Saturday 6th October – Berkhamsted 1st XV 52 - 14 Harpenden 4th XV
1.Tim Brickle 2.Sam Groome 3.Tom Hansard 4.Paul Wakelin (Captain) 5.Frazer Harrison 6.Chris Hickey 7.Angus Tidey 8.Rob Peche 9.Steve Dalton 10.Joe Dalton 11.Ben Brown 12.Karl Wordsworth 13.Sean Wasley 14.Marcus Hanvey 15.Matt Barham 16.Dan Vials 17.Mitchell Ayres
Heavy rain and horrible conditions, but despite some late drop-outs, we had another full squad of players available for Berko on Saturday vs Harpenden. Testament to our commitment to getting a side out every week and also to how well this club has progressed over the years. Various people are driving the club forward (both on and off the pitch), in turn raising our profile, not just in the local community but also with the Herts RFU. Our well drilled and well organised training over the summer (courtesy of Wakelin, Lovett & Dalton), got us fit and focused, and judging by all new faces at the club, it’s helped us to attract and retain new talent.
Harpenden were our third league visitors of the season and if we were going to put pressure on the likes of OA’s and Tabard at the top of the table, only a win would be good enough. Harpenden rocked-up with a slightly depleted squad and Mitch and Dan kindly offered to step in and play for them. As it transpired, this was to be another great win and the Captain’s clearly got this squad in full throttle, with all pistons firing. It’s gonna be a good season.
Scrums were uncontested but we took line-out ball against the head and the backs were finding space and moving the ball effectively. Barham was often seen weaving through the Harpenden defence and Wordy and Sean were seeing plenty of contact in the midfield. Growing confidence from Marcus Hanvey saw him involved in many of the backs moves. Ben Brown is not only the nicest bloke most of us have ever met but is also tremendously consistent in his performances. Safe hands on the ball and a beast in defence. Anyway, enough about the backs. This game was all about one person… Our Hooker, Sam ‘Birthday Boy’ Groome. This turned out to be a bit of a try-fest, and a landslide victory. So in a break from the norm, I’m going to talk you through the 52 points we scored…
TRY Sam Groome. Rolling Maul, clever support play. Nice one. 5-0
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin. 7-0
TRY Sam Groome (again !) More great support play. 12-0
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin 14-0
TRY Ben Brown. A brilliant break and chase down the wing for an impressive score. 19-0.
TRY Harpenden. Converted Still in this game. 19-7.
TRY Angus Tidey. The handsome, hairy, tanned guy blistered down the wing for an impressive 40-50 yard score 24-7
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin 26-7
HT fast approaching but still time for some more drama. On 39 mins, Hickey made an impressive break followed by a clever dummy which nearly gave Berko another score. Hickey was held up on the line and we couldn’t quite recycle the ball for a score. On 40 minutes, Groomy forgot what game we were playing and slid in, feet first on the Harpenden 6 for a naughty challenge on the 5 metre line. No malice in it but it was only gonna end one way;
SIN BIN Sam Groome (Foul play)
PENALTY TRY Harpenden. They were still in this game. 26-14.
TRY Paul Wakelin. Under the posts. 31-14
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin 33-14
TRY Angus Tidey. Second try. Good show of pace. 38-14
TRY Sean Wasley. Impressive break. Touched down under the posts. 43-14
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin 45-14
TRY Marcus Hanvey. First score for the club and well deserved. 50-14
CONVERSION Paul Wakelin 52-14
And that was to be the final score. Despite this scoreline we must give due credit to Harpenden who turned up and made a real game of it. They were a well drilled side and I suspect it won’t be too long till their young 9 is playing 1st XV rugby.
In the merit tables, it’s played 3, won 2, lost 1. And we’re very much in this league. We mustn’t congratulate ourselves too much though, there is still plenty to work on in training and it’s always a long season.
MotM. Who else? Groomy. Two tries and an assured and committed performance.
DotD. Who else? Groomy. That tackle….
Final score: Berkhamsted 1st XV 52 - 14 Harpenden 4th XV
Rest week coming up. Enjoy the ability to walk on Sunday.
Updated 14:00 - 11 Oct 2018 by Samuel Cane-Groome