Bucks 12 Billingham 10

By Chris H - January 17 2009
Bucks 12 Billingham 10
Winning Conversion West Bucks entertained Billingham II at home in the Tees Merit League. Billingham had given West a good hiding earlier in the season but the Bucks had a strong team out so hopes were high for the home team.

West played the first half into the wind and initially the game swung to and fro.
Then on 9 mins the visiting full back made a mistake fielding a West kick and West regained the ball. the ball was moved swiftly right and Full Back Adam Larkin came into the line, cut inside the drifting defenders and went over to the right of the posts (5-0).
From the kick off great work by prop Pete Considine and Simon Cavey released Larkin again. The British Colleges squad member made 50 yards before being brought down. The ball was moved right and taken close to the line. Prop Karlos Graham looked to have powered over the line but was held up short and got injured in the process. Unfortunately he had to be substituted by his fellow Am Anth Waller shortly after.
The Bucks played very well for the rest of the half but were unable to add to their score.
HT Bucks 5 - Bill 0
Billingham started the 2nd half in much more determined fashion and even though they were playing into the wind put the Bucks under pressure for much of the half. This was to lead to 2 tries to take them into the lead. Firstly they were able to squeeze over wide on their left and then they disrupted a West scrum and from a series of rucks drove over the line (5-10).
The Bucks were finding it very difficult to stem the Billingham tide at this point and only the tremendous resilience they have shown all season kept them in the game. The visitors large pack kept punishing any mistakes made by the home team but their backs never looked like capitalising.
With the score as it was West were never out of it and with 10 mins to go they got themselves into an attacking position. From a rare home lineout win the ball was moved wide quickly and that man Larkin burst into the line with the pace only he seems to possess to go over untouched.
Fly half Stu Waites kept his nerve in the swirling wind to convert (12-10).
The visitors still had their chances to win and hammered at the home line but to no avail.
Final score Bucks 12 - Billingham 10.
Andy Robson (4) and Paul Miller (12) continued their progress from long term injuries, with the latter putting in some trademark 'massive' hits ( the one on the biggest Bill forward being most notable.)
Phil Henderson (No8) and Danny Cook (9) played their first games for some time and both played well.
Centre Pete Considine continues to do sterling work in the front row where we are struggling for numbers but special mention for Larkin who has not played much senior rugby this year but looked very sharp when we were able to get him the ball.
This was a tremendous win for the Bucks against the best team they have played this season, some of the younger players found it very tough but stuck to their tasks when they could have fallen away. But as we discussed after the game our inability to win 1st phase ball consistently well will hold us back as a team. Scrum ball was not too bad today but our lineout was a lottery and just gifts the opposition the ball. So to beat Billingham with all the ball we presented them made our victory even sweeter.

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