UCS Old Boys must get back to basics, says coach Bradshaw

Tom McKelvey (centre) in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys RFC

Tom McKelvey (centre) in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys RFC - Credit: Archant

UCS Old Boys were unable to arrest their disappointing run of defeats in London Division Two North-West as the basement boys went down 31-7 at home against HAC.

Despite the miserable rainy day, there was an air of anticipation and hope that the terrible start to the season could be halted against an HAC side who are having a mixed season.

There was little to choose between the sides in the opening 30 minutes, but the visitors got a few lucky breaks, giving them a 15-0 lead at half-time.

That was largely due to UCS’s struggling set piece, with their scrum being shunted around and the ball being stolen at the line-out stolen – but a good defensive line and mistakes by the opposition kept them in the game.

The Old Boys were more threatening in the second half, and the forwards dominated through the strong running of Tom McKelvey and James May and the hard hitting of captain James Boyde – all marshalled by the ever-present Dave O’Dwyer at half-back.

This culminated in UCS getting over the try-line on two occasions, but both touchdowns were disallowed due to the ball being held up.

Finally, a third effort produced the elusive converted score to give the hosts some hope going into the final quarter of the game.

Most Read

Huge efforts in the backs from Dom Rollo-Walker and Tom Bamford made regular dents in the opposition line, while Tom Loughnan made a good impact off the bench, running hard and making a general nuisance of himself.

However, familiar failings were costly as silly unforced errors and defensive lapses allowed HAC to release the pressure.

Indeed, the visitors were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and run in further tries, extending the winning margin to 24 points at the final whistle.

Coach Carl Bradshaw said: “Going forward from here we need to get back to basics, lower the error count, tackle more effectively and start gelling as a team.”

UCS’s second XV also lost out to St Albans in the Herts/Middlesex merit table, going down 24-10.