OLD TIFFINIANS 57-14 TRINITYDecember 8, 2023
TRINITY RFC XMAS RAFFLE – THIS FRIDAYDecember 13, 2023
TRINITY 27-5 KINGSTON
In very windy conditions at Lime Meadow Avenue, Trinity had the advantage of the gale in the first half.
Ben Telfer kicked off but the strength of the wind was such that it carried the ball dead. The first scrum revealed that Trinity would have the advantage in this department, but they were penalised for offside. They soon put things right by winning a scrum penalty in the next set piece. Both sides were finding it difficult initially to throw in straight at the line out because of the conditions. A Trinity team containing 8 school old boys, had two young wingers in Callum True and Jeevan Sagu and they performed well in getting involved when needed but also in contributing to the good shape kept by the team over the afternoon. True put in a good early tackle and when Mids swept downfield Kingston were penalised at a ruck and Jack Greenwood kicked a solid goal, judging the wind as a talented golfer does. Kingston defended well and won some penalties and sorted out the line out better than the hosts.
However, Trinity were stronger around the field with Olly Hubbard tackling well and winning turnovers and Ali Hall carrying strongly. Kingston held the next Mids scrum well but Greenwood made good ground and the ball was well recycled with Ty Williams taking it on. Pressure was sustained and the ball was sent out to Marc McEvilly at fly half who scored to give his side an 8-0 lead after 15 minutes. Kingston then had a penalty attempt, but it was a big ask into the gale. Trinity were penalised several times as they strove to build the lead that they knew they would need to build with wind and slope in their favour and this gave heart to Kingston who were resisting well. In fact, Trinity were not adding to their tally as the clock ticked and some fancy passes were not fitted to the difficult conditions. However, Farooq Agbalaya was putting in his usual all-round power game and Adam Stammers carried well until he had to retire injured.
Kingston managed to construct some moves but ran into strong tackling from Andy Dean and Ben Vaillant. Eventually Trinity got their act together after Kingston were penalised, and Telford found touch on their 22. Vaillant took a perfect line out catch, delivered to Greenwood and his pass to McEvilly enabled the fly half to unload to Williams who was flying in at pace to sail under the posts in the 39th minute. Greenwood converted and a 15-0 lead was healthier as half time approached. Time added on was considerable because of some injuries and time taken in retrieving the ball from long wind-assisted touch kicks. This enabled Kingston to mount some pressure in the Mids’ 22 and they sustained this but came away without any reward for their valiant efforts.
Against the elements Trinity started the second half well. True put in another good tackle, Hall blocked down a kick and Nathan Bacon made a number of carries. Mids were playing the right game in the circumstances and keeping it tight. When they won a penalty, further strong carries by McEvilly, Vaillant and Bacon brought them to the Kingston line, and they forced the defence to infringe. A yellow card did not help the visitors and Trinity went for a scrum. Kingston held this well but could do nothing to stop Agbalaya who picked up to score. Greenwood’s conversion made it 22-0. Kingston failed to kick off properly and Mids exploited this to win a strong scrum. Farooq carried well into the Kingston half but when the ball went loose Kingston hacked ahead to a threatening position. Telfer gathered well and made a strong run down the right wing. His kick ahead unfortunately went into touch, but he had made valuable ground. Trinity stole the visitors ‘line out. From the maul Jacques Bryant made one of his battering runs and then Ali Hall dummied and sidestepped in a classic break. The ball was quickly shipped out wide to Williams who crossed for his second try which secured the bonus point.
Trinity were well in charge now and had defied the elements. Coaches were particularly pleased at how they had managed the game in these conditions. There was still time for Farooq to continue to show the unrelenting power of his engine and for Bacon to make one of his trademark battering runs when obstacles were shrugged aside with aplomb. Hubbard was still tackling and turning over ball. It is to Kingston’s credit that they took advantage of some Trinity indiscipline to win a penalty for backchat and to force several more infringements. Tim Jupp was the one singled out for a team card. Kingston now laid siege to the home line and only fierce tackling by a well-organised Mids defence kept them out. There were big hits by Bryant, Stammers(the Lazarus man),McEvilly and MarkMacaskill, who had come on as a replacement. Kingston were held up and Trinity cleared. Williams then won a turnover and Hall made another break out of defence. Kingston sustained their pressure and Macaskill was carded for a high tackle (“How am I expected to tackle a man that is 5 foot 2?”).
Eventually the gallant Kingston got the try they deserved to complete the scoring. Trinity travel to East Grinstead on Saturday and will be hoping to maintain the same focus to knit well together and continue to improve their game management.
Match report by Gerry Murphy
TRIBE ADVISORY Player of the Match: FAROOQ AGBALAYA