Old Walcountians hopes of escaping relegation from Surrey One suffered a further setback last Saturday as they were comprehensively beaten 43-5 by leaders Old Tiffinians.
The Old Boys are now bottom of the table, level on points with Kingston, but a further five points behind Old Blues.
Few people watching would have got an idea of the eventual outcome from the first 20 minutes of the game.
A determined Old Walcountians took the game to their opponents, with the front row of Luke Raynor, Ian Richardson and Steve Cowlin scrummaging strongly and Steve and Pete Cowlin, along with number eight Gerry Connor, leading the cavalry charge in the loose that drove Tiffinians back towards their own line.
The opening try by Tiffinians’ left winger Fentiman in the 20th minute was against the run of play and came after the Tiffinians full-back counter-attacked from his own half and evaded two tackles to put Fentiman in the clear to outpace what was left of Walcountians’ defence.
Testing: Prop Luke Raynor looks to get the upper hand in the scrum as the Walcountian forwards try to get the upper hand early on.
Walcountians responded and narrowed Tiffinians’ lead in the 26th minute when Gerry Connor broke from a 5m scrum and brushed off four attempted tackles to touch down, but that was destined to be Walcountians’ high point of the afternoon as the league leaders cut loose.
The two-point gap between the two sides widened to 21 points by half-time as the pacy and skilful Tiffinians backs ripped through Walcountians’ defence at will.
This led to tries in the 29th and 34th minutes and, five minutes into stoppage time, Tiffinians’ lock Hughes scored a spectacular solo try by bouncing off three tackles and outpacing the final defenders to touch down.
Walcountians faced the slope and the wind in the second half and were pinned back in their half as Tiffinians used both to their advantage.
All Walcountians’ attempts to run the ball were snuffed out by an efficient Tiffinians defence and, as the second half progressed, Walcountians lost their former advantage in the forwards as Tiffinians began to dominate the scrums and the loose.
A switch of direction saw Tiffinians run in their fifth try of the day and, although Walcountians held out until the closing stages, they leaked two more tries in the final minutes.
The first, after 30 minutes, was a number eight try after he broke from the back of a 5m scrum and the second, in time added on, came after the ball was released to the backs from a rolling maul.
Next Saturday, Walcountians travel to Suffolk to take on Newmarket in the regional quarter-final of the RFU Junior Vase. Kick-off at Elizabeth Avenue, Newmarket is at 2:15pm.
Chance: Chances for the Walcountian backs are few and far between, here veteran centre Chris Drinkwater finds a rare gap in a strong Tiffinian defence
Charge: Forward Gerry Connor drives into the Tiffinian defenders in a competitive start to a difficult game for Walcountians