St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U14A vs Haileybury
On: Saturday, 19 Nov 2016
U14A Match Report. 19.11.16
Haileybury College U14A 14
St John's School, Leatherhead U14A 21
After grinding out their first win last week in the wind, rain and mud against Reed's, the U14A team took the long trip round the M25 to face an unbeaten Haileybury side looking to go 2 in a row. Morris continued in the second row, as did Battershill at 6 after last week's impact from the B's.
The first half was all green, as St John's started the far more determined side. Not that such statistics are kept, but the territory and possession stats must have been at least 80:20 in the Eagles favour over the first 25minute period. And although scores from Battershill and Good (on for an injured Stefanik) and excellent touch line conversions from Trevitt made it 14-0 at half time there was the definite sense that opportunities had been missed more often than taken - the eagles should have been out of sight such was their dominance.
Stefanik returned to the field to smash through his opposite number 2 minutes into the second half making it 21-0 to the visitors. But Haileybury were not to simply lie down, the introduction of a couple of big ball carriers for the magenta's, as well as injuries and rearrangements in the St John's pack and back line (Moss for Langlands, Payne for Good, Few for Hall, Lawes for Stefanik), swung the game back towards the home side. Two scores saw Haileybury jubilation and a real feeling they could steal a draw or better from the jaws of defeat. Another line break as tired green shirts began to flounder in the tackle-area saw a Haileybury wing clean through from 40m, but Jack Goodman was single minded in his determination to cut off a Haileybury lifeline with an incredible cover tackle, catching his man 2m from the try line, double movement allowed St John's to clear and from here they ensured the door to redemption was firmly shut.
Ultimately the game should not have been in doubt, but the resilience shown by the boys to dig deep and shut Haileybury out for the win was especially pleasing and very important in continuing to forge a will that will not be denied amongst the U14 eagles.
A short hop to KCS next week will see that will put to the test again.