Vectis RFC V's Winchester RFC
New year, same winning ways.
Vectis colts got 2017 off to a winning start, with a brilliantly contested and hard fought victory, over a well-stocked Winchester team. Traveling down to the island, Winchester colts managed to field a squad of 18, no mean feat in this year’s league. But the boys in blue (and maroon) where able to match them player for player, the first time this season Vectis had fielded a full match day squad.
The game got off to a lively start, Winchester on the attack straight from the off. Continual attacking pressure did not seem to bother the island based team though, as each attack was met with stalwart defence. Superb defensive efforts by flanker, Harry Miselbach and hooker, Luke Hennegan, both worth a mention. After roughly 20 minutes Winchester seemed certain to score, setting their mountainous prop on a devastating run, 5m out from the home sides try line. This would have surely resulted in a score if not for the immense defensive exertion from outside centre Max Wheeler. Putting his body on the line for his team, he not only stopped the Winchester prop but managed to upend him in the process. Unfortunately, this ended the young man’s match earlier than hoped but he kept the score at 0-0 going into half time.
The development of the Vectis boys as a whole is starting to come to fruition, and can clearly be seen by all. The fledgling relationship between James Reed at scrum half, and Luke Blackman is now starting to bear fruit, with Reed excellently controlling the forwards and Blackman really growing into his role as fulcrum. Great driving from the forward pack (typified once again by Captain Damian Seder, prop Elys Norman and second row Tom Randall), allowed Reed to zip a pass out to Blackman, who, stopping and holding the defence up for just the right amount of time, managed to slip a pass to the barnstorming centre that is Luke Wedderkop on a perfectly angled run. Breaking through the flailing defence the young man dotted down right between the posts, allowing Rich Pitman to easily slot over the extra two. Vectis 7 – Winchester 0.
The rest of the game was played at the same break neck speed and Vectis’s fitness really was a saving grace this day. Returning players Aaron Meakin, Jacob Eastwood and Oscar Pusey all did exactly what was asked of them when coming on, making for a great squad performance. The ever-keen Amin Cheriff was outstanding when coming on, putting in a try saving tackle, no easy thing in only his third game of rugby.
Winchester did manage to score a try of their own towards the end of the match, unfortunately for them the conversion was missed, making for a tense final 15 mins with the score at 7-5. The visitors were throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Vectis players and keeping up good, flowing attacks that threatened to break the line. But immeasurable efforts in defence from winger Chris Wilson (narrowly missing out on man of the match) and eventual man of the match, Barney Thomas, kept the visitors at bay just long enough for the final whistle.
Playing for each other and for the badge is really what drove the Vectis Colts forward to victory on the day. A real feeling of unity within the squad is starting to become evident now and the ease with which player’s slot into position is a real credit to the coaching team. Another game down, another home victory.