Five Ways just edged out in close encounter
By Jess Banner
Solid performance sees Five Ways return to form but still unable to snatch a win
Five Ways took to the field against Stoke Old Boys this weekend knowing that they needed to start performing and getting wins under their belts. It was clear from the mood in the changing room beforehand that this was going to be the week that Five Ways turned their season around.
From the first whistle Five Ways put the pressure on Stoke Old Boys and gained some good ball for the backs to use and show their flair in attack. Constant pressure from the FWOE forwards forced a penalty in kickable range. Unfortunately, fly half John Mounter hit the post with his effort. Shortly after though, he had chance to make amends when another penalty was conceded by Stoke and this time Mounter did not miss. Five Ways continued to look sharp in attack and broke the Stoke defence on numerous occasions but poor decision making tripped them up at the final hurdle with a few opportunities to score going astray. Stoke also had a some good ball and after few good passages of forwards play, crossed the line for the first try of the match. The conversion was missed. The Five Ways defence remained strong throughout and they went into half time only 2 points behind.
The second half saw tempers flair and, on numerous occasions, Stoke got physical which lead to a player and a coach being sin binned. Five Ways continued to show their skill in attack but, again, lacked the clinical finish at vital times and were unable to capitalise on the extra man advantage. Simon Lammas and Scott Adkins led the way in defence, both putting their bodies on the line and making some big tackles, keeping Stoke at bay. Late on in the game though, Stoke gained a penalty in the Five Ways 22 and took a quick tap which was not responded to and led to a try, giving them a 7 point advantage. With the last play of the game, Ian Chaston received the ball in midfield from a quick tap penalty. He jinked through 2 players and reached for the try line. The referee decided that the ball was short, disallowing the try and ending the game.
A vast improvement for Five Ways this week and a bonus point gained. Simple things like decision making need to be worked on but they will take a lot of encouragement into next weeks fixture against bottom of the table neighbours, Warwickians.