Alan Awcock was left with mixed feelings after London Welsh’s 13-5 defeat to London Scottish at the Kassam Stadium on Christmas Eve.
It was Welsh’s second Championship defeat of the season and saw their lead at the top of the table cut to just three points, with Awcock’s late try providing the only crumb of comfort on an otherwise bitterly disappointing and frustrating night for the home side.
The full back sneaked over in the corner from the last play of the game to claim his first Championship try for London Welsh – his debut try for the club having come only two weeks earlier against Edinburgh Academical in the British & Irish Cup at Old Deer Park.
“It was pretty good; it was nice to get off the mark in the league and it was on TV as well,” said Awcock. “Nathan [Morris] did well to break the tackle and get the off load in.”
It was another notable milestone for Awcock, who also works for the club as a Community Development Officer, but one that was undoubtedly tempered by the final scoreline.
“It was nice to score, but the game got away from us at the end and it was very disappointing,” he added.
“We’re sat on the top of the league and we want to be pulling away. Errors cost us; the possession stats will show that we were the dominant team, but if you don’t score you’re not going to win.
“But it’s a long season and these two defeats [to London Scottish and Bedford Blues] aren’t going to determine where we finish. There’s a lot of rugby still to be played.”
Awcock joined Welsh last season to assist with the rolling out of the club’s community programme in schools across Oxfordshire, while simultaneously playing his rugby for Newport RFC in the Welsh Premiership.
However, the summer saw him training with the Welsh first-team squad with his debut coming at Chinnor in a pre-season friendly to complete his transition from Community Development Officer to first-team player.
“I’m a bit more a part of it now – I can’t fault it, it’s gone really well for me. I played in the B&I Cup and played reasonably well,” said Awcock, who splits his time 60:40 between his community responsibilities and training.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had and now just need to keep pushing on, cutting the errors down and working hard in training, and when I get a chance to play, play well.
“It makes a massive difference if you’re training day in, day out. I miss a few sessions here and there with my community commitments but training and playing regularly in a full-time environment makes such a difference to your skill levels and your rugby understanding.”