St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U14B vs Epsom College
On: Saturday, 10 Dec 2016
Venue: at Home
U14Bs vs Epsom College
Saturday 10th December
The boys were, understandably, highly motivated and determined for their final match of the season against local rivals. Epsom started strongly and had big powerful runners who repeatedly took us on down the sides of the breakdown areas. The St John's tackling was generally superb, though and wave after wave of attacks were thwarted by crunching tackles from Wilf Morris, Oliver Langlands and Patrick O'Neill in particular. We always looked very dangerous on the break and Omar Matthias, Michael Anderson, Patrick O'Neill and Charlie Few all went close to breaking through.
Eventually, the Epsom pressure told and one of their big players broke through the tackles to score. The rest of the first half was very tight and the defence held up well with our forwards leaving no gaps for Epsom's pick-and-drives. Unfortunately, Epsom scored in the corner in injury time of the first half, to leave the score 12-0 going into the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Epsom having most of the possession but St John's holding them off heroically and looking dangerous out wide.
After three more Epsom tries, and with just ten minutes of the season remaining, our boys showed amazing character and resilience by scoring two tries in the final minutes. The first was a hugely well-deserved try for Omar Matthias and the second came from a perfectly executed crossfield kick from Charlie Wolff which was collected by Michael Anderson who scored in the corner. Captain Charlie Wolff very nearly finished the season off in style with a conversion kick from the touchline that hit the cross bar but the boys had every right to be proud of themselves at the final whistle with their efforts at the end.
Despite the loss, there were some superb individual performances. Man-of-the-match, though, would go to Wilf Morris whose tackling was phenomenal and a big part of the excellent defensive performance.
The boys have been a fantastic group to work throughout the season and it has only been some bad luck with injuries in the yeargroup that has stopped them ending the season with a far better overall record. They can look back at this season with a great deal of pride and can look forward to next season with optimism.