Lordswood Survive A Scare To Set The Record Straight!
12 MAR 2019 | BY DAVID HATCHETT
On Saturday, Lordswood travelled to Brockleains in London for an eagerly anticipated match. A score needing to be settled as Brocks are the only team that have managed to take the points away from Fortress Woods.
The game started with some heavy pressure from a well drilled Brock’s side.
The first 10 minutes arguably saw Lordswood play their most mature rugby of the season by weathering the set piece attack and remaining calm in defence to pressure the opposition centres and fly half partnership. Lordswood, going through the motions, left Brockleians resorting to sniping kicks in behind the line, collected by Dave Evans and Jack Winwood for calm exits from the 22.
The gusty conditions made for a tough kicking game with some territory kicks going awry meaning the kick chase would be essential to the territory game. Dave Evans, Stephen Chapman and Paul Notley providing the much needed effort.
Lordswood were able to translate the early defensive duties into some attacking pressure of their own and with a scrum being awarded on the 5m line after some messy/gritty defence from Brocks. Brockleains found they were no match for Lordswood at scrum time and were brazenly taken for a walk over their own line for Mark Dorman to touch down with relative ease at the base of the scrum. 0-7
Not long after this, disaster struck as Paul Notley was shown a red card for foul play at the bottom of a ruck. Lordswood were down to 14 men with over 60 minutes normal time and 10 minutes ‘referee magic watch’ time remaining.
Normally…panic stations, and initially so, as players had to adjust to the extra work rate and duties needed to hold on to the lead! Then with the help of Captain Chris Callaway and some experienced heads in the side, Lordswood were able to regain their composure and weathered the inevitable storm that was coming. Only being beaten just before the break by a breakaway try from a fast Brock’s centre who broke through a rare gap in the stretched defensive line. Dave Evans then replaced by Joe Kirwin after injuring his calf in his efforts to prevent the try. 7-7
Half time was a time for understanding that Lordswood were holding their own against a good team and the only score they had, was a lucky one. Lordswood came back at half time with no intention of only surviving this match and to hold on, but to take the fight to Brock’s.
This mindset manifested itself by Lordswood regaining possession after the restart, and with some strong running from Mark Dorman and some calm recycling, Danny Baker was able to crash over the line despite the attentions of three tacklers. 7-14
Throughout the second half Lordswood had to wrestle to contain Brockleians and scramble in defence. When they eventually did manage to get around the fringes, they were quickly stopped. The success of this was largely down to…….“the guy in the pink hat”…….as a Brock’s centre described him later. The pink/red tipped missile being Callum Watkins who foiled the majority of Brock’s attempts to go wide! The scrambling efforts from Chapman, Kirwin and later Crammond would halt a few certain tries on many other occasions.
The Lordswood pack sniffing weakness and an opportunity to take the game to Brock’s worked tirelessly around the breakdowns. Also stepping up the defence in the loose to create the much needed turnover possession for Lordswood. Then to compliment this, the pack continued their dominance with the ball in hand using deft passes to break the line followed by sniping runs from Tom Dallas and Mark Dorman.
Scott Crammond, replacing an injured Jon Hills who provided his best defensive game of the season, became a threat immediately. Offering an inside line off of Mark Dorman only to be foiled just short of the line by a solid tackle.
Not long after Lordswood kept Brock’s in their own half with some heavy defence and some great kick returns. Eventually gaining a telling penalty, producing a lineout on their 5m line. From the set piece Mark Dorman was judged to be held up, resulting in a 5m Scrum to Lordswood. Retribution came quickly as the Lordswood pack decided on another leisurely stroll across the Brock’s try-line. Mark Dorman with the try, and James Dorman with his 3rd conversion of the game 7-21.
After an elongated game and some intense pressure from Brock’s, they did manage to get a consolation try near the end of the game. 12-21
A monumental team effort from Lordswood ground out a win, away from home against a really tough team.
There was no way that a man of the match could have been given out, as the effort and passion shown, was matched by every player in a black and yellow shirt.
Mentions must go to the Lordswood front row, with Ben Butler and in particular the props who both played their first full 80mins of rugby this season. Magic Mike and player coach Danny Baker. The Lordswood pack in general, creating the points.
Callum Watkins for terrifying their centre and the back 3 for making numerous try saving tackles when over run.
Now……onto Sittingbourne, another record to set straight!
Up the Woods!!!