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3rd team just miss out at St Neots

On Saturday 15 brave souls donned the famous blue and white hoops to take on the unenviable task to playing St Neots Seconds who gave Cantabs Threes a beating the last time they met.

A typical third team warm up of introductions and looking for a ball. Some children lent us one!

We won the toss and chose to receive; it must be stated now the St Neots seemed to be quite a bit bigger than our pack. A long afternoon was in store.

After some fierce play in the middle of the park Cantabs moved the ball wide and broke away. Stopped by some dogged defence again and again C’s kept their composure and Pedro picked up the ball from a base of a ruck and chased over for the first score. We didn’t have a kicker so, no extras.

With the tight five dominating the scrum Cantabs started to turn the screw. Quick tap penalties, good hands and an eye for a gap C’s found themselves at St Neots line again. Their considerable forward power turned the ball over and kicked clear. Only to find Huw in a wide open space that our diminutive lock exploited, ran full tilt and ended up scoring. Maybe the backrow next week? Robbo had a go at the conversion. Yep he missed.

Henry, Will and Justin had been running great support lines all day. With Danny, Tim and Darren providing the muscle. We ended up in the opposition 22 again. A charge down and the ensuing chaos that followed earned Cantabs a scrum. A lovely backs moved was called, with interplay from our 8 Doug. Inevitably the ball was kicked out Jon had to scramble to pick it up found that the St Neots back where over the other side, ran for the line and forced his way over. 15-0. Pedro had a shot a goal. It was closer than the last one. Still 15-Nil

Now things got a little bit hazy here. St Neots had been a threat with ball in hand all day and worked their way up into our 22 and deservedly so. We managed to give away a penalty for handling in the ruck which was a bit of a mystery as we had taking the ball in and St Neots came up with it. Some smart work and St Neots pulled one back just before the break.

St Neots had all the momentum in the second half, mainly due to the fact that Cantabs seemed to be giving away penalty after penalty. Two very clever breaks from the St Neots Centres lead to two tries. 15-15. The usual ‘get your heads back in the game’ speech from captain of the day seemed to work until the St Neots centre found a gap between Danny and Matt, raced to the line leaving Ash with no chance. 20-15 bugger. They did have someone who could kick! 22-15.

A few minutes later and it was 25-15. We’d somehow fallen foul of the referee and despite our (and to be fair St Neots’) puzzled looked he’d given another penalty against C’s to give them a 10 point lead.

Our defence was shattered in the second half, broken by missed tackles and decisions going against us. Undeterred we went on the attack to restore our pride. On the way towards the try line Justin managed to get himself punched a couple of times. Their eight finished the game in the bin.

Cantabs pinched a St Neots line out, moved the ball wide and quickly Pedro used his pace and bulk to power over with the last play of the game 25-20.

Man of the match, could have been Huw, Will, Henry or Pedro. I went for Pedro as two of the others left early.

Dick of the Day so many people could have had this one; Keith for not turning up, Ash for forgetting the balls and water bottles, Jon for forgetting the Port. But I’ll award it to Robbo for blotting his perfect defensive record by actually making a tackle!

Jon Railton

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