Search

Fightback is in vain as UCS Old Boys are defeated at St Albans

16:02 25 February 2014

Tom Loughnan in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys

Tom Loughnan in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys

Archant

UCS Old Boys staged a brave fightback after a nightmare start away at St Albans, but they were unable to salvage the game and went down 30-18 in London North-West Division Two.

Xander Ancock took over captaincy duties for the day, leading a team who - like the current England squad - had relatively few caps between them but made up for it with heart and energy.

Unfortunately a bouncing ball from the kick-off ended up in green hands and St Albans touched down in only a few seconds before repeating the feat moments later to go 12-0 up after a matter of minutes.

At this point it would have been very easy for a team to fold, but UCS showed great fight and spent the next 15 minutes camped in the home side’s half.

The line-out, led by Alex Jayne and fed by the shapely arcs of Ancock, functioned brilliantly all day and, along with a strong driving maul, that gave UCS a good platform.

Time after time the Old Boys knocked on the door with strong carries from the forwards, but they couldn’t quite break the line and the visitors had to settle for an Elliot Lowe penalty to show for their efforts.

Throughout the game the UCS backs looked dangerous. Excellent running lines from centres Dan Sleath and Dom Rollo-Walker broke the gain line several times, but they often lacked support runners to make the most of the breaks.

Down the wings, both Elliot Lowe and Tom Loughnan, along with full-back Tom Arnold, covered well and made yards running the ball back.

When again the game was on the verge of slipping out of control again after another St Albans try, responded well.

A clearance kick sent deep into the UCS half was gathered by Lowe, who carried it up and passed across to the supporting Loughnan – and he beat another man before offloading to No10 Dan Hastings, who stepped past a final defender and ran in under the posts.

The conversion left the Old Boys just 19-10 behind at the interval, and they continued to close the gap after the break.

The kick-off sent the ball deep into St. Albans territory and, after winning a line-out in the 22, the UCS driving maul again showed its dominance, almost making it to the line.

Several blast balls from the likes of Jack Boulden and Mert Zabci in the back row almost made it over before Ricky Cohen, picking up at the base of the ruck, fended off the blindside defender and scored in the corner to make it 19-15.

The scrum was scrappy but UCS gave a good account of themselves, not losing any against the head - thanks mainly to the propping work of Gareth Watson-Cowan and Dave Myers.

The replacements in the forwards also had an impact, with experienced hand Tom Brandt making several big carries and Noah Miller making an important steal in the ruck on the UCS five-metre line.

Yet the Old Boys were unable to convert their pressure into maximum points, which proved fatal in the end because, five minutes from time, St Albans put the game out of reach with a try and a well-taken penalty.

Having given away 12 points in the first five minutes, UCS ended up 12 points down at the end, never quite being able to make up the difference.

UCS Old Boys: Watson-Cowan, Ancock, Myers (Miller), Cohen (Brandt), Jayne, Boulden, Zabci, Boulden, Breakwell, Hastings, Lowe, Sleath, Rollo-Walker, Loughnan, Arnold (Fonua).

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is proud of Tottenham’s passion and character and is pleased that his side are “not a nice team to play” any more – but he admits his players “crossed the line” against Chelsea and must learn to control themselves better in future.

Hampstead captain Steve Clark. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead are aiming to be the first team for five years to retain the Middlesex County League title – and captain Steve Clark believes a fierce competition for places can help his side to keep their crown.

Benham & Reeves' David Price (centre) presents this season's shirt to North Middlesex's captain Tom Nicoll (left) and new coach Dave Robson. Pic: Max Flego

Skipper Tom Nicoll has challenged North Middlesex’s top-order batsmen to give last season’s talisman Evan Flowers more support as the Crouch End club bid to maintain their progress in the Premier Division.

Yesterday, 12:01
Paul Weekes of Hornsey CC

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes the appointment of Paul Weekes as captain is a huge boost to their promotion prospects.

Yesterday, 12:00
Tottenham's Erik Lamela (left) and Arsenal's Hector Bellerin battle for the ball during the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in March

Tottenham blogger David Lee says it is important for Spurs to finish above north London arch-rivals Arsenal after their title dream was ended by Chelsea.

Yesterday, 11:00
Brondesbury captain Adam Wilson (left) presents overseas signing Glenn Phillips with his shirt. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Captain Adam Wilson hopes Brondesbury can pick up where they left off last season and win promotion this time, having fallen short last campaign.

Yesterday, 10:01
Highgate celebrate after clinching promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three last season. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate are readying themselves for new challenges after going through last season unbeaten as they cruised to the Division Three championship.

Yesterday, 09:01
North London CC captain Sam Bardon

North London’s new captain Sam Bardon is hoping his side can pick up where they left off at the end of last season.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe