Men

REPORT: Old Isleworthians II 10 – 17 Ealing Exiles

Exiles strong first half efforts bring them closer to the play offs as they beat Old Isleworthians IIs 17-10.  Dave Morgan reports from the backline.

The omens were not good.  With just 30 minutes to KO there was just one Exile in the changing room – yours truly – concerned that he would face the might of Old Isleworthians alone.  Whilst waiting for his team, the sole Exile could hear the confidant noises coming from the home team, their bravado seemingly fortified due to their first XV game being called off and therefore “one or two” of their top side being drafted into the side to play us.

As tradition should have it, a trickle of Exiles drifted in with 20 minutes to KO but our skipper, Nick, was looking anxious as we had more back-room staff (the brains trust of Barry, Alex and Phil) than players.  A few regulars were away either in Berlin swaying rhythmically to David Hasselhoff or, in Eff’s case, in a beer filled ditch somewhere in London.  But there was good news.  Two new players were due to play and rumour had it they were under 40 and could run 10 metres without vomiting blood.

Our warm-up consisted of a few sliced kicks into the brambles and a few hastily shouted words from Alex and Phil.  Old Isleworthians on the other hand were nicely warmed-up, running impressive looking moves and generally looking like an organised side ready to play.  So, what happens next makes no sense at all.

The attitude the Exiles showed in the first 20 minutes of the game was superb.  A number of players – not least, Ciaran and new boys Bradley Yates and Alex Pengilly – were running with purpose and physicality.  The opposition, perhaps complacent due to witnessing our shambolic start, were falling off tackles and not coping with our direct runs into their midfield.  Our first try was scored by Paul Havel.  Paul is a speedster, clearly showing his pace by easily outstripping a couple of defenders before dotting it down in the corner, oblivious to the uncharitable cries of “under the posts” from a certain match report writer who was still huffing and puffing on the 22 line.  The next try was taken by our new American signing, Bradley.  The Exiles have had some great contributions over the years from the Yanks and, on this occasion, Bradley proved no exception.  Ciaran – back from the concussion he sustained against Civil Service – made a 30 metre break bouncing into tackles in that feisty Leinster-man way of his.  Ten metres out and with the Old I’s fullback due to clatter into him, he passed inside to Bradley who scored under the posts.  Spike converted.  Exiles final score of the game came a few minutes later.  The Exiles other new signing, Alex Pengilly, confirmed the threat he had been posing for the first 20 minutes by picking up the loose ball and flying down the wing to score a well-deserved try in the corner.  At this point, Old I’s decided to wake-up and the last 10 minutes of the half saw them spending increasing time in our 22.

At half time, someone foolishly mentioned that we had so far not conceded any penalties.  As that was being said, it was noted that Old I’s captain was having a lengthy chat with the ref; no doubt making him aware of all the dark deeds the Exiles were getting away with hidden from view.  Sure enough, the second half started with a flurry of penalties against the Exiles and Old I started to use the advantage they had in the scrum, eventually getting a push over try which they failed to convert.  The game then descended into turgid tussle in the middle of the pitch with only the occasional outbreaks of handbags offering any entertainment to the supporters.  Scott had replaced Spike as fly-half, but Old I’s more organised defence had us frequently on the back-foot, unable to unleash the backs as had been done in the first half.  With 10 minutes to go, Old I scored another try through a chip and chase.  Again, they failed to convert.  It was now getting tense, with frustration being shown by both sides at the referee’s seemingly laissez faire approach to infringements.  However, it’s Exiles policy not to criticise a man who’s given-up his Saturday in order for the game to take place, something for which we thank him along with the fact he was not pedantic and generally refereed the game to the ability of either side.

The Exiles eventfully held on to win 17 – 10.  The fourth placed play-off spot in the league is now finely poised between Quintin and us.  With a game in hand we should be confident that we can make the play-offs BUT everyone, including key players (you know who you are) needs to make themselves available for the must-win game against London Welsh Vets (19 March).

D. Morgan.

Tries:

  • Paul Havel
  • Bradley Yates
  • Alex Pengilly

Cons:

  • Spike

Man of the match:

  • Paul Havel

Team (and position played):

  • Gautier Henry – 1
  • Fabio Krasniqi -2
  • Warren Greef – 1
  • Chandra Sekar -2,14
  • John Moore -4
  • Bradley Yates (new fella!) – 6
  • Steve Richards – 3
  • Nick Greenhalgh – 8,2
  • Stef McGabe – 9
  • Mark Davies (Spike) – 10
  • Jonathan McKeogh – 5
  • Afe Ogun – 15,14
  • Alex Pigilly (new fella!) – 13
  • Dave Morgan – 12
  • Scott O’Callaghan – 10
  • Paul Havel – 11
  • Alex Adide – 15?
  • Malik Abu – 14,8
  • Ciaran Doyle – 7