RUGBY: Vase victory for Welsh over higher-league opposition
Excellent performance in first round of competition
RFU Midland Vase
Rugby Welsh 24 Thorney 12
Welsh produced an excellent performance to defeat higher league opposition in the first round of the Midland Vase.
Entering the competition for the first time in many years Welsh took the game to their Peterborough based opposition and were soon ahead with an Angus Wilson penalty.
The Welsh squad has been improved by the introduction of several players with the returning Chris Parkinson bolstering the pack and Glenn Bond adding valuable experience to the backline with both having an influence on the game.
Welsh dominated the scrummage in the opening quarter with the forwards winning plenty of possession.
Fly half Glenn Bond then increased the lead when having picked up a ball down by his shoelaces he sidestepped his opposite player and raced in for an individual try under the posts which Wilson converted.
Back row man Loz Galleno had an outstanding game and an inside pass from Andy Higham saw him race 40 metres and despite a last ditch tackle he showed great awareness of the line to stretch backwards for a try, converted by Wilson .
Thorney seemed to then wake up to the task and with their large front row, a ball carrying no 8 and powerfully build centre they began to get back into the game and soon narrowed the gap with an unconverted try.
However with the last move of the half the Bond brothers along with Jack Taylor created an opportunity for Chris Grant to score a try in the corner, again excellently converted by Wilson to give Welsh a 24- 5 lead.
The second half saw Thorney win far more possession and they began to cause the home side more problems with their direct running.
The game became increasing more physical with neither side taking a backward step.
Welsh began to give away more penalties and a sinbinning left them down to 14 men, but their defence was strong with Anthony Reynolds putting in many tackles on their No 8 and Bond and Taylor worked hard to nullify their powerful centre with Thorney failing to score during this important period.
Eventually with 20 minutes left their centre scored a converted try to narrow the gap but Welsh regathered some momentum with Nick Hayward counterattacking well from full back and they had chances to increase their lead but solid defence kept them at bay.
Thorney kept going till the end, but frustration led to one of their players being sinbinned and Welsh fully deserved their victory.
With a larger squad now being seen they should now be able to cope with injuries and unavailabilities more easily and will hope to build on this impressive success in the forthcoming weeks.