U16 centre James Goldsworth clings on to halt another Trojan attack.
Last Sunday the team came up against a well drilled, strong and organised Trojan side in the Hampshire Cup. In the opening exchanges, their pick-and-go game put Farnham on the back foot. However, the lads kept their composure, organised defensive lines and stuck to the task at hand.
Despite ferocious tackling led by Ben Douglas, Trojans scored their first try early in the match but missed the conversion (5-0). Trojans came back from the restart with their direct approach using their strong runners to score their second try which was converted (12-0).
At the team chat under the posts, the Farnham boys were not demoralised but did conclude they would lose an arm wrestle. The plan now was to put some width on the ball. The plan worked. With the Trojan defence split, Hamish Ferguson dotted down out wide. Back came Trojans with other try from their strong runners, but unbowed, Farnham replied with their open, expansive style and after a skilful kick chase, Eddie Buckton went over for the black and whites. 19-10 at half time.
The coaches let the boys do the talking at the half time talk. They chose to stick to their guns to beat this well drilled and physically stronger side – something they were confident they could achieve. This confidence soon became apparent in the way they took players to the ground, worked hard and put their bodies on the line for each other. In particular, James Grey, the tallest member of the black and whites, provided the physical presence required of a winning side in rugby. Farnham were next to score with Jasper Henderson to the corner with a great touchdown (19-15).
Trojans proved they would be no pushover, worked to their strength and came back with a try of their own (24-15). However, across the park, Farnham was gaining the upper hand. From the restart, Farnham drove up the pitch to within eight meters. The ball was popped to Ollie Lewis-Gorton who took two defenders with him over the line. Up stepped George Fletcher to smash the conversion between the posts. 24-22.
With 15 minutes to go, the two sides went toe-to-toe for five minutes until Farnham broke the midfield deadlock with a long raking kick down field. Well chased by the attackers, the Trojan defender could only cling to the ball and give away the penalty. The Farnham team now showed maturity beyond their years by opting to take the points and a one-point lead. Once again, Fletcher calmly stepped up and kicked the goal. 24-25.
In the last ten minutes, Farnham kept their heads, played their game and kept Trojans at bay. In the final seconds of the game, however, Farnham conceded a penalty on their 10m line and Trojans opted for a long-range kick at goal to nick the game. The kick was accurate but inches short and the ball bounced off the cross bar back into play. The Farnham coaches looked on with their hearts in their mouths as their charges calmly set the ruck, recycled the ball and gratefully hoofed it into touch for the final whistle and the win.
“Every one of the lads put their hands up and did their bit to come back from such a deficit against a very strong team. They should all be very proud of this achievement,” said age group head coach Gavin Baker. “They were all men of the match but we had to choose one and that was Elliot Davies. He was immense all game!”