REPORT: London Welsh Occies 23 – 31 Ealing Cougars

Ealing Cougars won a very hard fought victory in the dying minutes of the match against a very tough and determined London Welsh Occies side.

Ealing Cougars were again guilty of starting slowly against a very dangerous and determined Occies side who scored almost straight from kick off and put The Cougars on the back foot. The Occies could have been further ahead but for some stout defending by the Cougars. The Cougars finally got into the game with a score under the posts from captain John Haigh, converted by Andy Jack, to put the Cougars in the lead.

Against the run of play Ealing Cougars broke away and after a good passage of play, the Cougars touched down in the corner with Mike Liberum scoring, who was later sin-binned for a high tackle.

The Cougars were making some uncharacteristic errors and spurned a number of scoring chances before Captain John Haigh again went over for a concerted try to make the score 17 – 5 to the Cougars at half-time.

 London Welsh again started the quicker of the two sides in the second half and scored another quick converted try. Ealing Cougars seemed rattled mainly by some very dubious decisions from the ref. The Cougars had a man sin-binned for what I can only describe as driving directly through the ruck. Occies kick the penalty to make the scores 17 – 15 to the Cougars.

The Cougars were clearly frustrated by the ref’s inability to control the game at the ruck area and the ref again awarded the Occies another dubious penalty in front of the posts. This was kicked to make the score 18 – 17 to The Occies.

London Welsh Occies clearly now in charge caused havoc with an up and under which wasn’t fielded by the Cougars and went over to score a try to make the score 23 – 17 to the Occies.  

This seemed to spur the Cougars into life and for the final 15 minutes they battered the Occies line and should have scored bar some deliberate killing of the ball by the Occies now clearly trying to hang onto their lead. A number of infringements should have been punished by a yellow card from the ref but for some reason this wasn’t forthcoming. The Cougars continued their assault and eventually were rewarded when Captain John Haigh powered over for his 3rd try of the day.

ith time ticking down Andy Jack slotted a great conversion from the corner to make the score 23 – 24 to the Cougars.

Ffrom the restart the Cougars attacked again and after several good passages of play the ball popped out to substitute Olly Bishop, who had already gone close several times, to score under the posts. Andy Jack converted to make the final score a rather flattering 23 – 31 to the Cougars.

The coach and players were delighted with the way the Cougars came back into the game and showed tremendous strength or character to get a win when all had seemed lost.

Tries: John Haigh 3, Mike Liberum, Olly Bishop

Cons: Andy Jack 3

Man Of The Match: Brendan O’Shea