Bracknell U14s v Marlow U14s
By Gosia Hopley
Testing game in tough conditions
Off we went into Bucks, with c.27 boys. We had cancelled our B game v Old Ruts, and had agreed with Marlow to do three thirds, as we both had similar numbers of A&B boys available.
The wind was really strong, and first third we were playing into the wind as well as uphill. We had agreed to start with all a players on the pitch, and all the boys played to a reasonable standard given the conditions. There were some scrappy moments, chances at both ends, and eventually Marlow pounced on a loose ball and scored, with a wind-assisted conversion for 7-0. Still, very close given that we had the worst of the conditions.
In the middle third, Marlow rolled several B's onto the pitch, and we began to take advantage of the conditions in our favour. Harrison scored our first try, and with Louis W off the pitch following a knock to the knee Will took the kick which the wind just blew across the posts. Thomas then scored with a Will conversion for 7-12, before Matteo got on the scoresheet and a rejuvenated Louis kicked over for 7-19. Marlow nicked a late try just before the break, making it 12-19.
The final third began badly for our B's, with an instant Marlow try from the restart, although their conversion attempt hit the post making it 17-19. A converted try followed and yet another try, putting them 29-19 to the good. However, to their immense credit, our B team then put in a massive shift for the last 10 minutes, attacking with energy and aggression, and defending as if their lives depended on it, and we repelled everything Marlow threw at us. We even came within a whisker of scoring, but 29-19 was probably a fair representation of the game overall.
A big thanks to all the boys, some of whom only got 20 minutes on the pitch, but did so without complaining. Man of the match was unquestionably Kyle, who we tried out as No.8 and was like a man possessed, charging forward with pace and power, and covering huge amounts of the pitch, linking up play very effectively. There were other great performances too, so as a last minute change to schedule and team structure we ended up with some valuable game time.
by Phil Wells