OLD CRANLEIGHANS 24-36 TRINITYNovember 15, 2023
TRINITY A XV 14-29 LONDON MEDIA IINovember 22, 2023
TRINITY 22-42 KCS OLD BOYS
Before the match, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Bob Jalfon, Vice-President and great Old Mid who died earlier in the day.
Trinity were quickly on the attack after Andy Dean won a turnover just after kick-off. Ben Telfer put in a good kick to the 22. The home line out was in fine form in the first half with George Daniels and Dave Spedding winning good ball. Dan Crouch chipped through and KCS knocked on. A big scrum from Mids enabled them to go left and unload to Ty Williams who sped through for the opening score. Jack Greenwood converted and Trinity were deservedly ahead 7-0 after 4 minutes.
They kept the pressure on after Kings were penalised from the kick-off and Telfer planted another good kick inside the 22. The line out was spoiled by Kings but Ali Hall won a turnover and the penalty was kicked to the corner. Another good line out and maul forced a penalty but a hugely advantageous position was spoiled when Trinity took a quick tap and a knock-on allowed the visitors to clear. They then mounted their first attack but this was repelled and Telfer found touch with a long relieving kick. This time KCS moved the ball well and went all the way to the corner to score. The Trinity kick-off did not go 10 and from the scrum the visiting full back ran in almost unopposed or a second try in 2 minutes. This was converted and the hosts were suddenly 5-12 down with 15 minutes gone.
Adam Stammers was injured and Tim Jupp came on as a strong replacement. Trinity now forced the play ad a long kick down the line by Crouch seemed to have secured territory but they were called back for offside. 3 unforced errors had cost Trinity dear and they went further behind when Kings kicked the long penalty to lead 15-7 at the end of the first quarter. Trinity regrouped and aggressive defence and a good surge from Tim Jupp forced a knock-on. Mids were enjoying scrummaging and putting pressure on. KCS were penalised for not releasing and Telfer kicked to the corner. Spedding made a good catch at the front and a driving maul took play on. Nathan Bacon was just short but Jacques Bryant was up in support and there was no stopping him as he drove over for a thumping try. Greenwood’s accurate kick brough Trinity within 3 points on 28 minutes. 5 minutes later Kings swept downfield and, despite sound defence from Mids, got the ball down to the referee’s satisfaction when the defence thought they had forced the visiting player into touch. Trinity then had a good chance when Telfer made a spectacular break through the middle but was well tackled and Kings cleared. Trinity kept pressing and just coming up to half time were awarded a penalty 40 metres out. Greenwood struck his kick beautifully to leave the match well balanced at the interval with KCS leading 20-15.
Trinity started the second half with confidence. More strong gave them plenty of possession and they were spoiling the oppositions ball well with aggressive midfield play. Bacon stole a loose ball and drove forward in typical fashion. Kings defended well. The home line out was not functioning as well, however, as it had in the first half and some good field positions were lost. Mids skipper Harry Wilson, returning from injury, had come on at scrum half and, when Ben Vaillant took well in a better-controlled line out, Wilson made one of his classic deceptive runs and fed Vaillant who had been really alert to run in support and gain the touchdown. Greenwood converted and Trinity had taken the lead.
Home supporters felt their team were now in with a chance of defeating a side well above them in the league and they continued to compete well. Kings were winning more possession but Mids were tackling like terriers, with big hits from Dean and Vaillant and aggressive defence from Marc McEvilly. It was a shame that when they did win back possession this was sometimes tamely kicked away. When play was stopped for a clash of heads, Kings, as the attacking side, were awarded the restart scrum.
Despite resistance from the home eight, they managed to let the ball out and for once the cover tackllng was poor and Kings ran in under the posts to turn the game around. They were finishing fitter than Mids and maintained the pressure. Trinity were not helped by being twice recalled for taking the ball back after they had thought they had gained good ground from inside their 22. Another penalty for Kings made it 30-22. They were in charge now and only an incredible chase back by Olly Hubbard who ran down their flying winger prevented another try. Mids gained one more good scrum position inside the visitors’ 22 but conceded a free kick for an early push. Kings ran in two more tries against a tiring Trinity to post a big score which flattered them to some extent. Coach Matt Higgins was pleased with his side’s efforts to stay with strong opposition for 60 minutes and felt that some poor decision-making had frustrated their efforts. Fitness will need to improve for their next game against Old Tiffinians in two weeks time.
Match report GERRY MURPHY.
Tribe Advisory Player of the Match – TY WILLIAMS.