A thrilling game ensued on Saturday last vs. East Grinstead, despite the wet and windy conditions. East Grinstead, with their Head Coach – Justin Bishop – very much a former crowd favourite at London Irish, were expected to provide our sternest test to date, and so it turned out.
East Grinstead had the benefit of a strong wing in the first half and they made full use of it. They took the lead inside 5 minutes with a penalty goal and added to it 20 minutes later with a converted penalty try, to take a 10-0 lead. Honours were even for the rest of the half as both sides exchanged penalty goals, the Wild Geese goal being kicked by Ollie Turner, to leave the half-time score as 13-3 to East Grinstead.
In the second half, the Wild Geese upped their game in a much improved performance, trying to work the ball wide at every opportunity and putting a lot of pressure on the EG defence. They scored a penalty goal, via Ollie Turner again, within 5 minutes of the restart, and after 10 minutes of the half levelled the scores at 13-13 with a push-over try – Wild Geese stalwart Darren Livett getting the touch-down – that was converted by Ollie Turner. However, after 35 minutes, all seemed lost for the Wild Geese when EG – on one of their rare forays into the WG half – scored a penalty goal. However, the Wild Geese got their due reward with a penalty goal from Ollie Turner with 2 minutes left to play.
The result was earned by the excellent defence, and the patience in attack, of the Wild Geese throughout the game. Ironically, the draw extends their lead at the top of the National Division 3 table, as Tonbridge Juddian were beaten on Saturday.