Sidcup 3's 25 - 13 Old Elthamians 3's
"One free man defending his home is more powerful than ten hired soldiers" - Robin of Locksley
By Colin "210" Cooper
What used to be a great local Derby was eventually set to be played on the Carlton Road pitch at 2pm.
Attempts were made to move the fixture forwards to the much nicer, much flatter pitches but alas, this was not to O£'s liking and as such, the Sidcup team got to play a game of rugby, surrounded by dogsh*t...
A decent kick off from O£'s was caught by the home side and recycled well. After a couple of phases by Sidcup in their own half, the away team's back line were forced to press and defend. A good position was achieved for Dan Leighton (man of the match???) to kick the ball long and hard into the opposition's empty 22.
Unfortunately before he actually pulled this off, he instead decided to chip the ball to their scrum half who was waiting in acres of space just outside the Sidcup 22.
They say 'talk is cheap' and this was perfectly reflected in the third home start in a row where a try was conceded within 5 minutes in the right hand corner. The opposition pulling of a trade mark 'straight hands' manoeuvre which bamboozled the Sidcup defence and in particular the lightning fast Sidcup winger Chris 'ginga' Neal, who is attempting to challenge Ed Velasco for the title of 'Chief Bullfighter' of the club.
In fact if the two of them were ever to meet head to head in a narrow corridor, they may well enter a kind of paradoxical invisible revolving door and be stuck forever circling each other in a desperate attempt to avoid contact for all eternity.
Fortunately this laxidasicle start sparked bigger/better brother Joel Leighton (the people's man of the match) into action and a tackle in mid field that could be heard around the world lead to the O£'s playing spilling the ball and Sidcup taking possession. Unfortunately this came to nothing as a silly penalty was given away.
A few too many high tackles gave O£'s further cheap field position. I don't think the match report wouldn't be complete without mentioning THAT Glen Anal's bolt upright 'tackle' resulting in Glen being knocked back roughly to his own try line, from the opposition's 10 metre line...
In fairness to Sidcup, the mistakes and downright weakness pretty much ended there:
The referee finally awarded Sidcup a penalty for the O£'s players constantly setting up camp over the offside line, resulting in a good kick in front of the posts by Dan.
Soon enough, the attacking pressure lead to a Lineout deep inside O£'s territory. A strong lineout and driving maul let to Anton breaking from the back of the maul and smashing over the line. Dan converts 10:5
Sidcup dominated most of the game from here on out, at the 27 minute mark, a beautiful cross field from Dan, lead to Woody (aptly named because he only eats wood or other fauna) fumbling under the pressure of the O£'s winger hunting him down.
At 32 mins, repeated penalties from Sidcup marched O£'s virtually under the posts allowing them to score and convert 10:12
With 50 minutes to go, this would be the last time O£'s crossed the whitewash. Strong carries up the pitch by Joel (who else?) Wilford and Sam Adams (ok these guys) lead to a maul being held up over the line and the half time whistle.
Shortly into the second half and following more strong running lines. Anton win's a penalty and Dan converts 13:12
The rest of the match can really be summed up by simply saying the heart, effort, organisation and fitness of the Sidcup mighty 3's was too much for O£'s to both handle and break down.
For a good 10 minutes and at least 20 phases of pressure, starting in Sidcup's 22. The O£'s team sent wave after wave of attack into the opposition, only to come up against the metaphorical and impenetrable 'White wall'
The sum total of this O£'s pressure, was the away team being pushed back into their own half while in possession of the ball, forcing them to kick away into the hands of the waiting Sidcup back 3.
What followed was a devastating display of pace and power from multiple players crashing forward leaving O£'s bodies for dust, with none other that Joel Leighton popping up and getting himself on the score sheet again. Dan Leighton was quick to step in the limelight stepping up to slot another conversion straight down the middle to make it 20:12
Woody decided that having spent a good deal of time injured this season, 60 minutes of rugby was enough for him. He left the field after attempting to graze on the grass but was taken out around the neck. Sam foster was an eager replacement.
With the game slipping away from them, the away team decided to get a little 'touchy feely' off the ball. A number of high tackles from each side. Maz performing an RKO on his opposite number and Sam Foster becoming maybe a little too upset for comfort at one of the O£'s players 'cheating' with Dan, lead to the referees whistle (and voice) being heard far too many times.
With minutes left on the clock, James Head hands off 4 men then offloads out of the tackle to Wilford (amazing hands btw) who goes in wide Dan (man of the match) misses the conversion 25:12
It was a very physical and very emotionally charged game, like any "Derby" It was good to see the Sidcup 3rd team's defence with a real structure and the players showing amazing character to get themselves into the line.
It's unlikely that we'll play against a better team this year until perhaps the return fixture and going almost an hour without conceding a point speaks volumes of how far this team has come.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" - Timo Cruz
By Colin "210" Cooper