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1st XV - Match centre

Old Haberdashers
Eton Manor
H Briffitt (3), C Johnson, C O'Riordain, C Esam, S Miller
Tries
C Michaels (5)
Conversions
Sat 30 Mar TBC - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

Old habs 1st XV vs Eton Manor 1st XV

By

OH do the double over Manor

Old Habs welcomed Eton Manor to Croxdale Road having stopped a slew of losses with a good win over Luton the week before. Eton Manor is a big club, one we’ve historically struggled to get the better of. Our win against them earlier in the season felt like a massive result at the time – a tight, low scoring affair against a team expected to do well in the league.

The spring sunshine saw Habs running out victors, in the end quite comfortably, demonstrating that their high league position is no accident – and that at least for 2018/19, teams like Eton Manor are not to be feared as they may have been in the past.

Eton Manor kicked off and attacked the Habs line, although struggled to convert their possession into points. Their attack was marshalled well by their intelligent scrum half, who kept the phases coming, and kicked well. Sadly for Eton Manor, they couldn’t maintain their pressure, as their shortcomings in the front row were delicately picked apart by the rampant Habs front row. The strength in the scrum wasn’t mirrored however, by precision in the lineout, a curiously scrappy affair on the part of Old Haberdashers throughout the game.

Eventually, Eton Manor were able to score, with some nice interplay amongst their backs finally allowing one of their centres to bundle over for a try. Under the posts, Habs resettled, and level heads prevailed, knowing that there was nothing to worry about from Eton Manor, and that given time and application – the scores would come.

Coming back up the hill from the kick off, Habs pinned Eton Manor to their try line with a succession of scrums, each one sapping the strength from the Eton Manor forwards, and almost always ending with the Referee blowing his whistle in favour of the men in magenta. Eventually the pressure paid off – with James Clark dotting down from the back of another drive.

Charlie Esam, playing at 10 – was directing traffic well, and, after an Eton Manor infringement in midfield, saw that an opportunity presented itself out on the right hand side. He tapped, went, distributed and watched on in pleasure as Miller, Briff, Cian and Charlie popped the ball back and forth in the 5m channel, before releasing Charlie to dot down in the corner. A well worked try which left the score at 10-7 heading into the half.

Half time saw Habs confident, knowing that as they turned down the hill, they had an edge in areas all over the park, and needed to trust in themselves to deliver the results. For all of the talk, however, it was Eton Manor who scored first – driving up the pitch almost from the kick off. Habs weren’t to be outdone, though, and swiftly put the ball back down the field. More scrum pressure led to Eton Manor losing a man to the bin – and Habs with a penalty just inside the 22. Wiser heads suggested that taking the points would make sense, Harold Briffitt foremost among the “kick the points” party. Jonny Whittle was having none of it, though, and told the front row to get their heads back down and scrum again. 20 seconds later, a sheepish Briffitt was galumphing through the Eton Manor line to score, Esam and Miller having opened a delicious hole for him to roam through.

This lead wouldn’t be lost again. Soon after the defence parted again, with Simon Miller the beneficiary, 24-12 to Habs, with Charlie Esam and Jonny Whittle working well together in attack, and young Ben Lewry making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown in defence.

Eton Manor were always going to come again at Habs, and, picking off a lineout, they drove up the pitch again eventually moving the ball wide after some heroic defence from Tom Solis. The conversion missed, the score now stood at 24-17 with about 15 minutes to go. Soon afterwards, Habs would put the game to bed. Following a percussive run from Will Longhill, the ball fell to Monkey, who trotted off down the hill in more space than is probably safe for him. Seeking contact at the earliest opportunity – he drew the tackle and offloaded the ball inside to the onrushing Charlie Johnson who sped in under the posts to score the decisive try. 31-17, and the game was up for Eton Manor. They persisted and scored their fourth try for the bonus point, however Habs were quick to hit back with Esam lolloping over for a try following a break down the left hand side.

With the clock running down on a famous Habs win – there was time for one more piece of magic. With the ball in the Eton Manor corner, Martin Reeves was introduced to the fray to add some heft and experience to the Habs pack. Despite his advancing years, he put himself about admirably, nimbly getting out of the way of the ball at the back of a lineout as the ball fell to Jonny Whittle. A few phases later – Whittle would delicately pass the ball out of the tackle to Cian O’Riordain who would gallop over for the game’s final try.

45-24 and a handsome victory for Old Haberdashers against a decent Eton Manor outfit; this was a game which could easily have been a brave and scrappy loss, but with the confidence and quality of the current squad – it ended as a comfortable win. A great performance, with some fine tries and an enthusiastic crowd, celebrating their final lunch of the year. Bravo OH!

Key moments

10:00
Try Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
11:00
Conversion Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
15:00
Try Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
16:00
Conversion Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
30:00
Try Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
31:00
Conversion Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
41:00
Try Charlie Johnson scores for Old Haberdashers
42:00
Conversion Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
60:00
Try Cian O'Riordain scores for Old Haberdashers
70:00
Try Charlie Esam scores for Old Haberdashers
71:00
Conversion Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
75:00
Try Simon Miller scores for Old Haberdashers

Highlights

View 0 new events
75:00 Try 45 - 0
Simon Miller scores for Old Haberdashers
71:00 Conversion 40 - 0
Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
70:00 Try 38 - 0
Charlie Esam scores for Old Haberdashers
60:00 Try 33 - 0
Cian O'Riordain scores for Old Haberdashers
42:00 Conversion 28 - 0
Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
41:00 Try 26 - 0
Charlie Johnson scores for Old Haberdashers
End of period 1
31:00 Conversion 21 - 0
Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
30:00 Try 19 - 0
Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
16:00 Conversion 14 - 0
Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
15:00 Try 12 - 0
Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
11:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Conor Michaels kicks a conversion for Old Haberdashers
10:00 Try 5 - 0
Harry Briffitt scores for Old Haberdashers
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Old Haberdashers
  • Eton Manor
  • 0
  • Harry Briffitt Try 10:00'
  • Conor Michaels Conversion 11:00'
  • Harry Briffitt Try 15:00'
  • Conor Michaels Conversion 16:00'
  • Harry Briffitt Try 30:00'
  • Conor Michaels Conversion 31:00'
  • Charlie Johnson Try 41:00'
  • Conor Michaels Conversion 42:00'
  • Cian O'Riordain Try 60:00'
  • Charlie Esam Try 70:00'
  • Conor Michaels Conversion 71:00'
  • Simon Miller Try 75:00'

Team selection

Michaels, Conor Michaels, Conor
Johnson, Charlie Johnson, Charlie
Briffitt, Harry Briffitt, Harry
Miller, Simon Miller, Simon
Solis, Tom Solis, Tom
Esam, Charlie Esam, Charlie
Whittle, Jonny Whittle, Jonny
Clark, James Clark, James
Lewry, Ben Lewry, Ben
Seabrook, George Seabrook, George
Marsden, Mike Marsden, Mike
O'Riordain, Cian O'Riordain, Cian
Sanderson, Andrew Sanderson, Andrew
Gatus, Jonny Gatus, Jonny
Sanderson, Ian Sanderson, Ian

League round up

Other London 1 North results

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27
15
H.A.C.
21
40

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Rochford Hundred 26 130
2. Colchester 26 115
3. North Walsham 26 109
4. Old Haberdashers 26 80
5. H.A.C. 26 78
6. Southend Saxons 26 67
7. Amersham & Chiltern 26 65

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