Druids v Caldicot (Home) 17 Dec 2011

9-3 Win

Druids grind out win

Defeats in their two previous matches this season could have dented the Druids confidence. Caldicot were the visitors and a very competitive match was anticipated as the home side sought to get back in the winning vein.

Chippenham Mead served up a heavy, sticky playing surface which was both stamina sapping and skill testing. For this hastily arranged friendly the Druids, pulled together a strong squad from newcomers to past first team players. Both sides were chaffing at the bit by warming up some 30 minutes before the kick off.

The first half saw Caldicot take the initiative and their pack of forwards worked hard and collectively to give territorial advantage over the home side. Only sound tackling kept the Druids try line intact. In particular Centre Mike Whistance and Full Back Matt Tabb tackled tenaciously. The only scores in a nervous, testing first period was a penalty goal for each side. The Druids defence particularly near their try line was rock solid and on the counter attack Number Eight Nick Phillips was difficult to stop.

At half time the Druids made a number of substitutions of established players, which caused some disruption in the ranks. As the half progressed the Druids pack got on the front foot and Caldicot were under real pressure. So much so, that the visitors were forced into conceding penalties which was to prove to be conclusive. Druids Captain Dave Brace who last week failed to convert any penalties, took full advantage this time, to kick two further penalty goals to win the match 9-3 in difficult kicking conditions.

A hard draining match played on a glue pot but in a sporting fashion. It was not a league game but important for the Druids, as they look forward to the New Year. The pack absorbed pressure and slowly but surely ended the match on top. The second half saw good displays from Milo Thomas, good line out skills from veteran Andy Howells, Tom Green and Adam Churchill. It was not a game for back play but they played their part in containing the opposition in a real arm wrestle.

Pen: D.Brace(3)

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