OCRFC 13- Farnham RFC 6
After last Saturday’s disappointing defeat in the league, the fate of OC’s season hung in the balance as Surrey giants Farnham rolled into town to battle it out in the Semi Final of the London&South East Cup. Farnham sit top of London South West 2 and look nailed on for promotion. To add a bit of spice they had revenge on the menu after OCs crashed them out of the cup last year.
DOR Haggis and HC Luke Fielden (but not forwards coach Alan Bateson) had to roll the selection tombola this week due to various unavailability’s and injuries,: Captain Fletch was on holiday . . .again?!, last year’s player of the season Dan Wood was getting engaged, current player of the season contender Dan Hepdon injured himself in an unrelated taser training incident and Quizmaster Westy missed his second week in a row citing a jogging injury, some say he tripped over his teeth but this is unconfirmed!
All of the above meant a return to the starting XV for the comeback king Randy Gardner, chocy hammy Jiggy, Seany Blitz and a rare start for crowd favourite Dele but will he last 80 mins . . . we’ll see.
OCs started the stronger of the 2 sides with the day’s vice captain come captain but not my captain Freddie Humphries crashing over from short distance after some superb rugby. OCs failed to kick on from there though as Farnham used the strong wind and blaring sunshine to pin Colfe’s back effectively with some probing kicks. The visitors registered a penalty and a lesser seen drop goal that Farnham Old Boy and my King Jonny Wilkinson would have been proud of.
At 7-6, it was Farnham who dominated possession and territory but, in the end, failed to breach the organised home defence who held on to the lead into the break.
In the second half OCs enjoyed more off the pill and it was Dele and AOM who caused Farnham the real headache. South London’s answer to the Mighty Duck’s Bash Brothers were bullying their way around the pitch and flinging grown men off them like a bizarre game of buckaroo! Alas, OC’s struggled to convert their pressure into points and Farnham’s defence in their own 22 was commendable.
Farnham’s successful kicking strategy proved less so in the second half and therefore visits into OC’s territory were rare and fleeting. We were in danger of both side’s defence cancelling each other out, something had to give . . .
Cometh the man, cometh the hour. 2016-17 promotion hero Jack Potter proved there was still plenty of magic left in his size 9’s, even if his shorts were now a size 36”! Potts converted 2 penalties that eventually proved the difference, the second of which was an absolute monster. OCs gained a penalty 55m out on the right hand side of Horn Park. Vice Captain, come captain but not my captain Fred Humphries wanted to “put ball in’t corna!” but Potts had other ideas. With the full force of Storm Ciara behind him Jack pointed to the posts and with the resulting strike caused the whole of Horn Park to do the 1,2 step in joy!
Notable performances came all over the park, choccy hammy Jiggy made more tackles from 10 then Pott’s has made in his career, AOM was his destructive self but it was local rugby legend Dele who picked up MOTM. Dele carried superbly all day and at times was unplayable.
On the other side of the draw, our local nemesis Charlton Park defeated Letchworth Garden City to set up a mouth watering Final, but who will have the home advantage . . .