After success in the cup, OCs come away with the full 5 points at a blustery Thanet.
After progressing in the cup thanks to last week’s victory vs Farnham, Old Colfeians took the long trip to Thanet, armed with an abundance of coach entertainment including DVDs and the ever-present quiz thanks to Fred the vet.
Thanks to Storm Dennis, OCs began the half playing into a strong wind. With this the majority of the game was played between both 22s, with OCs enjoying the majority of possession. However after the squandering of an attacking lineout in Thanet’s 22, the home side began to use the constant squalls with an effective kicking game. OCs ill-discipline saw Thanet gain a penalty 5 meters out, followed by a tap and the infamous Thanet maul setup leading to a score only Brian Moore would be proud of.
After this score the Colfeian side yet again found themselves with the majority of possession, on this occasion the chance would not be left begging. After some strong carries meters out from the try line, top try scorer and short-range specialist Chris O’Malley crashed over, proving that not even being on the bench could stop him from scoring. With usual slotter Jack Potter, enjoying himself in sunny San Sabastian, Ed Livetttook the kicking duties for the day with the old school ‘cone’ technique.
With the second half and change of ends OCs could now use Dennis to their advantage. With some aggressive carries by skipper John Fletcher and last week’s MOTM Dele, OCs gained some much needed go forward. Despite the hard work from the forwards, it was a back that finished off the move. With the wind now keeping his long hair out his eyes, Ross Gladdish carried over to put OCs in the lead. Ed converting off the cone.
This score did not change the flow of the second half, with OCs continuing to put pressure on a tiring Thanet defence. Strong carries from Alex Verissimo, fresh from his previous valentines’ night antics, led Will ‘Jiggy’ Smith to set up Ed to add to his points tally for the day. Ed continued his 100% kicking record with the conversion.
Spearheaded by a finally fit Jiggy, Oc’s attack continued to look threatening. After some impressive feet by Andy O’Malley, the ball found its way to Will Smith running a good gamble line. The previous Wednesday training was sanctioned with a “no tackling jiggy” rule, which Thanet seemed to adhere by on the Saturday as Will ghosted past a couple of defenders before a shin level pass to Estefan Ellis who managed to get over the line.
Easily the try of the day, somewhat overshadowed by the arrogant statement by the OCs 10 of “I’m too good”. Ed ending the day with 100% from the cone.
This score would however be the last for the away side. A string of penalties gave Thanet a way back into the game. With another penalty inside OCs 22, the driving maul set up was back, this time illegally thwarted by Andy O’Malley seeing him spend 10 minutes in the bin. Thanet capitalised on the numerical advantage, taking a quick penalty and sneaking over in the corner.
Despite playing against the conditions, Thanet seemed to have a second wind straight from kick off. Some strong carries and questionable tackle height led to another maul set up inside OCs 22. With cries of “kill it’ coming from the Colfesbackline, Chris joined his brother on the side line for the rest of the game. Down to 13 OCs struggled to keep out Thanetwho scored their 3rd of the day, giving them a glimmer of hope.
However a glimmer was all it proved to be, with Old Colfeians holding out till the final whistle. Some key work ons for OCs but the aim was to take home 5 points and this was achieved. Some special mentions to Ed who took over the kicking duties with 100% success rate in blustery conditions. Also skipper John Fletcher who carried hard for 80 minutes, leading from the front. MOTM went to Will Smith who bossed the game from 10 and made sure to let everyone know how good he was.