Report by Russell Ticehurst, photos by Tim Burrows
As the U18’s went into their Semi Final v OE’s they knew it would be their toughest test to date and so it proved.
From the start Club had to dig deep bringing line speed with real intent in their defensive play forcing turnovers and mistakes from clearly a good quality opposition. Club were rewarded with a penalty and that score shocked the home side and it was Club that went on the front foot with retained possession and some good interplay leading to the first try of the day moving Club to an 8-0 lead.
But the home side came back and touched down making the score 7-8.
However it was Club who had the final word with more pressure leading to another successful penalty making the half time score 7-11.
The second half saw the wind pick up and the home side made full use of it pinning Club back into their 22 time and time again until a slip on the line saw the home side rewarded for their efforts 12-11.
Club then fought back making their way into the home side half and although a great kick through looked to have been knocked on just 5 metres out the subsequent clearing kick saw the visitors again pushed all the way back into their 22.
But uncharacteristically the home side managed to spoil the subsequent Club line out and regain possession which after several phases they managed to force a rare defensive error leading to a decisive try that effectively saw the end of a great game between two very strong sides, 19-11 the final score.
A tremendous all round effort from Club against a very strong and well organised OE side that was fitting for a Semi Final or Final and one that was enjoyed by many on the day.
Well done both sides.
Good luck to Eltham in the final!