After 4-weeks of training, the Men in Orange and Black were raring to get after an opponent. What better one than a budding rival the Littleton Eagles. The day was very warm and sunny. The pitch was grass and in decent shape. However, the field was narrow and short. The crowd was small; but, the Olde Boys and better halves represented well. It was time to get back to some “footie”. Captain Hayden Kinnear led the boys out in their White jumpers to do battle with the blue cladded Littleton Eagles.
City took the opening kick-off and proceeded to will their way onto the Eagles. Maintaining the distinct advantage in territory and possession; the Men in White pressed closer and closer to pay dirt. Referee Rick Goldammer whistled the Eagles for a ruck infraction and Flyhalf Trench placed the pill into touch. City mishandled the lineout; but, Littleton gave the ball right back to City for a 5m scrum. The ball was well heeled by Hooker Luke Porter and the ball was pitched wide to a hard charging Fullback Devon Toth. Devon pounded his way over the chalk to dot down for the first points of the match. Flyhalf Trench connected well from a wide angle to bring the score line to 7 – 0 at the 8-minute mark.
City maintained its dominance; however, the narrow field kept thwarted their soirees as the Men White made every effort to spin the ball wide on the Eagles. After several good phases of recycle ball, Referee Goldammer dinged the Eagles for a high tackle. Flyhalf Trench split the uprights from long range to run the score to 10 – 0 at the 20th minute.
From one of the very few miscues on defense in the first half, the Eagles were able to get the ball deep into City’s territory. The Men in White made the Eagles work for their efforts. After a couple of thumping tackles by Flankers Steve O’Malley and Hayden Kinnear at the try line, the Eagles were able to penetrate City’s stout defense to score a converted try at the 27th minute to narrow the lead to 10 – 7.
The remaining time in the first half belong to the Men in White. City’s forwards pounded at the Littleton line until finally Referee Goldammer whistled the Eagles for ruck infraction. Flyhalf Trench well placed the ball into touch for a 5-m lineout. The drive was called by Captain Kinnear. The Men in Blue did not contest and back away from the lineout. Lock Joe Olivetti waltzed into the in-goal for the 5-pointer. Trench once again added the extras from a wide angle to run the score line to 17 – 7 at the 38th minute.
City took the ensuing kick-off and immediately went back on the attack keeping the ball alive after time had ran out for the half. Flyhalf Trench put up a beautiful “Garry Owen” to be chased by Winger Blake Williams. Williams bundled up the Littleton receiver, Trench poached the pill, and then waltzed in for the 5-pointer. Trench added the extras as Referee Goldammer blew for half time and the Men in White had a 24 – 7 half time lead.
City was bound and determined to maintain its dominance in the match. Putting defensive pressure on the opening second half kick-off, the Eagles turned the ball over. City back on the attack saw Littleton dinged for an offside by Referee Goldammer. Trench once again made the Eagles pay for their indiscretion to up the tally to 27 – 7 at he 42nd minute mark of the match.
The next several minutes saw Littleton get life as the Eagles got on the front foot. They were able to solve City’s defensive prowess and scored two converted tries at the 52nd and 59th minute to narrow City’s lead to 27 -21.
Flyhalf Trench saw to the end of the Littleton onslaught. Taking a ball from replacement scrumhalf Pat McGuire from the scrum, Scott popped over and gave chase. Trench grubbered ahead on two occasions and just beat the covering defender to put downward pressure on the ball to score his second 5-pointer of the match. The conversion sailed wide; but, City up its lead to 32 – 21 at the 64th minute.
Defensive pressure once again applied by City saw the Eagles’ fullback attempt a clearing kick deep into his own territory. A man in front of the kicker made the tackle on the City receiver to be whistled for offside. Captain Kinnear decided on the kick in lieu of the scrum and Flyhalf Trench split the uprights to extend the lead to 35 – 21 at the 67th minute mark of the match.
The remaining half belong to the Men in White. Defensive pressure and poor ball handling by the Eagles kept giving the ball back to City. Flanker Steve O’Malley made a break from a breakdown and went of a long jaunt into Littleton territory. The support came, and the pill was quickly recycled to the left. Replacement Fullback Lewis McKissick dove for the line to put the finishing touch on the match. Trench added the extras and City had their victory at 42 - 21 as Referee Goldammer blew the final whistle.
Congratulations on the win City. Good start to season and well deserved! Congratulations to Littleton Eagles for a hard-fought match even though their numbers are down. Thank you to all the Olde Boys and supporters who turned out to cheer on the Men in Orange and Black. Congratulations to Captain Hayden Kinnear for his victory as skipper. Pizza and beer were provided by Littleton at the field.