Tough match for Vees

PUBLISHED: 16:29 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

Skipper Joe Wolley

Skipper Joe Wolley

Herts/Middlesex One Harlequins Amateurs 10 Verulamians 8 VEES fell to Teddington-based Harlequins Amateurs in a very close, hard-fought game on Saturday. It was the first encounter between the clubs and the supporters were treated to a fine display

Herts/Middlesex One

Harlequins Amateurs 10 Verulamians 8

VEES fell to Teddington-based Harlequins Amateurs in a very close, hard-fought game on Saturday.

It was the first encounter between the clubs and the supporters were treated to a fine display of hard-running, big-hitting rugby from both sides.

Vees were without several key players including captain Ali Luxford, ruled out with a hip injury. Impressive young scrum half Joe Wolley took the captaincy, with his younger brother Nick moving from 10 to his is favoured outside centre position.

Young Dave Simpson who made a big impact at full back last week with two tries was handed his first start at 10.

Vees earned good field position and a scrum early on through strong running by centres Rees and Wolley, along with some sharp running by winger Gerard Ellis. The scrum was solid, allowing young Joe Wolley to break right and ghost over the line to score.

Vees missed the chance to extend their lead and went in at the break 7-5 down, as the Harlequins forwards recycled and drove over for a converted score after initially being denied by strong cover tackling from Vees.

It looked like Vees would score first in the second half. Several phases brought play 10 metres in front of the Harlequins posts with Vees having the momentum to push for the score. This momentum was lost when play was brought to a halt due to a serious injury, one of the Harlequins players having been knocked unconscious. The player was eventually given the all clear and after a 20 minute break in play, Vees had a scrum 10 metres out for the re-start. Vees lost against the head after a huge effort by the Harlequins forwards and their number eight broke right and was brought down over the gain line. Vees were penalised for going over the top and had missed a great chance to get back in the lead.

Both teams exchanged penalties to take it to 10-8 and a close finish with 15 minutes to go. Despite plenty of attacking chances, neither side could make that crucial score and time ran out with Harlequins the victors.

It was a third loss on the bounce for Vees after a promising start to the season but they will be encouraged by the strong performances all round. Vees travel away to Cockfosters to play Saracens Amateurs on Saturday. Honours were even last year with two very close encounters, both of which were decided in injury time.

Vees: P. Spyropulous, R. Tyler, R. Graham, R. Wildey, P. Howe, D. Coyle, B. Moralee, P. Thompson, J. Wolley, D. Simpson, G. Ellis, A. Rees, N. Wolley, Ollie Gardner, D. Westhead, C. Driver, M. Porter, T. Munien.

Matt Luckhurst led Verulamians II to a very good win over Welwyn III 17-10. Tries came from Ross Osbourne, Lloyd Groves, Dan Purs and one conversion from Simon McCullough.

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