Occies win again with more than 4 tries, staying top of their league.
Ironsides get a late (only) consolation try
(Back 50 to 40 years ago I remember that our 1st team (then Harrodians) played Battersea Ironsides every season and it was always a tough game - their club was formed from a British Army tank regiment - on this day their noisy players and subs seemed to have very strong Irish contingent - the Occies as is usual for a Barnes' team were more temperate).
Ironsides kicked off with the wind advantage and there soon followed their line-out 11 metres from the Mayfair's line. The visitors' pack kept the ball close and got a penalty a metre ahead which they ran and got to the line where the defence forced an error to get the first scrum put-in. From that they kicked for territory and got another scrum at their 22. After that Ironsides hacked on a loose ball to very close to their opponents' line. The Occies recovered and cleared to touch just outside their 22. From the line-out Battersea recycled close then recovered from having a kick charged down and attacked wide. A ball carrier was forced into touch and there was some minor action without use of the ball that resulted in a penalty for the visitors 17 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out 8 metres out. An error gave the home team the third scrum there. The clearance only gained 8 metres and from the next line-out Ironsides went wide and chipped over but too far and was touched down by the defence behind the line. No 22 drop-out, the Ref. went back or another Mayfair scrum just outside the 22. After that the ball was dropped in midfield then the visitors had the ball for 5 phases before being turned over. The Occies kept the ball while being forced backwards, including recovering from an error, for 3 phases before clearing to touch only 6 metres from their line. Battersea tied to drive from the line-out; the defence held and broke up the drive. Ironsides recycled once before an error gave possession back to the defence. Mayfair ran out well and recycled 4 times getting all the way to the other 22. The Ref. had to have another chat with the captains then awarded the home team a penalty 20 metres from Ironsides' line. The Occies' forwards ran the ball and the defence forced an error to get a put-in 17 metres out. After the scrum Battersea kicked for territory then forced a turnover. They had the ball for a couple of phases before losing it. Mayfair made ground then were penalised for not releasing. A good kick took the visitors to 18 metres from the opposition line; the line-out was followed by their scrum put-in 2 metres back at which the Occies got a free-kick. From their next line-out on halfway the Ironsides varied their phases before being turned over. Mayfair then started their second attack to get into the opposition 22 with 6 phases including recovering from a kick charged down. This ended with a scrum for the visitors 13 metres out at which their pack was pushed back. They got the ball away and kicked up field; the Occies kept the ball close to get a penalty at their opponents' 10 metre line. They kicked for a line-out 3 metres into the 22 where the wind blew their line-out not-straight. A push and a hook against the head got them the ball again; they broke blind from the scrum then after 2 close recycles they went wider, recycled close again twice before going wide again and a strong run from three-quarter Challis got the first try wide out at 23 minutes. The conversion was wide.
The restart was not valid and gave Mayfair a scrum at halfway. After a no. 8 pick-up then recycling blind they advanced well before being forced into touch 17 metres out. From their line-out Battersea went backwards to their line and had to touch down behind it giving the opposition a 5 metre put-in. This time they got the ball against the head and kicked for territory. The Occies ran the ball back with 6 phases before chipping over the defence. Ironsides dealt with that and recycled 3 times before being turned over. Mayfair kicked over again; Battersea were turned over again after 2 phases. The Occies then advanced keeping the ball for 5 phases before being forced into touch 5 metres from the visitors' line. Ironsides kicked from their line-out, Mayfair kept the ball in hand for a few phases until the opposition forced an error to get a scrum 17 metres out. After that kicks were exchanged before an Occies' put-in at the visitors' 10 metre line. From that a breakthrough at centre then 3 close recycles got them to 2 metres out; they then released to centre and were turned over. Battersea cleared to touch just inside their 22 then from the line-out Mayfair went wide, recycled once close and once wide before an error gave the Ironsides a scrum 12 metres inside their half. From that they went blind and were forced into touch at their 10 metre line. The wind again made a line-out not-straight; the Occies forced a turnover after the opposition went wide from the scrum. Now they went wide and recycled half a dozen times before kicking towards touch and the defence put the ball into touch for the halftime whistle.
The second half kick-off resulted in a penalty for Mayfair just inside the visitors' 22. They kicked for a line-out 7 metres out then from that they released to centre then recycled 3 times getting to 5 metres out but were turned over after one more close recycle. Battersea kicked ahead; the Occies kicked back into the 22 where the catch was marked. The visitors cleared, not far, to their 22. The Occies dropped the ball soon after their line-out; Ironsides then advanced strongly putting together a good set of 9 phases to get out of their half before chipping through the line. Mayfair cleared to touch 2 metres from halfway; from the line-out the visitors kept the ball recycling close 5 times before passing forward back 4 metres inside their half. Going wide from the scrum then 2 more wide recycles sent fullback Haussrer to the corner for the second try at 8 minutes. The conversion was wide.
The Occies kicked the restart to touch at the opposition 22. Again a line-out was not-straight; from the scrum Mayfair, after being forced back, soon kicked to touch 13 metres out. They stole this line-out and went wide before passing forward and into touch at the other side 6 metres back. From the scrum Ironsides went wide and an isolated player was turned over. The Occies themselves went wide then switched direction before an opposition knock-on gave them a scrum at the visitors' 10 metre line. They went wide after that and kicked into the 22; the visitors soon kicked back and Mayfair recycled twice before kicking to touch 11 metres from their opponents' line. The line-out was stolen but straight away Battersea got a scrum 17 metres out. Pressure at that gained Mayfair another 12 metres out; after it a poor pass led to an intercept by Ironsides. They had the ball for 3 phases before being forced into touch 13 metres out. The ball was kept in at the line-out then a break close to the maul and 2 recycles sent centre Cross over not far from the posts at 21 minutes. Kavanagh's conversion kept low but just went over the bar.
Ironsides regained their restart and advanced with 3 close phases to get a penalty 19 metres out. They kicked for a line-out 10 metres out. The wind blew the line-out giving the Occies a scrum from which they were forced into a similar situation suffered by the visitors in the first half and they had to touch down behind their line. The 5 metre scrum turned into a maul and Battersea recycled close 4 times to get close to the line. When they went wider Mayfair hacked a loose ball ahead. At the next breakdown Ironsides got a scrum at the 22. The Occies pushed the opposition pack but the ball was got out and released to centre. After recycling wide then blind they were turned over and flanker Page had a 40 metre clear run to the line for the 4th try before the half hour and Kavanagh converted.
Mayfair were turned over soon after the restart. Ironsides made some ground with 6 phases before they were penalised 17 metres out. Mayfair ran this out of their 22; three kicks followed preceding another Occies' penalty at their 22. The kick took them to their line-out at halfway and from that they went wide and broke though strongly. After a recycle blind they chipped through to touch at 5 metres from Battersea's line. Bad tapped ball wasn't secured by the defence but was fallen on by opposition flanker Smyth to make the score 29 - 0 at 35 minutes. The conversion missed.
The Ironsides regained their restart for the second time and advanced before being forced into touch 17 metres out. The line-out resulted in a put-in for the visitors; they got the ball away and made ground with 8 close recycles for one of their forwards to go over wide out. The conversion was wide before the whistle.
Overcast, cold and windy;, some drizzle before the end and a little sunshine; the pitch good.