Vet visitors in a league of their own (27/11/15)
Drybrook Veterans nil
Gordon League Veterans 29pts
Played on Friday evening under the Mannings floodlights, the Vets were given a working over by the accomplished visiting team.
Rocked by the news that they would be without Clive “Smiler” Boughton who had not fully recovered from Strongbow induced concussion, there was even worse tidings to come.
News began to filter through that Chris Tingle had failed a late fitness test, and without their talisman, heads began to drop in the Vets ranks.
Next to send in a sick note was Clark Price and when it was discovered that Quango Roberts was Christmas shopping with Soapy things began to get desperate but fortunately a squad was eventually assembled.
Gordon League surprised everyone by turning up on the Old Centralians’ bus with a large squad of players and insisted on being referred to by their nickname “the Combination”.
They started the game with the strong westerly breeze at their backs and were most unsportsmanlike in moving the ball at every opportunity with some skilful handling and good support play.
It was just as well that Drybrook’s full back Dave “Cherry” Marfell was having the game of his life and he made 3 try saving tackles in the first 10 minutes.
League had the best of the first half and swept into a 10pts – nil lead by the interval with 2 well worked tries.
In the second half Drybrook’s Ryder brothers with a combined age of over 100 did well at half back with flanker Kerry Bourne and hooker Dave Auker-Howlett also prominent in a rear guard action.
Auker-Howlett demonstrated some not inconsiderable skill by showing some neat footballing skills to dribble the ball up to the League goal line but support was sadly lacking.
A Marcus Cowles toe punt nearly led to a try for the home side but again the follow up chase was non existent save for the enthusiastic Dave “Legs” Brookes.
Drybrook kept trying to find a way through but League denied them and hit them on the counter attack three times to sew the game up.
Vic Jones tried in vain to drive his forward pack on but with Craig “Fanny” Lancett and Neil Ricketts under pressure in the uncontested scrums it was a big ask.
Dave Thomas came on as a second half replacement and along with centre partnership Ian Morgan and John Jeffs provided the large crowd with some hope but sadly it was all in vain.
Manager Smiler will have to go back to the drawing board to try and get his Vets back to winning ways particularly in view of the fact that Chris Tingle is to be unavailable for a while due to his new role as honorary president of the Danny Price Appreciation Society.
Fortunately good news is on the horizon as Oscar Rawlings and Jeff Tate are set to return after a lengthy period away from the game.
Drybrook Veterans XV; Dave Marfell, Nigel Kear, John Jeffs, Ian Morgan, Ian Rawlings, Jimmy Ryder, Clayton Ryder, Craig Lancett, Dave Auker-Howlett, Neil Ricketts, Marcus Cowles, Dave Brookes, Kerry Bourne, Simon Ballinger, Victor Jones.
Replacements; David Thomas, Greg Oversby, John Woodhead, Kevin Lewis, Guy Williams.