Hard Fought Victory Against a Strong London Irish Side
By Steve Carter
Alton U15's determination shows through as they beat London Irish for the first time
Our Under 15 boys approached this match with a steely determination to reverse their fortunes from several previous encounters and to finally beat London Irish after several years of trying. They did it in style, playing some of the best rugby we have seen from them this season so far, with a 23 - 17 win.
Based on past experience, we knew this was going to be a physical encounter and it didn't disappoint. The two evenly matched teams fought hard with neither team having the upper hand but it would be Alton who would get the first points on the board when James Richardson gathered a grubber through from Gregory Carter (5-0). Alton struck again soon after, Richardson the scorer again, this time on the end of a perfectly weighted cross field kick from Carter (10-0). The move that led to Alton's third try also started with a kick, this time a long clearance from our own half. Matthew Salisbury chased hard, putting the London Irish full back under huge pressure, then demonstrated some deft footballing skills to dribble the ball over the line before dotting down to take us three tries clear (15-0). A penalty kick from James Richardson took the score to 18-0 before London Irish's impressive centre carved a great line through Alton's defence to get their first score on the board (18-5). It would be Alton, however, who had the final say in the first half, with Salisbury going over for his second try to take Alton into the break with a 23-5 lead.
We always knew that this strong London Irish side would put more than 5 points on us and they came out fighting in the second half. Alton would not score any further points but some dogged defence kept the opposition's scoreline in the second half to only two tries, with one conversion, to give a final score of 23-17. The cheer from the exhausted boys and supportive parents at the final whistle says it all ... although the biggest cheer of the match was reserved for Sam Mackenzie for his audacious (and successful) pass between his legs in one of Alton's most promising periods of attacking play in the second half!
All in all, a hard fought, competitive match between two pretty evenly matched teams, that we are delighted to have won! I am still smiling about it now!!
Well done boys!!!
James Richardson (2)
Matthew Salisbury (2)
James Richardson (1)