1st XV win 44-21 at Old Deer Park against Staines Rfc
Second win of the season with dominant performance against Staines at Old Deer Park
A large crowd gathered at Old Deer Park for the first home match of the 1st XV season. The London Welsh squad contained a mix of players from the 2016/17 campaign , some new players to the club, and a couple more familiar faces to those that had previously followed the professional game at ODP.
Staines kicked off deep into the Welsh 22 but the ball was safely caught by fly half Lloyd Davies who booted it back to half way again. Expectations were high for the home side but Staines came very close to recording the first score of the game. A long kick from the London Welsh full back was gathered by a Staines centre who offloaded to their fullback. He made it through the Welsh defence to the 22m line but the pass inside was dropped and an almost certain opportunity was missed.
Welsh put together a sustained period retaining possession and edging back to half way where the hard work was rewarded with a penalty. Lloyd Davies put the ball into touch for a lineout on the 22m line. A clean take and the ball reaches Tom May who put in a deft kick across field for Jonathan Shankland to gather and score. The conversion drifted wide and, after seven minutes, London Welsh were 5-0 ahead.
The home team kept up the pressure and remained in Staines half. A penalty kick drifted wide of the posts but just before the 20th minute they added to the score sheet again. From a lineout penalty, scrum half Alex Hall whipped the ball out to his fly half who linked in with May and Shankland to move play closer to the try line. Shankland passed back to Lloyd Davies who popped the ball into the hands of Hall for the number 9 to score. With the conversion clear through the middle of the uprights Welsh took a 12-0 lead.
The task for Staines became even more difficult as their outside centre received a yellow card and then when penalised for a collapsing the scrum. Lloyd Davies claiming three points for the scrum offence. With four minutes remaining of the half Staines finally got their break. Repeated infringement by the Welsh defence was punished with a penalty try and, with no conversion now necessary, Staines closed the gap to eight points.
Half Time: London Welsh 15 Staines 7
Eight minutes of the second half had elapsed when London Welsh scored their third try of the game. A clean lineout take allowed the pack to drive forward and set the ball up for the scrum half. Hall passed to Lloyd Davies who found the angle to run through the Staines defence and score under the posts. The easy conversion moved the score to 22-7.
Staines' second yellow card of the game followed after an illegal hit on Tom May and their woes continued when Welsh ran in their bonus point try. Again Lloyd Davies was key to the move with his pass putting Ben Francis in space. Francis offloaded and immediately received the return pass to score in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful and, with 20 minutes remaining, London Welsh led 27-7. Within five minutes another effective lineout catch and drive gave the fifth try for the home team with this time a Lloyd Davies pass putting Shankland through for his second. The conversionfrom out wide took the score 34-7.
Staines were far from finished and a cross-field kick created their second try of the match. The right wing was the recipient and he touched down under the posts to make the conversion a formality. Their third try followed thanks to good support play and accurate passing and another conversion narrowed the gap to 13 points.
Tom May added his name to the score sheet with just a few minutes to go after chasing a grubber kick by the London Welsh fly half for try number six. Davies was unable to add the difficult conversion. The final play created the final try as a short lineout allowed the pack to drive over the line for prop Sam Mahoney to claim the score.
Full time: London Welsh 44 Staines 21
Man of the match (Sponsored by Morgan Price International) was Jonathan Shankland
Thanks to Julie Corrigan for providing the photos in this article (Julie's father Colin Gibbons played for the club in the late 60s early 70s) #lwfamily