Vees are left ruing misses

PUBLISHED: 09:56 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

Herts/Middlesex One Old Actonians 17 Verulamians 15 A BRACE of tries from in-form centre Darren Chopin, was not enough to stop Verulamians falling to a narrow defeat as missed conversions cost them dear away to Actonians on Saturday. Verulamians were forc

Herts/Middlesex One

Old Actonians 17 Verulamians 15

A BRACE of tries from in-form centre Darren Chopin, was not enough to stop Verulamians falling to a narrow defeat as missed conversions cost them dear away to Actonians on Saturday. Verulamians were forced into several changes again but felt confident taking the field and got off to a lightning start.

A line out on the half way line was tapped off the top from captain Alistair Luxford to veteran scrum half Trevor Munien who fed Joe Woolley, playing out of position at fly half. He glided through the hosts' line and put inside centre Tim Fretter away to score. Unfortunately for Vees they were unable to add the conversion.

Actonians struck back with a drop goal soon after, only for Vees to score another try. Woolley was running the show and he again released Fretter who off loaded in the tackle to Choppin and he outpaced the Actonians defence over 30 metres to score. Another missed conversion left the score at 10-3 and Vees missed the chance to extend their lead when Fretter pushed a penalty wide.

With Vees' inside backs causing havoc and the forwards defending hard, OAs were forced into kicking for position on the narrow pitch. This gave a chance for Vees full back Andy Paton to show his skill in a manner that earned him the Vees' Man of the Match award.

However OAs managed to level the scores just before half time. A rare line out inside the Vees half saw the big OAs pack rumble forward before coming to a halt just short of the line. The ball went wide and the OAs 12 barged over the line to score. With the conversion added, the sides went into the break level.

The second half started much like the first, with OAs enjoying forward dominance and Vees with the flare out wide. However with five minutes gone captain Luxford took a knock to the head which forced him off and with him went Vees' source of line out possession.

The penalty count increased and Vees found themselves on the back foot. OAs took advantage, scoring a try from close range despite Vees protesting that the ball had been held up over the line. Vees had the chance to strike back quickly with a penalty but Waters sent the kick wide.

Vees kept the pressure up and were rewarded with a third try 20 minutes from time. This score came from a scrum on the OAs 22 giving the backs quick ball. Woolley put a deft kick into the corner and Choppin showed his pace to race away and touch down. Crucially, the conversion was missed to leave Vees trailing by two points. The final 10 minutes turned scrappy as both teams tried to get the telling score but neither were able to turn pressure into points. Vees will look back on another missed chance to move out of the bottom half of the table.

Vees host Saracen Amateurs this Saturday at home. Kick off is 2.15pm.

Vees: Paton, Chapman, Choppin, T.Fretter, Waters, Woolley, Munien; Spyropulous, Suter, S.Fretter, Wildey, Graham, Coyle, Moralee, Luxford. Subs: Westhead, Mather.

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