Match Report
Berkhamsted School 1st XV vs  Mill Hill School
On: Saturday, 08 Nov 2014
Venue: at Home

I shall apologise in advance for a report thin on detail. For the most part, the game was played in biblical conditions in the face of which my match notes disintegrated totally. Happily, some successful video footage has allowed me to reprise some of the action. Suffice it to say, that Berkhamsted, in general, coped admirably with the conditions and managed to impose their game plan on the opposition – when they reminded themselves what it should be!. Understandably, there was a temptation to run the ball at times, but this was largely doomed to failure, and when the ball was kept tight the opposition ran out of defenders, in spite of some often courageous defence. Berkhamsted opened the scoring after five minutes - at which brief point it was not raining stair-rods - when a double miss-pass released Casey O’Gorman down the left wing. As he was being taken into touch he skilfully flicked up the ball for the supporting Will Hughes to score. 5 minutes later a superb tumbling grubber down the slope to the right by Tom ffitch forced the full-back to concede a line-out just inside his 22m, from which the forwards impressively drove Ed Tidey over the line. Oli Green converted from the touch-line. There followed a fallow period until Peter McCall scored after a poor pass from a 5m scrum was tidied up by Timi Sanusi, with Oli Green again converting. Oli also converted a penalty before half-time (22-0).

5 minutes into the second half, a failed touch kick gave Tom ffitch the chance to dance down the touch-line before putting away Hughes on the outside to run round under the posts to score. Tom converted. Ed Tidey then scored his second after a line-out on the right saw a series of drives to the left which left the Mill Hill defence bereft. Tom Ffitch converted from close to the posts (36-0). At this point the rain became near torrential and the quality of the game suffered. However, with 10 minutes to go a tapped penalty on the 5m line preceded a series of drives from which Holdroyd, playing his last match before a hand operation which will end his season, drove over (41-0). By this stage, Berkhamsted were determined to score 50, while Mill Hill were equally determined to prevent this. With 3 minutes to go another loose clearance kick from a scrum led to some creative running and handling by the backs who span the ball to the right. The ball then went through several phases to the left before Tom ffitch deservedly went over (46-0). Given the conditions, this was a skilful. Ambitious and well-worked try. On the stroke of full-time Ed Tidey scored his third and brought up the 50 after a penalty on the 5m line and a run-around-ball. Tom Ffitch converted for 53-0. The game was notable for some excellent scrummaging by the pack, some powerful carrying by Ed Tidey, and some superb decision-making by Tom ffitch, who varied his game cleverly in the wretched conditions. Mill Hill, denuded of their England full-back and their regular half-backs, defended gamely, but they failed to keep the ball in possession and kicked the ball away. Casey O’Gorman, as so often this season, was the usual beneficiary, and his fielding of the ball and subsequent link-up play was first-rate.