Fire and determination return against Bedford.
Knowing that they did not show their best last time out, ‘Street had no option but to re-kindle the fire and determination shown on week one against South Leicester RFC. With a calamitous away defeat last week to Sutton Coldfield RFC, ‘Street, were determined to show that they had learned fast by pulling off an emphatic 8 try, 56 points to 10 win against league new comers Bedford Athletic RFC, at the Ivor Preece Field writes Bob Harcourt. In a squad showing seven changes; there being first outings for forwards, Sam Bennett, Matt Solomon (joining his brother, Andy), Beau Carney, Chris Wood and backs Andy McGrory and Jordan Simpson and, the welcome return from unavailability of ‘Billy Whizz’ – Andrew Murray.
Nick Thatcher scampered over following a penalty award, as Athletic erred trying to run their way out of defence. The Boys in Red kicked off in glorious Rugby Road sunshine and took just 8 minutes to register their first try when scrum half Fly half Lee Chapman landed the conversion to start off a top class display of kicking in converting all eight tries from near and far! 7 – 0. Winger Andy Murray was next over on 15 minutes, with the first of a brace, scoring out wide left, following a Thatcher line break involving good forward approach play. 14 – 0. Skipper and number 8 Chris Wood finished off a scrum drive to register a push over and Murray grabbed his second after excellent support play from prop Sam Bennett, fly half Chapman, centre Todd Freemantle and Danny Richards – who was extremely busy with a stand out display from full back - eventually feeding a deft off-load to back-three colleague Murray. 28 – 0. Outside centre, Jordan Simpson, on this season’s bow, backed up centre partner Todd Freemantle’s searing midfield break to touch down near the posts to chalk up a fifth try after just 32 minutes. 35 – 0. Bedford had a purple patch leading up to half time but the host’s defence stood firm, but only at the expense of a ‘team’ yellow to Thatcher, who went off his feet at a defensive ruck. Simpson picked up a facial injury and was replaced by seasonal debut centre Andy McGrory , returning to the club after time away playing rugby league. HT 35-0.
Paul Wilkes replaced hooker Stewart Pearl for the second period, along with previously injured back rower Beau Carney who took over from fellow debut forward, Matt Solomon; grabbing an interchange breather. Utility front row, Both McGrory and then Carney, the latter fed by the industrious Richards following good forward involvement from Andy Solomon and Wood, touched down after 3 and 14 minutes, respectively, 49 – 0; before Freemantle capped a great match performance by finishing off excellent work from Carney, Murray and Freemantle ; (handled twice in the build-up), to bag the touch down. 56 – 0. Freemantle was brought off after scoring, only for Mrs Freemantle to later observe that, “We never scored again after he was taken off and they got two”. ‘Street did, thereafter, slow to see ‘never-say-die’ Bedford seize two well taken tries on 24 and 36 minutes, but not before a flurry of penalties and free kicks had gifted good attacking positions. The second try preceded the last action of the day as the whistle was blown early to end the match, despite three minutes and injury time remaining?
Team: Dawes, Pearl, Bennett, Tucker, Solomon M, Solomon A, Munro, Wood (C), Thatcher, Chapman, Murray, Freemantle, Simpson, Gregson, Richards. Reps: Wilkes, Carney, McGrory. .
After an exciting, run away home win, it’s away to Bournville RFC next week, where ‘Street must perform on ‘different grass’- but make it feel just like home!