A disjointed and strangely lacklustre performance lead to a home defeat which AEI can have no complaints about. Fielding a full strength side and several returning players on the bench adversely affected the AEI who seemed to play the game as if the sheer number of players available meant an automatic win against a hard running visiting team who had no intention of lying down.
The game could only be described as error-strewn as both sides threw the ball around with abandon and at times appeared not to care who the ball was passed to as long as the pace remained frenetic. With the AEI apparently not capable of making first up tackles and unable to string together phases of play, the halftime whistle came as a relief with AEI only 5-0 down and the result still in the balance.
A simple penalty extended Copsewood’s lead to 8 before AEI managed to show what they had been doing all season long when Jonathan Jenkins was able to force his way over after solid work from the pack. A successful conversion meant the two sides were only separated by a solitary point. However, AEI were unable to capitalise on this and allowed the Copsewood number 8, despite being in retreat in the face of strong scrimmaging from the AEI pack, to pick up from the base and beat the defence on two separate occasions – the second having broken through 3 weak tackles
Another try by Copsewood in the corner after some good handling along the line meant that the game was all but over when Karl Lawson was able to run down the touchline to score a consolation try.
While the manner of the defeat was disappointing, the AEI know that they are unlikely to play quite so badly and incoherently again and can look forward to putting in a much better performance in the return fixture at the end of the season.