This was curates egg of a performance from the 1st Xv who rescued a very difficult situation but in the end comfortably triumphed.
Yatton RFC came to Failand yesterday with a reputation for never say die rugby and in the first 20 minutes they showed why this is the case.
The game kicked off in windy blustery conditions with the Old Boys playing down the slope. Early pressure on the Yatton line saw a number of penalties conceded for offside and slowing the ball down. OB's chose to kick to the corner but despite having the bigger pack could not muscle there way over. Yatton attacked from deep and broke through the centre. Some swift handling saw them go the length and score under the posts. 0:7
Two minutes later a repeat from the kick off saw another break through the middle and Yatton again go the length to go 0:14 up.
This time OBs regathered from the kick off and drove close to the Yatton line. However another strong burst from the Yatton 12 attracted several tacklers and the offload came in for the Yatton to the length again score under the posts. 0:21.
From the restart James Marshall caught the hanging ball and built an attack that went through several phases. A penalty resulted 10 metres out. Again OBs went to kick to the corner, but the kick was sliced and caught by the Yatton Winger who kicked up field.The kick initially crossed the touchline but blew back into play, causing some of the cover to stop, and the pacey winger regathered to go under the posts. 0:28.
With the words of Coach Claridge, to hold onto the ball, ringing in their ears OBs tightened up. From the kickoff the rampaging Kyle Clarke broke through and headed towards the posts. Despite a number of warnings the Yatton pack again slowed the ball down and their tighthead was yellow carded. This time the kick to the corner was successful and from the lineout Clarke again broke the line to go over on the right. Matt Law converted.
A similar phase of play then resulted in a second try, the forwards battered away and this time the try came from Sean MacKin driving over from close range, Matt Law converted.
Now the OBs pack was beginning to dominate. As one yellow card ended the Yatton 7 earned himself a yellow for deliberately slowing a quick tap penalty. OBs again kicked to the corner. From 15 metres out the pack joined by Greener drove over the line. Yatton appeared to have got hands on ball but John Whiteman ripped the ball from the Yatton props hands as he went to ground. The half ended with OBs trailing by 9 at 19:28.
A positive half time chat saw the OBs start with a bang. Great handling from Mackin picking up from a scrum put Andy Green in space who then put Simon Hunt away to score in the corner. 24:28
The OBs were now playing with confidence which saw great handling from backs and forwards. From a line out on the Yatton 10 the ball was swept left to Jamie Duncan on his opposite wing to chip down the 5 metre channel deep into the 22. The Yatton wing dropped on the ball but as he was dragged to touch decided to keep the ball alive by passing in field to the grateful Duncan who walked into the corner. 29:28. Noses in front.
Hunt then got his second with another blindside break from scrum half Andy Green, who ghosted through a gap drew the defender and put Hunt in the clear to again go over in the corner. 34:28
Changes were then made with Matt Law making way for Johnny Parkes and Hunt moving to fullback, Pete Fison went on at hooker to replace Ben Urry with Jon Whiteman moving to prop.
Hunt then then got his third. Solid defence in the Yatton 22 forced as the kick down field , Hunt caught the ball, he stepped the winger and in a move reminiscent of his England 7's days went through a gap and then took an angled run back to the posts. Rory Davis converted. 41:28
Parkes then thought he had scored on the left only for the Ref to award a scrum. From another good defensive set the ball was turned over and centre Tom Westray powered over under the posts. Davis converted 46:28.
The ninth try then came as another flowing move saw backs and forwards release Johnny Parkes down the right. Johnny got within a metre only to be hauled down. Luckily his pop in the air was collected by Hunt to score his fourth. 53: 28. Fifty three unanswered points in 50 minutes.
Yatton had continueed to try and play attacking rugby when they had the ball, and this paid off when they scored a consolation with 10 minutes to go.
The final try of the game was a beauty. Replacement Doug Roberts got the ball on about halfway and burst through tired Yatton pack making 20 metres, as he was tackled Andy Badcock was on hand to take the offload and feed Pete Fison who stretched his legs to go in from 25 metres.
The final score was 60:33 with lots of lessons learnt.
Best on ground Simon Hunt.
Updated 10:56 - 16 Jan 2018 by Jonathan Boxall