Mids turned on the style with one of their best displays of the season as they produced a try fest away to Old Blues in the semi final of the Surrey Shield to progress through to the finals weekend for the second year in a row.
Mids showed they were keen to run the ball from the start as Nathan Bacon made a great break from him own half. However as he approached the opposition 22 he decided to try to chip the opposition fullback rather than bulldozing straight over him. Not know for his kicking ability it will be no surprise that the kick never came off! The breakthrough came for Mids when Dan Crouch put in a pinpoint cross field kick to Harry Wilson who turned on the gas to sprint clear down the wing for the try. Crouch added a further two points with the conversion. Mids continued to try to attack at any opportunity but wasted opportunities as they were a bit too over-elaborate with one to many unnecessary offloads. Mids were also guilty of giving away too many penalties and it was from one of these that Old Blues took advantage to narrow the score to 3-7.
Any chances of a comeback were soon cut short as Jake Bacon extended Mids lead as he snipped from the base of the ruck to widen the margin to 3-12 which soon became 3-14 thanks to the boot of Crouch. Dan Crouch was up next! As Mids attacked with forwards and backs linking up well Mids were running out of space as play moved towards the touchline. Crouch with the show and go surprised the Old Blues back line and he grounded the ball to make it 3-21 as he added a further two points with the boot. Russell Jones then stole the ball from an Old Blues lineout inside the Mids 22. The ball was recycled to Dan Crouch who put in a monster kick to give Mids their own lineout deep in the Old Blues 22. A cheeky line out move to the front of the line out with Spedding and Captain Ali Hall playing a nice one-two to each other enabled Hall to score.
The score was now 3-26. With the rarity of Mids have more backs than forwards in the match day squad Temi Okenla found himself in the 7 shirt. Okenla stole the ball at the breakdown like a natural 7 and then passed the ball to his fellow backrower Dave Spedding. Spedding then drew two defenders before giving an outrageous round the back pass that resulted in Harry Wilson getting the final try of the first half as he ran in from 50 meters. Crouch kicked the conversion as Mid finished the half with a lead of 33-3.
Old Blues did have chances of their own as threatened to cross the Mids line however some huge tackles form the likes of Lewis Harrison and Alex Scott kept them at bay. Next to get their name on the scoresheet was Dave Spedding who following a great break from Marc McEvilly was on hand to finish of the hard work as he crossed the line for the score. Crouch again converted to take the score to 3-40. Ali Hall then broke from the ruck which was just outside of the Old Blues 22, he had obviously assumed that the 22 line was in fact the try line and that he was going for his customary try from a couple of paces out however once he realised that he was in fact on the 22 he actually had to do some work to get his try for once! Crouch converted to bring the score to 3-47. Harrison then charged through the Old blues defence and looked like he would go all the way but as he approached the Old Blues diminutive fullback he stopped dead in his tracks. With his pride clearly wounded he instantly subbed himself off!
Another Crossfield kick from Dan Crouch led to the next score. The kick was fielded by David Stanton on the wing who popped the ball back inside for McEvilly who ran a great line to dot down for the try. Once again Crouch converted to make it 3-54. McEvilly then nearly returned the favour to Stanton with an outrageous offload that would have put Stanton clean through only for the touch judge to have adjudged that he had put a foot in touch as he offloaded the ball. Following a weaving run from Matt Shields where he cut through the Old Blues defence, Spedding was on hand for his second try of the game with another great support line. Crouch converted to make it 3-61. Next up it was the turn of our two centres to show what they could do as Andrew Dean and Shields both linked up well which culminated with Shields running free for the score. The ever reliable boot of Crouch made it 3-68 Wilson had a number of chance to get a hat-trick but showed great jug avoidance skills with a number of one on one chips that failed to come off with the ball failing to bounce into his hands. Old Blues to their credit continued to fight and were duly rewarded for their hard work with a try of their own as they battled their way up the pitch to make the score 8-68. With the backline screaming for the ball Nathan Bacon grabbed the ball from the back of the ruck before his brother had the chance to fling the ball out to Crouch. Bacon instead rolling his way over the line for the final score of the game. Crouch hit the post with the kick from the touchline to end the game at 8-73. RUSSELL JONES