Late drama gives Vees win
PUBLISHED: 12:57 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010
Herts/Middlesex One Verulamians 15 Saracens Amateurs 12 Vees got back to winning ways with a dramatic score in the last play of the game at home to Saracens Amateurs on Saturday. Vees were 4 points down going into the dying moments when a break from Man
Verulamians 15 Saracens Amateurs 12
Vees got back to winning ways with a dramatic score in the last play of the game at home to Saracens Amateurs on Saturday.
Vees were 4 points down going into the dying moments when a break from Man of the Match Darren Choppin put winger Ollie Gardner in space. The Saracens full back tracked across to make the covering tackle, but Gardner was able to offload to Gareth Waters who strolled over the line to score the winning points.
Saracens Amateurs have had a strong start to the season and are looking to challenge for the league title. They arrived at a wet and muddy Cotlandswick early to start their match preparations knowing that it was Vees who beat them here last year to stop them going up.
A strong start from the visitors saw them take a 6-0 lead, with two penalties through the boot of their fly half.
Debutant Rick Farmer, missed an early chance before getting the Vees on the score board with a penalty of his own. The game settled into a rhythm with strong running from Fretter and Choppin in the centres causing havoc in the Saracens midfield. This gave the Vees a good platform in the first half while the pack fought hard to keep the struggle up front against the bigger Saracens pack on an even keel.
Saracens knocked over another penalty to extend their lead before Vees scored their first try. They gave quick ball to Joe Woolley, playing at 10, who threw a missed pass out to Choppin at outside centre. Choppin stepped outside his man and broke up field before drawing the full back and sending young David Simpson clear, who raced to the line and scored. It was a very well taken try, but a missed conversion still left Vees trailing 8-9 going into the break.
The second half became a scrappy affair, with the muddy conditions, high penalty count and numerous injuries making it a very stop-start game.
Saracens started to exert their control on the game and kept Vees pinned in their own half for much of the game but to the host's credit they soaked up the pressure and didn't look like conceding a try.
Another penalty kick extended Saracens lead to 8-12 setting up a close finish.
Vees almost scored another try after Woolley took a quick tap inside his 22 and broke up field and put Trevor Munien into space.
Munien drew in the winger and passed out wide to winger Gardner. Gardner looked to be in the clear but the fullback tracked across and put in a good covering tackle and helped clear the ball.
With the clock counting down, Vees managed to secure possession inside the Saracens half again and earned a scrum out on the right. It was from this scrum that the ball went wide to Choppin, who capped off a fine display with another break and ended with Waters crossing the line to win the game.
Vees 2nd and 3rd XV's also won at home against Barnet Elizabethans 2's 29-12 and Old Millhillians 2's 22-10 respectively capping off a great day. Try's in the Squirrels (Seconds) came from Saunders, Evershed, Kevin and Gardner. Try's in the Pheasants (Thirds) came from Lines, Rampling, Osbourne and Paul.
Vees host Harlequin Amateurs in the league next week with a 2pm kick off.
VEES: Simpson (Moralee), Waters, Choppin, Fretter, Chapman (Gardner), Woolley, Munien; Stock (Briars), Suter, Spyropulous, Wildey, Graham, Farmer, Coyle, Luxford.