AEI (Rugby) RFC snatch win with last gasp score
A local derby saw Old Laurentians III visit and produce a thrilling match, which swung first one way and then the other, before AEI scored the final try through Joel Bale to tie scores, then man of the match Chris Halcrow completed a perfect performance with the boot by coolly slotting the conversion to give the home team the victory.
Throughout the match and despite the numerous injuries sustained by the pack, the set piece was a fruitful source of possession in both attack and defence.
Derek Mcculloch opened the home side’s scoring after running in almost unopposed from a set move off the lineout and then came close to repeating the same manoeuvre close to the OL’S line but was stopped illegally; Joel Bale however was on hand to profit from the resulting penalty drive. In between the scores Chris Halcrow was able to add a penalty goal from in front of the posts. The final AEI score of the half owed a significant amount to good fortune. An attempted kick to touch was tapped down by the opposition into the grateful arms of guest flanker Taz Langhor who then galloped half the length of the pitch to touch down; Dale Garlick missed the conversion since Chris Halcrow was off the pitch having taking a knock to the shoulder.
The try of the game was a scintillating second solo effort from standout winger Harry Valentine who collected the ball on the opposition 10 metre line and then showed pace and power to weave his way under the posts through a despairing defence. At this point AEI were comfortably in front but ill discipline and a collective relaxing allowed OLs to score three quick tries during which time full back Shane Cave suffered a serious knee injury. With no more than a few minutes remaining on the clock AEI found themselves 5 points behind and were grateful to Joel Bale who capped off a fine display in the tight and loose by scoring his second try of the match.
AEI are indebted to the guest players such as Chris Heslop for helping to make the game such a spectacle and to the commitment of the home players, several of whom played out of position or in multiple positions throughout the game. Thanks to OLs for filling in after the original opponents dropped out and as always to the referee without whom there would just be 30 directionless and odd looking individuals running around a rugby pitch for 80 minutes.
AEI celebrate our 100th season in September 2017, if you have been part of AEI (Rugby) RFC over the years as a player or supporter we would like you to join us in the celebrations. To find out more visit www.aeirfc.co.uk