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Verulamians battle to West London victory
11:40am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Sport
Verulamians battled to a 34-25 bonus-point win at West London in Herts Middlesex One.
The opening phases of the game were dominated by the visiting Vees, who retained the ball well and made inroads into West London territory. Their early pressure was rewarded when wing Gareth Waters kicked a penalty.
The Vees soon extended their lead with a try following some powerful forward play. The side put the West London scrum under pressure and tenacious scrum-half Andy Paton disrupted the ball at the base of the scrum. Flanker Ross Morgan pounced on the loose ball and got the visitors on the attack.
The forwards seized momentum and drove continually from the base of the ruck, with notable carries from number eight David Coyle and hooker James Hayes. With the home side struggling to hold back the tide of runners it was powerful lock Robin Wildey who drove to the line to score. With Waters taking the extras the Vees had opened up a ten point lead.
West London fought back and earned a penalty to get on the scoreboard, but it was not long before the Vees scored their second try. Wildey disrupted a West London lineout and hardworking flanker Morgan gathered the loose ball.
Again the Verulamians pack powered over and surged towards the line with some dynamic driving play. Captain Coyle rode several tackles before diving over the line. Waters missed the conversion and the Vees looked to be taking a healthy 15-3 lead in to half-time.
However, they gave the hosts a lifeline as a wide back move broke down and the West London Centre collected the loose ball and burst through to score, reducing the advantage to just five points.
Despite losing out on territory and possession Verulamians were able to get the next score in the second half. After a knock on deep in the West London half the Vees drove over for a try from a scrum.
The powerful front row trio of Carl Jones, Hayes and Ross Graham put in the hard work before Coyle dotted the ball down. Verulamians were finally punished severely for their indiscipline when replacement scrum-half Tom Backman was given a yellow card for another infringement at the ruck.
West London quickly capitalized on the extra numbers as the Londoners put in a deft chip that was collected by the winger who raced away to score a try that reduced the Vees' lead to three. Things went from bad to worse for Verulamians as West London took the lead with an interception try, which was converted to give the home side a 22-20 lead.
With a player still in the bin the Vees fought back to re-take the lead. The score came from the Vees powerful pack as Coyle claimed a hat-trick following an expert drive from the Verulamians front five. Waters kicked the conversion and the Vees were finally able to take control of the game.
West London were given one final chance to get back into the game as they kicked a penalty but it was the visitors who finished with a flourish and a fifth try.
Following a run from fly-half Nick Woolley he found himself deep in the opposition half and managed to find a wide pass to Waters who slid in at the corner to score a try. Waters then added the conversion to secure a disjointed but hard-fought victory.
The Vees are at home to Harrow this weekend.