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Despite an injury crisis as well as absentees due to work and the international at Twickenham, Woking managed to get out 2 sides for the visit to Old Suttonians & the visit of the 2's by Reeds Weybridge. In conditions which appered more like mid summer than early spring, it was Sutts who struck first. A few penalties took Old Sutts into range of goal and the 10 stepped up to make it 3-0. For the rest of the first half, it was one way traffic as Woking dominated possession and territory. Several times the Old Sutts defence was cut to shreds, clever play by 10 Mark Rose put through the back 3 of Adam Hawkins, Seb Murphy & Chris Wallis, as well as prop Jordan Mayes lurking in the backs. Unfortunately for Woking, the support wasn't there and fine cover defence by Sutts meant that the chances went to waste. Woking who were competing & getting good possession via set piece suffered a blow before half time with prop Matt Shepherd and hooker/Captain Rory Blundell going off with injuries. Alasdair Hamilton-Wilkes and Josh Parker coming on to fill in for the injured.
With the half time score at 3-0, Woking were urged to keep calm & focused and the points would eventually come. This prophecy came true early in the second half when Mark Rose saw a mismatch in the backline. He passed onto Chris Wallis who beat the prop opposing him and used his pace and smart footwork to beat the fullback and dot down under the posts. Rose slotted the extras to take Woking into the lead 7-3. Woking continued to apply the pressure and again it looked like the second try would come, however small mistakes meant the chances went begging.
Like the Wales-Ireland game on Friday night, the tide turned in the last 20 minutes. Woking were continuing to make ground in the Sutts half, this time through the forwards. However David Garvey, offended by an infringement by an Old Sutt took matters into his own hands and threw a punch right in front of the referee. Fortunate not to be sent off, it did however cost Woking possesion and territory. Woking were now under the cosh and Old Sutts put the pressure on knowing a try would put them ahead. Woking held firm and eventually won a penalty for an Old Sutts player not releasing. Woking cleared their lines and regained possession. Shortly after, discipline was to cost Woking again. Liberal use of the boot by Jim McGiven to release a trapped ball resulted in an Old Sutts penalty and Woking being down to 14 men for the remainder of the game.
Old Sutts continued to turn the screw but despite having 14 men the Woking defence held firm. In the end, the man advantage was too much and after several phases, the Old Sutts wing was able to creep in the corner for the try. With a missed conversion, the score was 8-7 and Woking knew they simply had to score to win. It looked like Wallis had won possession back from the kick off, however the referee judged that there was a slight knock on. Under pressure to win back possesion but maintain discipline, Woking tried hard to win back the ball. However Sutts held firm at the ruck s and started to make good ground. It wasn't to be Wokings day as a smart backline move by Old Sutts allowed them to make a break and use the extra man to cross under the posts. The conversion made it 15-7 to Old Suttonians. The last 60 seconds, Woking threw everything into getting a score but it wasn't to be and the score remained 15-7 at full time.
After the game injured 1st team captain Michael Aitchison commented “Obviously it hurts losing in that nature, especially when I can't be out on the field. However I was highly encouraged by the way the guys played today and gave it everything for the whole 80 minutes. If we can put that effort into training and games every week, then the results will come.”
Woking Tries: Wallis Conv: Rose
Matt Shepherd, Rory Blundell, Jordan Mayes, Matthew Brennan, Shaun Gilbert, Josh Parker, Dan Hills, Mark Sargeson, James Bannister, Mark Rose, Adam Hawkins, Jim McGiven, Chris Wallis, Alex Holmes, Seb Murphy, Alisdair Hamilton-Wilkes, Evan Marchant, David Garvey