Old Whitgiftian RFC


It's a double celebration for Whits!

Terry Brown, 1 May 2007 11:23

Old Whitgiftians 13pts  Cranleigh 12pts

Old Whitgiftians capped a highly successful season at London South Africa’s impressive ground at Imber Court last Sunday.  In front of a crowd of around 1000 and in perfect conditions they ran out the winners by 13-12 to beat Cranleigh and to take the Surrey Shield . They had already been crowned champions of Surrey League 2 .

The match started evenly and for the first 15 minutes there was little to choose between the two combatants . Cranleigh then began to assert a worrying ascendancy in the set scrums and there was a fair amount of pressure on the Croydon side to hold their own . This pressure began to tell and after 18 minutes Cranleigh went over for a try . However they did not succeed with the easy conversion and ultimately this was to prove a vital miss . If Cranleigh were unable to put the ball between the sticks then Gordon Colletta for Whitgift was finding it equally difficult to score for Old Whitgiftians with his penalty opportunities .

After 35 minutes some outstanding play between Colletta , Les Todd and John Coleman saw the latter bring Whitgift level with a fine try. The extra points were not taken. Then just before half time Tom Maynard scored a further try from a clever and quickly taken penalty . Again the conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 10 – 5 in Old Whitgiftians favour at the break and all to play for.

At the start of the second half the Whitgift forwards began to win back control and Maynard’s tactical awareness at scrum half served the O.Ws. well . At this stage the Croydon side should have increased their points tally and have made the game safe, but due to moments of carelessness they were unable to score until after 30 minutes Gordon Colletta finally found his kicking boots and added a penalty .

With a man in the sin bin Cranleigh were contained until the last minute when they scored a converted try . It was too late to affect the outcome of an exciting match and Whitgift captain James Schad lifted his second trophy of the season. Les Todd won the man of the match award, but must have been run close by Mick Grant and Tom Maynard.

After a wonderful season both on and off the pitch the old boy’s coach Mike Andress was asked about the success of his team. ‘ Put the work in – put the training in and then synchronisation follows ‘ were his simple comments . Congratulations to all at Croham Road, and may the bandwagon continue to roll into next season.