Old Walcountians suffered a heartbreaking end to last Saturday’s Surrey One encounter against Battersea Ironsides after the visitors won the match with the final kick to claim a 7-9 win.
Walcountians were prepared for a tough encounter against fourth-placed Ironsides and, with the services of Tom and Will Diamond, Will Thornton, Remy Claustres and Jonny Evans from the highly successful U21 side available, they met the challenge of Ironsides head on.
There was little to separate the two sides, although Ironsides had the stronger pack and their excellent organisation denied Walcountians opportunities to attack in the first half.
But Walcountians defended tenaciously and kept Ironsides at bay throughout the match, and the match was therefore a dour, low-scoring affair.
The visitors were first to score in the 17th minute with a penalty but, with half-time approaching, play broke down near the halfway mark and winger Tom Naylor pounced on the opportunity by giving the ball a massive boot downfield and winning the race to the tryline to touch down.
A conversion by centre Ben Davies gave the Old Boys a 7-3 half-time lead.
Tough day: Captain Steve Cowlin looks to earn the hard yards through a tight Ironsides defence
Walcountians continued to show resilience and commitment in the second half and, despite the muddy pitch not being conducive to running rugby, started to find openings in the Ironsides’ defence.
Their best opportunity to extend the lead came 21 minutes into the second half when fly-half Tom Diamond opened a gap in the Ironsides defence to give his three-quarters a clear opportunity to score.
Unfortunately, the final pass to Tom Naylor was wild and the chance went begging.
The Old Boys still looked on course for a morale-boosting victory against higher-placed opponents up to five minutes before full-time when they conceded a penalty which the ironsides inside-centre Ben Mott gratefully accepted, putting them within one point of Walcountians.
The high incidence of stoppages saw the match drag on into stoppage time, and a further concession of a penalty five minutes in proved fatal for Walcountians - Mott was on target again to turn victory into defeat for Walcountians.
The defeat sent Walcountians tumbling into the relegation places, and life will get no easier when they go to leaders Old Tiffinians in two weeks' time.
Up you go: Dom Bell climbs high to win lineout ball for Old Walcountians
Tight match: Fly-half Tom Diamond tries to find room to run in a closely fought contest
Lead by example: Steve Cowlin on the charge for Old Walcountians