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1st XV - Match centre

Old Haberdashers
South Woodham Ferrers
Sat 6 Jan 14:00 - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

Old Habs 1st XV vs South Woodham Ferrers 1st XV

OH dust off the Christmas cobwebs

The first game back after the Christmas break saw OH welcome South Woodham Ferrers to Croxdale Road. The reverse fixture earlier in the season resulted in an OH loss largely due to half the team being away at the Evil Skeletor’s wedding. “Surely not a wedding in the rugby season?” I hear you ask. This week, Habs were close to full strength and looking to blow off the Xmas cobwebs and kick-start the second half of the season.
With SWF struggling for points of late, the focus in the pre-match talk was to get points on the board early. This was duly delivered with a try 5 minutes into the first half. A delicious line-out around the 22m was delivered off the top, the ball went through the hands to centre Josh Downie who had cut a sumptuous line at pace to scythe through the opposition and score. Conversion slotted by Ian McGhee.
The second score came quickly after at the 12 minute mark. After several phases of play by Habs, James Farrell went on a trademark mazy run and although tackled just short, was able to free his hands and pop the ball off the floor to Mike Marsden who ran in the whole 3 metres to score his first of the season. Successful conversion. 5 minutes later, Josh Downie grabbed his second of the game and Habs were looking comfortable with under 20 minutes on the clock. Try also converted by Ian McGhee. Unfortunately, Josh later took a knock which ended his involvement.
Credit to SWF who battled back and ran hard at the OH defence during several attacking phases but could not break through.
HT – 21-0
Now going down the hill, Habs started the second half in similar fashion to the first. The 4th try came from a penalty and following a few tight phases, Jonny Gatus flopped over from 1m for his first ever Habs try. Unconverted.
The defence held strong in the second half and Habs waited for their next attacking opportunity. After a couple of phases, the ball came out to Harry Briffitt who decided to take an unconventional route from one touch line to the other, running in front of and then around the South Woodham defenders to score in the corner. A ridiculous diagonal! Extras missed.
Captain Miller finished the scoring off for Habs with some neat play down the touchline. Try unconverted.
SWF were determined to score a consolation try and battled up the hill with carries in the midfield before sending it wide and ultimately over the line.
FT – 36-5
A good game for OH to remove the rust from the Xmas break with a tough away trip in Norfolk to follow. The evening quiz was dubiously won by the quizmaster’s wife.

Team selection

Farrell, James Farrell, James
Kettel , James Kettel , James
Downie, Josh Downie, Josh
Miller, Simon Miller, Simon
Briffitt, Harry Briffitt, Harry
McGhee, Ian McGhee, Ian
Whittle, Jonny Whittle, Jonny
Clark, James Clark, James
Seabrook, George Seabrook, George
Elkington, Ben Elkington, Ben
Harris, Andrew Harris, Andrew
Marsden, Mike Marsden, Mike
Sanderson, Andrew Sanderson, Andrew
Gatus, Jonny Gatus, Jonny
Sanderson, Ian Sanderson, Ian

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Brentwood 26 118
2. Chingford 26 115
3. Colchester 26 98
4. Amersham & Chiltern 26 88
5. Eton Manor 26 85
6. North Walsham 26 75
7. Old Haberdashers 26 68

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