OLD WALCOUNTIANS 15-20 TRINITYSeptember 22, 2023
TEDDINGTON 67-3 TRINITYOctober 6, 2023
Trinity 22 East Grinstead 25
The visitors looked really threatening as they indicated early in the match that they intended to play a running game and they were very good at it.
Trinity had to tackle well to deal with this. Grinstead declined to attempt two kickable penalties and stuck to their plan. They seemed certain to score when they spread the ball right but winger James Jenkins was there to put in a fine saving tackle. Mids now came into the game and a number of strong bursts through the middle by Andy Dean showed promise of what was to come. Injuries to scrum half James Hammond and lock Mark Macaskill hampered the home side but they reorganised well with Jack Greenwood moving to scrum half and Ben Telfer coming on at full back. Fuad Agbalaya replaced Macaskill. Trinity missed a good opportunity when Greenwood’s penalty attempt was just wide. They kept the pressure on, however, and Telfer was enjoying himself producing a fine 50-22, the first of three such jewels from him in the match. He was also instrumental in setting up the first try for Trinity when he dealt well with a clearing kick from Grinstead and sent out a long pass to debutant winger, Aidan Sisk. He showed real pace and accelerated past the cover to score. The conversion was missed but Trinity were now dominating and there was strong running from Dean, Ali Hall and Olly Hubbard.
Grinstead were offside and Greenwood took a quick tap penalty to take advantage of their disarray. The ball went astray and he was fortunate that he was given a second chance. He kicked the goal to stretch the lead to 8-0. Trinity now had opportunities to build their score with Fuad putting himself about and Telfer winning territory. Fly half Dan Crouch put in a clever chip which was well chased and the visitors had to concede a 5 metre scrum. East Grinstead managed to hold on but the pressure continued to mount and eventually centre Marc McEvilly knifed through the middle and, though tackled high, seemed to touch down under the posts. But the referee was unsighted and the score was not awarded. Trinity were deflated by this and Grinstead took the opportunity to make their first foray upfield for some time. They won a penalty in front and this time kicked the goal. Half time arrived with Trinity 8-3 ahead.
Grinstead started the second half with more of their spirited handling and Alfie Lamb, playing his first game put in a good saving tackle. The visitors kept at it and scored a converted try to lead 10-8 after 44 minutes. Dave Spedding then suffered an injury and Dom Plumb came into the front row with Lamb moving to second row. The latter was quickly involved after he cleared out well at the breakdown to create space for Dean to put McEvilly in under the posts. This time there was no doubt and Greenwood’s conversion put Trinity back in the lead at 15-10.
The third debutant Charlie Merrett was claiming good ball in the line out and Trinity, who had now gained momentum, produced another try through Sisk after good work by Hall and Crouch. There were 10 minutes to go and Trinity were looking good with a 12 point lead after Greenwood’s conversion. Grinstead would not lie down however, and continued to back their running game. This produced three tries, two converted, the last one in the last play of an extended second half.
Trinity were shellshocked and felt strongly that the decisions had gone against them. They felt they had been mugged. Coach Matt Higgins was very pleased with the performance, particularly of the three young debutants. He felt that progress was being made and that, with better management of the game to protect their lead in the closing stages, Trinity would have got the result their efforts deserved.
MATCH REPORT – Gerry Murphy
TRIBE ADVISORY PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Aidan Sisk