo Taylor seemed to have latched on to Rory and he was also well supported by Tighe Handley, Dom Hutchinson, George Tregoning and Oliver Crossfield. The Old Pinewoodians seemed to be starting to take control of the match, they repelled a couple of good attacks from St Hugh’s and worked up the pitch. Some of the St Hugh’s players were obviously getting frustrated and there were a couple of off the ball incidents, unfortunately this led to a Pinewood player swinging a fist. The player was taken off and so we were down to 11 players. This woke the players up and finally they really took command of the match and ran in three excellent tries in the next twelve minutes to win 32-12.
Our thanks go to Will Packer from Cheltenham College who kindly and efficiently refereed the match, Xenia for administering first aid, the ground staff for preparing the pitch, the kitchens for serving tea to all the players and the crowd of supporters.
The Old Pinewoodian Squad: Dom Hutchinson, George Tregoning, Oliver Crossfield, Hugh Rayner, Ben Ryder, Tighe Handley, Joe Pittams, Alex King, Freddie Hall, Tommy Cresswell, Rory Hipwell, Theo Tayor, Ted Slater and Will Fish.
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