A Physical Encounter!
By Steve Carter
Alton U15's suffer their first defeat this season in the local derby against Farnham in what turned out to be a very physical encounter between two evenly matched sides
Our U15 boys suffered their first defeat of the season to a strong and well drilled Farnham U15 'A' team.
Farnham started the stronger of the two teams, with a majority of the possession and territory in the first quarter, eventually breaking the hard working Alton defence to get the first points on the board (0-7). Alton would strike soon after with Matthew Smoothy driving over the line to score our first try of the day (5-7). Some good footballing skills would bring more points for Alton with James Richardson hacking through a loose ball and winning the foot race to dot down for our second try, which he also converted (12-7). It would be Farnham, however, who would have the last say in the first half, with their centre crashing through to level the scores at 12-12 just before the half-time whistle.
The physical contest between the two evenly matched sides continued when the game re-started after the half-time break, with neither side ever really settling into their game; a reflection of the pressure that the two teams were putting on one another. For a long period of the second half it looked as if neither side would be able to add to their score, and a 12-12 scoreline would probably have been a good reflection of the way the game had gone. But it would be Farnham who would emerge victorious, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes of the match to bring the final scoreline to 12-26.
Lots of positives to take away from the game, but plenty to work on too. Particularly good to see some of our less experienced boys standing up well to the physicality and getting some good game time against a tough opposition (as in previous games we operated the "half game" rule to ensure that all of the boys in the squad played at least half the match). The boys and the coaches learnt a lot from the match and we are already looking forward to a return fixture!