Saturday, July 20, 2024

At last, Blues! A win!

In fantastic winter sunshine and a brilliant crowd atmosphere, the Blues raised their game and triumphed 18: 14 over Salisbury RFC.  With both teams starting this game not too far off the bottom of the Regional 2 South Central league table, it was an important victory.

Taking a few minutes to settle into the match, the Blues were first to put points on the scoreboard after a quarter of an hour with a try by visiting Wing, Jack Rampton, which was duly converted by Captain and Fly Half, Dan Thorne.  Lock Duncan Craigen added another five points after 26 minutes.  Salisbury weren’t taking this lying down and pulled back 7 points right on 40 minutes of first half play with a try by their Lock, Dominic Porter, that was confidently converted by Fly Half, Tom Tully.

For the Blues fans, good news!, we stood ahead 12:7 at the end of the first half.  But it wouldn’t take much to be caught.

It was a slow and slightly querulous start to the second half – which didn’t do much for the home supporters’ equilibrium – but steadily the Blues found their groove and largely took charge of the game.  It was, for much of the second-half play, end to end stuff and no-one gave up but the Newbury team strategically took 3 points at the 59th minute and again at the 70th with two penalties, accurately knocked over the bar by Dan Thorne.

The visitors haven’t had the best season but they absolutely and resolutely bashed on throughout, and none of the Blues fans could quite explain how the Blues wriggled away from two jeopardies on the try line as the second half progressed.  Guess they were due a bit of luck!  Salisbury claimed back a bit of pride just before the final whistle, with a try by Centre, Will Murley, once again converted by Tom Tully.

It was good to see the Blues back on winning form.  Although the score was quite close in the end, they were the rightful winners.  The home game celebrated Jamie Futcher’s 200th cap and Michael “Klicky” Klichowicz’s 50th, and enjoyed the stand-out talents of Jack Rampton alongside star player Jonny Lees.

The Blues travel away to London Irish Wild Geese on Saturday, 3rd February.  Their next home game is Saturday 17th February – the Club’s charity “Pink Day” – when they host Winchester.  Come on you Blues!

Jamie Futcher & Michael Klichowicz

Photo by kind permission of Ian Jack and Peter Branch