St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U14C vs Epsom College
On: Saturday, 10 Dec 2016
Venue: at Home
Saturday 10 December
Home against Epsom College (Drew 12-12)
On a mild December morning, St John's took on fierce rivals Epsom College in the final game of the season. St John's twice came from behind to secure a draw in a great game for the neutral. St John's started well with O'Neil making a run out wide, only to be tackled just as he was about to break the line. The game was fairly even, Epsom using their big, quick players to punch holes in the St John's defence. On ten minutes, Epsom won a scrum against the head and, St John's caught unaware, were powerless to stop a strong run from the Epsom number eight. Not to be outdone, St John's turned up the pressure and kicked a penalty for a five metre lineout. The forwards picked and drove and De Leo managed to get the ball across the line, Zubaidi converting to give a 7-7 scoreline at half time.
The second half was more open than the first, the game moving from end to end and after eight minutes, Epsom got through with a great run, Potter chasing the man down to ensure the try was scored out wide and thus the conversion was missed. This set up a dramatic final 15 minutes; Epsom losing a number of players to injury and the game ended up 14 v 14. St John's were doing their best to break through, Baker with a fantastic run only to be thwarted with the try line in sight, Young starting a couple of runs out wide only for the moves to be stopped again. The game looked like it might be getting away from St John's but with five minutes left, O'Neil crossed the line to level the scores. The resulting conversion going above the post and leaving the referee a horrible decision to decide whether to allow the kick or not, it was not to be on this occasion and 12-12 was the score going into the dying minutes. Epsom kept recycling the ball and gaining penalties and scrums but St John's defence stood up to the test with a battling display and after a knock-on was forced, the referee blew the final whistle to end the game, honours even. Overall, a draw was a fair result, both teams having chances to score more and being stopped.
The rugby season may be over but there has been some real promise shown in this second half of the season, the final three games unbeaten for the boys in green after all the hard-work through the season came together. Spectators remarked on a good game and how the side have developed over the season. Some excellent displays have been seen from this side, both individually and as a team and both coaches are proud of the boys' efforts this season. Well done and thank-you to all boys who played for the U14C's this term.