The unbeaten U11B team travelled to Great Walstead on 31st January with a few new faces in the team but with a spring in their step. The match could not have started better as Ronnie took the ball in our own half and out-foxed and out-paced the defence for an excellent long-range try. Soon after, Rio showed deft footwork to make a break and almost made it all the way to the line but cleverly fed Adam who powered over from close range. This was the followed by more strong running from Adam and excellent ball retention by Copthorne which resulted in Adam scoring his second, for us to lead 3-0. Despite a high proportion of possession, this was how the score stayed for some time. Tom showed good pace and ran strongly, as did Ben and Adam continued to show that he is picking up the game very quickly. Just before half-time, however, our defensive line was a little slow to close a gap and Great Walstead scored their first.
We had practised our defensive organisation and line speed during the week so it was good to see the boys trying to put this into practice. However, after the break the opposition found new energy and ran strongly scoring three quick tries despite Matthew tackling like a dervish and Adam and Ben also putting in some strong hits. Hamish covered well to stop a certain try with a text book tackle and Lucas sprinted the length of the pitch and only narrowly failed to stop a breakaway try. Luke also ran well and Rian always made ground with the ball in hand, often taking several tacklers with him. Trailing 4-3 with only minutes to go, it looked like we were going to lose out, but the boys rallied and again showing excellent recycling of the ball, Ronnie eventually danced his way over to earn a 4-4 draw. This was a real battle with both sides running hard and tackling well at the end and they should all be proud of themselves.
Man of the Match must go to Matthew for his captaincy and dynamo-like performance. Well done all!