Honours even after match ends in score chaos
By Jim Morgan at Stowmarket on Monday, 19th September 2011.
SUFFOLK MERIT LEAGUE, DIVISION ONE: Stowmarket 2nd XV 15 Haverhill 1st XV 15. Match report.
With Haverhill seconds not playing due to a re-arranged game, the expectation was for a strong team with plenty of subs on the side.
This was not the case, when yet again the reluctance to travel came to the fore, with some players just not turning up even after saying they would play.
This allowed for Dan Harris to step up to the plate and play probably the most difficult position in rugby union, that of the hooker. Basically, a star was born over in central Suffolk on Saturday.
The first 15 minutes of the game were even, with Haverhill showing dominance in the scrum and line. A Stowmarket scrum on their ten-metre line was turned over by the dominant Haverhill pack and the strong and quick Adam Curtis, playing at number eight picked and ran deep into the 22m, punching a hole into the Stowmarket defence.
Quick phase ball from Hope allowed the lay-off to Adam Hunt, who used his strength and speed to separate the Stow back line and go over the whitewash for the first points. The Ewens kick slipped wide for 0-5 on 16 minutes.
The game now consisted totally of Haverhill play, driving into the Stowmarket 22. Continual infringements or bad hands let the side down at the final moments.
On 25 minutes, a penalty was taken as a five-metre scrum. Haverhill just pushed over the line, but then swung the ball wide for Hunt to take his second try, this time converted by Ewens. 0-12 and Haverhill looking easy for the win.
On 30 minutes, a speculative Stowmarket kick was not cleared and then, with ball in hand, two tackles were missed and Stowmarket scored under the posts, for a surprisingly uncoverted try.
With two minutes to go before the turn, Haverhill were guilty of not releasing the player in the tackle and this time the Stowmarket kicker did not miss the chance for the three points, making the score 8-12 on the turn.
Stowmarket restarted and were quickly pressurising the Haverhill line, winning a penalty at five metres.
Haverhill were doing everything but concentrating on the game and the Stowmarket number eight tapped and plunged over the line for a converted try and 15–12 on 42 minutes.
Haverhill continued to win ball at will and the introduction of Harry Marsh to the pack just ensured that the two pods in the line-out of Carl Anderson and Marsh won every ball thrown onto the field of play.
Finally, Haverhill decided to kick to the posts when winning a penalty and Ewens made the scores even with ten minutes to go.
Stowmarket soaked up ten minutes of total Haverhill dominance, but Hunt crossed the line for his third try in the final minute, only to have the ball ripped from his hands just as he touched down for a five-metre Stowmarket scrum. Winning the ball, Stowmarket kicked the ball out and cheered for their win.
Confusion reigned for a few minutes as Haverhill were confused as to why they were told they were 12-17 after the early second half Stowmarket try and thus 12-20 at full time and Stowmarket felt the score was 15-13.
Honours were even, but Haverhill learned to check to the side for the scores in future.
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