Epping 2s 21 - Enfield Ignations 2s 26
Enfield hang on after Clapton 2nd half come back
Well if all matches in this league are half as exciting as this one then we are in for a barnstorming season ahead.
This was Epping a first match in Herts & Middlesex 2 after there third successive promotions in two years.
With the first team also at home and a lunch meant a busy club that welcomed Enfield for the first league game of the season.
An influx of Colts has not only meant competition for places but also the club fielded three teams for the first time in 8 months.
The new blood in the twos came in the form of Des Griggs, Will Parish, Danny Knights and Lucas Moretta.
From the new to the old as it was great to see Dean McFarlane back in a Clapton shirt for the first time this season
The game kicked off in glorious sunshine with I believe the early exchanges favouring the opposition. Apologies for the vagueness as I was in search of our water bottles that were eventually found outside the clubhouse. Upon my return and Enfield were taking a conversion which I guess meant that we had conceeded a try. .
As the half continued Clapton began to find there feet as they got used to each other. Unfortunately for the home side Enfield took full advantage and scored a further two tries to leave the half time score at Seventeen points to nil. Clapton made one change at the break with Club legend Adam Ayres reluctantly replacing Harry Judge in the front row. Toby Sweeney had also entered the Frey moments before half time for Jordan Ellis who had a hurty leg.
The half time discussion revolved around increasing the tempo, being nice to the referee and to make there first up tackles.
The second half started with Epping showing a renewed energy which was to result in the home sides first try of the game when Danny Knights dummied a pass and accelerated through a gap to cruise in under the posts. Douglass converting.
Back came Enfield and forced Epping into there twenty two and with the clearance kick being charged down the visitors were first to the loose ball by touching down over the try line.
This appeared to have put Enfield out of site but the club were not finished and within a ten minute spell had scored two tries. The first saw the ball moved wide to find Joe Walker in space. The full back then went on a mazy run that ended with a magnificent score. We will forget the tackle that nearly removed poor Joe's head from his shoulders as he was diving over the line. The second came from Ollie Dunningham who was guesting at inside centre. The usual number 8 charged down a clearance kick and was first to the ball that had nestled neatly over the try line.
Douglass converting both scores.
Epping were now within one score of taking the lead and at one point camped themselves on the Enfield try line but were met by a tremendous defensive effort. The discipline by the visitors to ignore the ball and wait for a mistake pretty much got them over the line.
In Eppings desperation all frameworks went out of the window as players preference to play one out rugby fell into their opponents hands.
During this time back row Alfie Reynolds left the field with a bang on the bonce. Both teams playing he final minutes with fourteen players.
The final whistle went to the yelps of joy from the Enfield players.
So not the result Clapton were looking for but lots of positives to take from this game as well as lots to work on at training.
Full credit to the Enfield team and supporters who played the game in the right spirit. We look forward to the return fixture later in the season
The Man of the match went to scrum half Danny Knights who controlled the game excellently and also popped over for a well deserved try.
Next week the twos travel to Bishops Stortford for there second league game of the season.