Old Freemens make the Counts pay the penalty

First published in Sport by

Old Walcountians slumped to the bottom of Surrey Division One after 16-8 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Old Freemens.

The match was a must-win for the Counts as their opponents were bottom of the table at the start of the game. 

But Counts’ considerable effort was not matched by skill or thinking as they allowed the visitors to direct the rhythm of the game from the start.

Walcountians repeatedly lost the ball in contact situations through lack of support, and they conceded too many penalties. 

It took the visitors just eight minutes to open the scoring when their pack drove Walcountians off the ball at a set scrum, from which their number eight broke to touch down for a converted try. 

They extended their lead to 10 points after 15 minutes when their fly-half kicked a penalty.

Walcountians fly-half Tom Diamond reduced the arrears with a penalty and the score was 10-3.

Walcountians started the second half with hope that they could turn the game around, with the slope in their favour, but these plans were undone in the second minute of the half when Freemen’s converted their second penalty after Walcountians were caught offside.

However, this sparked the Counts into action and, in the eighth minute, they finally broke through. 

Strong scrummaging by props Dan Bell and Steve Cowlin helped shunt the Freemen’s pack backwards at a five-metre scrum, from which the ball was released to the three-quarters.

Although the first move was checked, a second phase move was started, from which full-back Chris Drinkwater joined the line to carve his way through the Freemen’s defence for a try.

Hopes that the Counts would mount another second half comeback were not realised.  Several promising moves came to grief in the wet conditions through poor handling and the visitors not only managed to hold out, but added to their score with a third penalty.

Walcountians take a break from the league nest week, when they take on Streatham & Croydon in a friendly. 

They return to league action the following week when they travel to Cranleigh.

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