AGM DATEOctober 26, 2023
TRINITY VETS 7-45 KCS OLD BOYS VETSNovember 6, 2023
Trinity 21 Hove 15
Trinity were soon on the attack with a penalty to the 22. Ben Vaillant made a good catch but in the ensuing maul the ball was dropped and Hove immediately showed the power of their scrum. This gave them good ball on a number of occasions but they were denied progress by the intensity of Mids’ line speed and tackling.
A turnover by Olly Hubbard and big tackles by Andy Dean, Temi Okenla and Hubbard again put the hosts very much on the front foot and, after 11 minutes good interplay between Hubbard and James Hammond, put lock Alex Scott over for the opening try. Jack Greenwood’s conversion attempt looked to be curling in nicely but it stayed outside the post. Trinity’s line out was generally functioning well while Hove’s was inconsistent. Trinity produced a promising handling move but were frustrated by a harsh call for a forward pass. They were now really struggling in the scrum and, after conceding too many penalties, suffered a yellow card.
Hove made little progress, however, against a well-organised home defence. Marc McEvilly put in two huge tackles in quick succession and, even behind a retreating scrum, there was good discipline from Trinity. A turnover by Okenla allowed Ben Telfer to find a good touch on the visitors’ 22 and a clever line out move saw Okenla to the fore again as he drove towards the line. It seemed that Mids must score from a concerted effort but a lack of patience meant that they came away with nothing. A relieving kick by Hove was wasted when they conceded a free kick for delaying the throw. Hammond tapped and went for the right corner. From the ruck, the ball was moved left and the same player was on hand on the other side of the field to claim Mids’ second try, after a deft chip through by Telfer. Trinity were well worth their 10-0 lead. Hove now mounted what was their first sustained period of attack in the home half. They drove into the 22 and, having won a penalty, elected for the scrum. It looked as if they must drive over. Trinity did well to hold the push, with the front row of Ali Hall, Tim Jupp and veteran Dom Plumb gaining in strength. Hove used the position well and full back Lloyd Sullivan crossed for their first try. The half-time score of 10-5 to Trinity did flatter Hove.
Mids were determined to restore their advantage and did so almost straight from the kick-off. Okenla drove through and won a penalty and, after Hubbard’s excellent take in the line out, he was there again to force his way over for the home side’s third try. Hove, now 10 points behind, came on the offensive but were stymied by two more Hubbard specials. They pressed on and won a penalty, going again for the scrum. Again, Trinity held them but Hove recycled well. Trinity butchered a chance to clear and flanker Rob Ward scored for the visitors. The conversion was missed. A long kick ahead by Vaillant was unlucky to roll just over the dead ball line. Following a fine tackle by Greenwood, Hove were penalized and Telfer found another good touch on the 22. Vaillant broke through but a knock-on denied him a score.
Points did come, however, via a solid penalty goal from Telfer and 18-10 looked good for Trinity. But now they seemed to switch off and Hove swept down the field to strike in the corner and stay well in the game at 15-18 with only 10 minutes left. Vaillant made another good turnover and Trinity had chances to put the game to bed but were frustrated by basic errors. They lacked the intensity shown earlier. A second good penalty goal from Telfer steadied the ship. Hove, to their credit, kept looking for the winning score but another turnover, this time from McEvilly, saw Trinity through.
Coach Matt Higgins was pleased with several aspects of play, particularly the way a scrum, which had been suffering, managed to regain composure and finish much stronger. This was a game that Trinity had dominated but might have lost if players had not worked so well for each other. Better tempo and progress towards cohesion will help build on Mids’ third victory of the season.
Match report GERRY MURPHY
Tribe Advisory MAN/PERSON/PLAYER of the Match: OLLY HUBBARD