Sarries 2nds succumbed to their worst defeat for a number of seasons to perennial cup final opponents old patesians.
The first half was a bruising affair with neither side able to gain the upper hand and cancelling each other out. Good runs by Hangar and Grayson kept the momentum up, ably supported by Lodge and Long, but stout defence and indiscipline kept the try line at bay. A Perks penalty was their only reward.
The second half was a different story. Sarries tried their hardest to keep pushing forward, but old pats made some shrewd changes and gradually wore down the defence.
Sarries were bemused by the referees’ decisions all day and were getting more and more frustrated by the minute, and indiscipline was costing them field position. Finally pats made the breakthrough from a contentious decision at a lineout.
With only 2 backs on the bench,the forwards were physically wilting under constant pressure at scrum time and around the park. Unable to secure good ball for their backs Sarries were on the back foot and Pats were surging forward at every opportunity.
Then the straw that broke the camels back. A defensive scrum saw the scrum halfs grappling on the ground,which led to the sarries scrum half being red carded…down to 14 men!.
Old Pats scored further tries to extend their lead against valiant efforts from the Sarries defence, further inhibited by Perks succumbing to a calf strain.
A good effort by Sarries who could have gone on to win if the first half performance was matched. With 2 players returning to rugby after a number of years away and disruptions to selection before kick off, the performance wasn’t as gloomy as the write up suggests.
MOM is difficult when on the losing side…Joe Prosser played well, as did Grayson, Arkell and Hangar. Ben Spurway and Dan Keyte stood up well despite not playing for a long time, but the award goes to the evergreen Pete Lodge…who was tireless in defence,attack and in keeping spirits up in adversity.
Final score Old Pats 27 Cheltenham Saracens 3