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Woking sponsored by Kwikcash, Intecsea and Events that Matter lost both their pre-arranged games this week end as both Cranleigh and Old Paulines cried off. Instead they picked up a game at Teddington Antlers in royal Bushey Park. Surrounded by deer and huge quantities of water in equal measure the game got underway. Despite the slippery conditions and even more slippery ball both sides tries to run the ball. Woking had the territorial advantage but Antlers were well organised in defence and turned over some crucial ball that they cleared deep into the Woking 22 which was a stinking treacherous mire of mud and deer frass. Mike Aitchison at 10 for Woking was dancing on water as he tried to orchestrate some gaps in the Antlers defence, however whilst the close work in the forwards was effective over complication in the backs led to a number of clear chances going awry.
Woking centre Dan Edwards made the breakthrough for Woking with a typically elusive run wide on the left for a good touch down. In tough conditions Mike Aitchison slotted the conversion. As half time approached slack tackling in the Woking forwards where everyone seemed to expect everyone else to make the tackle allowed the nippy fly half of Teddington to skate in for a well taken try. The conversion was missed.
Woking rang the changes at half time bringing on some less mobile players and Teddington took advantage. In the lineout Woking managed to lose all their own ball for the whole of the second half and the pace of Smith and Robertson in the back row were sorely missed. The scrum became a little one sided too and Woking were unable to keep the scrum straight when the Antlers were deliberately wheeling the scrum to win the re-put in. With such decisions from the referee Woking failed to take the same action on the Antlers put-in to equal up the contest.
An early dalliance from the Antlers backs was rewarded with a try on the wing as the Woking wingers failed to communicate in defence or put in effective tackles as the ball was worked wide by Antlers in search of the breath rough. The underfoot conditions meant that the kick was difficult and it was missed. Smarting from this Woking redoubled their efforts and John Rosewell at full back was a revelation thriving in the wet conditions running from deep and nearly forcing a try from his 22 only to be thwarted by his opposite man who had a very good game in defence. Then Mike Aitchison broke right and was away drawing his man and passing to his right only to pass the ball to the retreating Antlers left wing rather than the silent Woking right wing, Tommy Smith!
Woking were living off scraps at the set piece and were forced to try and run from deep rather than through a structured drive up field. Woking 8 Andy Jones was working well though to get the forwards working in the loose, the pick and go was effective but the ball was slow to emerge so Woking were always a little too flat footed to beat the Antlers defence. The Antlers were getting nervous but their defence held strong, and Woking were guilty of choosing the wrong option on several occasions missing several possible scoring opportunities. Rosewell burst through the line again in rumbustious form but was hauled down, the ball was knocked on and the referee blew a shrill blast for no side to whoops of delight from Antlers who thought they would put a cricket score on Woking.