All the signs pointed to this game on Saturday 9th April as being crucial in the run in for the Wild Geese in National League 3, as Hertford were the only team to have beaten us this season and the fact that it was at their ground. A cliff-hanger of a game duly emerged, with the honours being shared – 25 points apiece – with the result dependent on the last kick of the game!
The game was but 5 minutes old when Hertford showed their intent by scoring a try. The Wild Geese eventually troubled the score-board after 24 mintes with a penalty goal from Pete Hodgkinson, but Hertford responded 1 minute later with a try and followed that with a converted try 5 minutes later to lead 17-3. The Wild Geese dug deep, having been second best for most of the half, and came back with a try by Matt Cornish after 34 minutes and a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time by Hodgkinson, to go into the interval trailing 11-17.
[blockquote]Report from John S Hunter[/blockquote]
The second half started like the first, with Hertford moving further ahead with a penalty goal after10 minutes. They seemed to have sealed victory with an intercept try on the half-hour mark, to lead 25-11. However, the Wild Geese just do not know when they are beaten. A final 5 minutes of real intensity began with Ollie Turner scoring a try, which he converted himself. It culminated with Scott Moore touching down in the final minute of the game. Turner showed nerves of steel to kick the conversion to draw the game at 25-25.
To be honest, this was far from the best performance of the season from the Wild Geese. They were outplayed for large periods of the game, were outscored by 4 tries to 3, and gave away too many penalties. However, as has been said already: this team do not know when they are beaten!
At the same time 2nd placed Tonbridge Juddians duly won, which means that they reduce the deficit at the top of the table to 3 points. This makes for a really big game at Hazelwood next week and, indeed, the last game of the season for the Wild Geese – away at Guernsey – cannot be excluded from the equation at this stage.
To finish on a high note, the Wanderers also visited Hertford on Saturday past, to play their 2nd XV in the RFU Zoo Sports Shield, and produced an outstanding performance to defeat the second placed team in the league by 33 points to 31. After their big win on the previous weekend, this moves them further towards safety in their league table.
London Irish Wild Geese: Jerry Cronin, Matt Cornish, Eddie Fraher; Michael Jones, Andy Evans; Brent Jones, Scott Moore (Capt.), Darren Livett; Tom Barker, Jordan Gott; George Owen, Seb Rodwell, Ben Kitching, Tom Richards; Pete Hodgkinson. Replacements: Charlie Connor, Liam Martin, Ollie Turner.
[quote_left]Simon Martinson on Facebook:[/quote_left]
“Not the best performance of the season but Geese showed huge courage to come back from 14 points down with 5 minutes to go and snatch a draw at Hertford. Yet again huge kudos to Oli Turner for showing balls of steel to slot two tough conversions to get the draw. Massive congrats to the Wanderers for getting a 33-31 win against tough opposition who were second in the league, Trevor,Kevin and the players deserve huge credit.”
[blockquote]Images © 2016 Nick Moore[/blockquote]