City League – Semi Final
In balmy temperatures and horrendously overcrowded and delayed trains out of Waterloo the LRFC team headed out towards Esher RFC. After some conversation, “Angry Birds” gaming, and commuter rage avoidance we made it to our destination with spirits and expectation high.
A host of withdrawals this week, through a mixture of end of season niggles and more dubious fall outs/, left us short on quantity but not quality.
Lloyd’s started well and were unlucky not to score in the first few minutes after a great break from Freer in the midfield which resulted in LRFC being held up over the line. From the resulting scrum, and after some strong ball carries, Foister barrelled over. Conversion was Wayward.
Unfortunately for LRFC this was as good as it got. Despite being camped on the JP line for a multitude of lineouts and scrums LRFC were unable to get another score which would have taken some of the wind out of a very hard working JPM XV. Alas it was not to be and the remaining 20 minutes of the half was spent in the LRFC third. After a period of committed defence, including some massive hits from Tom “the Widowmaker” Wagstaff amongst others, JPM finally breached the LRFC line before half time.
Half Time 5-5
The second half started well with LRFC in the ascendency. A prolonged period of pressure in the JPM 22 that should have seen LRFC come away with a score was thwarted by a combination committed defence and poor decision making on the final pass from LRFC. JPM off the hook. A loose and error strewn period ensued with JPM enjoying the lions share of possession and territory. With 65 minutes on the clock a driving line out inside the LRFC 22 resulted in a try for JPM in the corner. Unconverted.
With plenty of time on the clock and safe in the knowledge if LRFC could put 3 phases together we would break the JPM defence down, Lloyd’s rallied. Sadly unforced errors and poor execution by forwards and backs alike resulted in LRFC failing to claw their way back in to the game. A penalty to JPM in front of the posts with 5 minutes remaining was the final nail in the coffin and saw LRFC fall 8 points behind.
JPM sealed their victory with 1 minute remaining with a try from the number 8. Picking from the base, of yet another scrum, just inside the 22 and galloping over in the corner.
JP Morgan progress to the final.
As a Club we set ourselves high but realistic standards. Losing in the semi-finals does not meet these standards. However, with the quality and depth of the squad which has developed over the season means we should all be looking forward to the next campaign and regaining the trophy.
Many thanks to those of you who have given up your time to organise, support and play for your Club. The effort and commitment both on and off the field is truly appreciated. Those of you who have made the extra effort to assist, play or contribute have not gone unnoticed.
We can now focus our attentions on our final fixture of the season verses the Wine Trader Wallabies at Rosslyn Park on Wednesday 13th April. Those of you involved last year will remember how enjoyable this fixture is. It’s also an excellent opportunity for us to finish the season with a win on the paddock and some well deserved end of season scoops in the Clubhouse. Please contact me (email@example.com) with your playing availability. It would be good to see as many members of the Club, whether playing or not, at the game.
Thoughts now turn to the Lloyd’s 7’s on May 19th. The 7’s Committee have done a fantastic job as ever and the event is set to be bigger and better supported than ever. I look forward to seeing you all there.