[quote_left]First game since the ruling against Juddians[/quote_left]
The Wild Geese secured a not unexpected home win over a brave Eton Manor team on Saturday 23rd January by 62 points to 14, and gained a further bonus point into the bargain. This consolidates their place as National Division 3 league leaders, which they became during the week when an oversight by Tonbridge Juddians in the game against the Wild Geese in December saw them having 5 points deducted for a breach of RFU regulations.
It took 13 minutes for the Wild Geese to break down a stubborn Eton Manor defence but an inevitable try came from Ben Kitching, converted by Ollie Turner. Two minutes later, George Owen added a further try, again converted by Turner. Not to be outdone, the forwards then got into the act with Andy Evans scoring a try in the 26th minute, converted by Turner. Three minutes later, Alfie Molloy added the bonus point try, converted by Turner. In the last 5 minutes of the half, Eton Manor were rewarded for their efforts when they scored a converted try, but Darren Livett scored a further try in first-half injury time, converted by Turner, to leave the half-time score at 35-7 to the home side.
[blockquote]Report from John S Hunter[/blockquote]
The second half opened with a breakaway individual try from Eton Manor in 2 minutes, which was duly converted to narrow the margin. Normal service was resumed after that with tries from Owen in the 12th and 16th minute, the latter being his hat-trick try and the former being converted by Turner. Further tries came from Scott Moore in the 20th minute, from Livett in the 30th minute, and from Tom Barker in the final minute of the game, to leave the final score at 62-14 to the Wild Geese. Plaudits must go to the Eton Manor team, who – although bottom of the table – showed real heart and never stopped trying, as their two tries will testify to.
Overall, the Wild Geese scrum was dominant throughout the game, with 2 pushover tries illustrating this, and the back-line moved crisply and effectively, with some excellent handling. This time, the team did not sit back once the bonus try was scored, but pressed on for more scores as the report above shows.
At the same time, a much improved performance by the Wanderers – also at home – saw them go down to league leaders Bishops Stortford Blues in the RFU Zoo Sports Shield by 17 points to 33, but they outscored their opponents in the second half to give hope of better days ahead. This was assisted not least by the return to fitness of several Wild Geese standard players.
Wild Geese team: Charlie Connor, Matt Cornish, Jerry Cronin; Michael Jones, Andy Evans; Brent Jones, Scott Moore ( Capt.), Darren Livett; Tom Barker, Jordan Gott; George Owen, Alfie Molloy, Ben Kitching, Tom Richards; Ollie Turner. Replacements: Eddie Fraher, Liam Martin, Pete Hodgkinson.