Round Up Of The Weekend's Action
18th June 2012, 15:19
Elmbridge Eagles travelled to Bridgewater to take on Somerset Vikings in the National Tier 4 Community Shield and came away with an emphatic 36-8 victory. They were one player short on the bench but had the advantage of a strong wind behind them in the first half.
The home side began in determined fashion but some sterling defensive work kept them at bay. As the game progressed, Elmbridge began to dominate and despite losing three players to injury went in at half time with a 26-4 lead.
With the advantage of a strong wind at their backs the Vikings struck early in the second half. However more good defensive work continued to thwart the home side. Despite being down to the bare 13 the Eagles managed two more tries to seal the win. Joe Cripps completed his hat trick which earned him the man of the match award while skipper Doug Rodman led his team magnificently in an intensely physical contest.
In the London S/E and East Challenge Cup quarter finals, Medway Dragons came close to causing a real upset at home to Portsmouth Navy Seahawks before eventually going down 42-34. In blustery conditions controlling the ball was never going to be easy and an early fumble by the visitors led to Ben Shears opening the scoring for Medway. It was nip and tuck for the rest of the half with the Dragons just keeping their noses in front 18 – 16 at the interval.
They found themselves under pressure early in the second half but managed to keep their line intact and eventually increase their lead thanks to Tom Coyd’s second touchdown. The converted try put them eight points ahead but then the Sea Hawks, unbeaten so far this season, upped their game scoring 26 unanswered points to move into the semi-finals. Medway had the final say with Tom Coyd completing his hat trick before the final whistle.
In the other matches Greenwich Admirals and London Skolars A went through at the expense of Bury Titans and West London Sharks respectively.
In the Plate Quarter Finals South London Storm earned their place in the semi-finals with a 54-36 victory over Guildford Giants. The Giants led 22-20 just before the interval but they were hit with four tries either side of half time, the seven minute blitz leaving them 44-22 down and they were never able to recover.
Southampton Spitfires lost 38-20 to the St Ives Roosters but for much of the game it proved a stirring contest. The match was played at St Albans to avoid a 300 mile round trip butHowever, the turning point came 15 minutes into the second half with the Roosters leading 26-20. A Southampton player was shown a yellow card and when this was contested, it became a red one. With the Spitfires down to 12 men they eventually cracked, St Ives running in a couple of late tries to secure victory.
Roosters Coach Paul Ashbridge commented: “It was a good attacking display from the Roosters, however we shot ourselves in the foot really with not finishing off the chances we created and not completing tackles. Silly mistakes in defence could have cost us but we’re now into the semi-finals and I’m proud of the guys for giving there all for the 80 minutes.”
In the other games Sussex Merlins had a walk over against Weald Warriors while Barking and Dagenham Bulldogs overwhelmed Newham Dockers 100-4.