OA's Go Wayward at Heath
by Will Beasley
The OAs travelled South looking to build on their hard-fought victory over a dogged Dover side, boosted by the return of captain, James Mair
and with no less than four debuts the team were optimistic about the potential of securing back to back league wins for the first time this season.
Furthermore, could the team provide a proud Josh Wachman
with a fitting tribute to mark his 50th Cap and deliver that vital W?
In a word, no.
The match started in a positive fashion, hard lines and some clever kicking allowed OAs deep into the opposition half. Some sloppy work over the ball saw a succession of early penalties awarded to the OA’s, though on this occasion the attempts were nudged just wide by the usually Mr Dependable Josh Winduss
The match continued to swing back and forth. 18 Year debutant, Jamie Anderson controlled the pace and flow of the OAs attack with the maturity of a battle hardened veteran, but as the half developed Hayward began to find their feet. A strong scrum and some abrasive carries saw the OA’s concede. The scrum difficulties that Alleynians had hoped to be a thing of the past appeared to have resurfaced and Hayward continued to take advantage of this, resulting in a further two score before the break. Half time, Haywards Heath 19-0 OA’s.
The second half start from the OA’s was again a positive one, the team fronting up physically and matching the intensity shown in the latter stages of the first from Haywards Heath. Good scramble defence from Alleynians stopped a number of Hayward chances and some strong running from William Unwin and Patrick Stuff
made inroads into the opposition half. However on this day luck was not on the OA’s side and frustration began to grow within the ranks after some questionable 50/50 breakdown calls went the way of Hayward. The result of this was the pressure on OA’s grew and after a missed tackle from Will Beasley
in midfield, Hayward were able to shift the ball to the right wing and dot the ball down for a further score.
As the half dragged on and play began to break up, some fine interplay saw Hayward grab a further two Try’s to extend their lead and produce a final score line that did not make pleasant reading for the visitors. Full time, Haywards Heath 36-0 Old Alleynians.
Whilst the OA’s can feel disappointed not to have got onto the scoresheet, they will understandably accept the performance overall was below par…as said by the late Mandela, you either win or you learn and on this occasion the team will certainly have to learn from this and look forward to righting some wrongs at Pullborough next week.