U18 cup final ends in defeat
By Rich Einchcomb
U18's come up short against Eton Manor
A wet & windy morning greeted a strong looking Academy U18 squad as they travelled to Eton Manor for this eagerly anticipated Essex 2 Waterfall Cup Final.
With Eton Manor getting the game underway in tricky conditions, the play developed with the Basildon boys making a solid start but without creating opportunities to score. The even start to the game continued until the 12th minute when good play from the home side saw the ball moved out wide to their speedy winger who broke & scored the game’s first try. Successfully converted, Eton Manor lead 7-0.
The boys in green & white responded well to the early setback but were still unable to gain any momentum. Every time they seemed to make ground their progress was halted by a combination of strong defence & individual errors. The difficult task wasn’t helped by losing lock Archie D with a knee injury, quickly followed by captain Alex E departing the action with a serious looking ankle injury. Despite these setbacks, the away team continued to work hard to gain a foothold in the game but strong play from their forwards & quick ball recycled saw Manor increase their lead in the 25th min with an unconverted try. Score now 12-0 to Eton Manor.
The pattern continued up to a minute before half-time when the home side broke through the Basildon line again to score their 3rd try of the game. Conversion successful & score at half-time is 19-0 to Eton Manor.
The 2nd half got underway & was only 6 minutes old when Manor caught the Basildon defence knapping & scored another converted try to extend their lead to 26-0.
Anyone in the quite considerable watching crowd might have expected the visitors’ heads to drop but as we at Basildon know, our boys never give up no matter what the odds. The following 20 minutes saw them slowly but surely start to make inroads & get over the gain line. The Basildon forwards were now working hard in pods & sucking the Manor defenders into a messy but very effective pick & go battle. Now playing to their strengths, the visitors made steady ground & suddenly the Manor players were looking under pressure. With play now up to the Manor red zone, Basildon were beginning to look dangerous but as was the case earlier in the game, individual mistakes & poor decision making meant that they were continually thwarted in their attempts to get over the line.
This continued until around the 27th min of the 2nd half when growing frustration at not being rewarded for their hard work along with some strange decisions from the referee led to Manor crossing the line again to score what would be the final try of the game. Conversion successful again & score now 33-0 to the home side.
With clever kicking aided by the wind, the final 8 mins were successfully negotiated by the home side & despite a final big effort by Basildon, the game disappointingly finished with no further scoring.
Final Score: Eton Manor 33 Basildon 0
Basildon RFC Academy U18’s: S. Slim, F. Downing, T. Leagas, D. Cantwell, A. Davies, B. Kirkum, J. Watford, A. Einchcomb, T. King, T. Potts, M. Bohea, K. Eplett, E. Rudgley, Z. Blackburn, H. Mathieson, J. Hall, V. Che, A. O’Toole, J. Wright
As usual a special mention for A&B Taxis, Quill Construction, Delphi Derivatives, Spectrum, More Light Glass, Edison Motor, Instant Living Space, Beez Neez, Cymba & Greene King, and various club members at Basildon RFC. Thank you for your continued support of the Academy.