GREENE KING IPA EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE
DIVISION TWO WEST
Cottenham Renegades 7 Haverhill 0
Sometimes when you leave a game and reflect you keep saying ‘how did we lose that’ and Saturday was one of those days.
With a squad of twenty and a raft of players on the touch line supporting along with a good crowd travelling this was a day that on paper, Haverhill were due to win and win quite easily and maybe that was one of the issues.
On a day when the wind was creating banana passes, backwards kicks, over kicks and any other array of problems, Haverhill chose to play into the cross wind in the first half.
Cottenham dominated in the set piece with their front five causing Haverhill many problems and again, if it had not been for the skilful Chris Flannery at No.8, life could have been a lot worse.
The pairing of Tom Jury and Jake Jeffs fired well again, with the ball not easy to move along the line due to the strong wind, but when it did, the new pairing of Sam Holmes and Adam Hunt achieved great penetration and with the back three of Doyle Onley, Luke Stockings and Kieran Ewens doing a good job in defence and attack, Haverhill looked dangerous, but ball regularly failed to go to hand or was knocked on due to the velocity of the wind.
With Micky Lansdowne off with the fairies after a hard knock and Jake Jeffs stretching his Achilles tendon spending most of the match on the touch line, the good set of substitutes were able to fill in well.
Hamish Stewart was terrific in the lineout and often took the Renegades ball, but Haverhill were never quite able to create the line or angle to break over the line and went to the turn at 0-0.
With the wind more in their back Haverhill were confident that they would soon break through, but it never happened.
It was more of the same with the strong opposition pack not so dominant with the introduction of the returning Darren Lister who added stability there.
Ricky Brown and George Foley in the back row were mega, stopping much of the Renegades ball and it was a Foley tackle that was obstructed by the opposition open side flanker, allowing the Renegades No.8 to slip past and lay off the ball that led to the one and only try and conversion of the game on 50 minutes.
Haverhill made some strange decisions, running penalty ball from obscure places a long way from the opposition line, rather than using the wind to gain the yards and regroup up the park.
At the end of the day, Haverhill never actually looked like scoring and they did not.
On the final whistle Haverhill could only rue what really should have been. The only bright note was the bonus point they received for losing by 7 or less points.
For yet another great performance on the back foot, Flannery got the supporters player of the match award.
Haverhill has a friendly game against Halsted away on Saturday and will resume their league hostilities against Saffron Walden at home on January 9, 2pm kick off.