Royal Arsenal vs Tagalong: 9-11
The Arsenal sides faced a daunting double-header on March 28. Missing a full squad of players to holiday, injury and work engagements, the sides combined forces to play two matches on a pitch so wet it needed a lifeguard. Despite the limited numbers and soggy conditions, there was no shortage of enthusiasm on display in a closely contested first game against Tagalong.
The attacking play was impressive from Arsenal, with barely a dropped pass despite the conditions. Gary was a nightmare to tag as usual, and his offloading led to several breakaways through Tagalong’s defensive line.
Unfortunately, some interesting (read: terrible) decisions from the referee led to our side repeatedly conceding penalties for running into contact (obvious blocking) and Tagalong got the ball enough times in our half that they could barely fail to score.
Enthusiasm never dipped though, and some stella defensive work led by Katy and Jonny meant the game was close right until the end.
Woolwich Arsenal vs Steve Thorpe Destroyers: 6-6
Suitably warmed up from the first game, Arsenal got a five minute break before crashing straight into the second contest of the night against Steve Thorpe Destroyers.Arsenal were on the front foot from the start, scoring three tries in quick succession to start the game without reply.
Again, Jonny and Katy were incredible in defence, snuffing out almost every attacking move the Destroyers attempted. And despite going a man down for 10 minutes after some heated *discussions* with the referee, Arsenal went into the break 4-2 ahead.
Unfortunately, in the second half the Destroyers – with a full bench of substitutes – were fresher and able to claw their way back into the game. Our defence remained solid through the second period, and after winning the ball back several times in the dying minutes, Arsenal had a couple of chances to snatch a late win. But a pair of grubber kicks though the middle couldn’t be collected and the Destroyers held on to a draw in a fast-paced contest.
(Wo)man of the match went to Katy whose tagging was so good on the night she could have whipped a greasy tag off a startled cheetah. Also huge credit is due to Julia and Ashton who shut down both wings, letting nothing past all night while not getting a single breather in either game.
By Joel Watson – RARC Member/Player