Saturday 22nd September
Old Blues 29 – 15 Old Wellingtonians
The start to the 2018/19 season saw the 1st XV and 2nd XV running out at Fortress Motspur; the weather being a familiar damp affair which at least softened the ground a little. Alex Sattersfield led out a squad of 18 for his first run as Captain of the 1st XV squad accompanied by a raucous crowd of supporters cheering on the Blues, some stalwarts of the club who attended the old boys dinner, and a collection of the walking wounded on the touchline.
Old Blues started flat allowing the Old Wellingtonians to easily break through with a soft try in the corner. Upon regrouping, OBs put the pressure on and camped out in OW’s 22 for a sustained period of time, forcing OW to concede several penalties. OBs advanced further and sustained their pressure by kicking for the corner and subsequently setting up a superb driving maul from the lineout. Ben Taylor skilfully peeled off to put OB’s first points on the board with Will Avery coolly converting. Mark Davey then crashed over to put the OBs 12-5 up. The continued pressure from the Blues forced another penalty which Avery skilfully put away. Just before half-time OWs answered with a try of their own, to bring the score line to OBs 15-10 OWs and provided a warning to the Blues not to settle into complacency.
OB’s shape continued to look good in the second half with Charlie Kowzun marshalling the backs and James Peacock leading the forwards. Leo Gadsby went in underneath the posts (conversion from Will Avery) to take it to 22-10. OWs improved however, looking strong for large swathes of the second half with some good kicking and scrum work. OBs were under pressure at times with some interesting clearance kicks (Davey) not quite finding their mark. OWs sustained pressure was rewarded with another try, closing the gap to 22-15. OWs continued to press with OBs having to defend a number of penalties from their own try line. Digging in deep, OBs managed to turn over a scrum and force a penalty. After clearing their lines, OWs were then on the back foot. OBs took advantage of a loose ball and Mark Davey collected his second try of the day, conversion from Will Avery. Final score OB 29-15 OW.
An excellent performance for OB’s start to the season, as the 2s also had a convincing win at home.
MoM awarded to Will Avery for a great game, outstanding defensively and his kicking helped to keep OB’s points marching on. Particular mention should also be given to the number of debutants who had their first league game with the 1s: Max Greaves, Josh Heath, George Ratcliffe, Adam Wilkinson, Euan Copeland, Joe Jenkins, great shift from all the lads who have put a lot of effort in to pre-season over the last few weeks.
Bring on the rest of the season, Allez les Blues.