Though missing some key players in the pack through injury Trinity felt that they still had enough strength to do well against a team below them in the league.
The home side started smartly and were on the attack for a number of phases, but a stout Trinity defence coped well and soon forced Freemen’s to concede a penalty from which fly half Dan Crouch won a good field position. A solid line out allowed him to set his backs in motion and they stormed the home defence with a number of pacy attacks. The moves deserved more as Freemens infringed repeatedly and were warned by the referee but they had to settle for a Crouch penalty for a 3-0 lead after 8 minutes.
5 minutes later Trinity lost concentration when the home winger won the ball in midfield and was allowed to build momentum to take him past several defenders and poor tackling and run round behind the posts for a 7 pointer. The exchanges were now even for a considerable period. Freemens lost a player to a serious injury and this took several minutes to deal with. Trinity lost flanker Farooq Agbalaya which allowed Charlie Cassar to come on as a replacement and make a promising debut. Trinity began to dominate now and a series of offsides gave them penalty advantage in attacking.
This was suddenly called ‘over’ but Crouch had spotted a space on the right wing and he put in a clever kick for full back Marc McEvilly to chase, gather skillfully and score in the corner after 34 minutes. 6 minutes later Trinity were further ahead when their scrum won a penalty and from a line out on the 22 a driving maul gained ground. Skipper Ali Hall took the ball on and set up a ruck from which evergreen prop Dom Plumb drove forward to touch down. Crouch converted and Trinity had a good lead at 15-7. At the very end of a half extended for injury time Freemens were awarded a penalty in the 22 and seemed to have wasted their chance when the scrum half took a quick tap but dropped the ball. However, it was decided that things were not ready and Freemen’s slotted the kick to leave the score 15-10 to the visitors at the interval.
Trinity looked in good shape at this stage with Plumb putting in an inspired performance, Hall showing plenty of pace in breaks and Rob Farmer adding an ‘extra flanker’ dimension to his role as scrum half. The second half, however, was a masterclass from the home team in keeping possession, recycling well and constantly crossing the gain line. Only a fine performance from the visitors’ defence prevented them from scoring a try – the tackle count was enormous. Trinity couldn’t find a way of going forward and in their frustration got the wrong side of the referee which made things even more difficult. Freemens got on with the game and forced 3 penalties which were all kicked to seal a victory which, on the evidence of the second half, was much more comfortable than the score suggests.