Stags Win Rut Against Wildboys
Wildboys finish second in contest with the Stags
On the 13th of January 1979, the YMCA hostel chain filed a lawsuit against the Village People for libel after the release of their worldwide hit. The case was quickly and quietly settled out of court, and years later the hostel company admitted gratitude to the hunks for saluting the organization and making it world renowned. If you disco danced yourself through 39 earth orbits of the sun, you would find yourself on the day where a top of the table clash in the BBO1 was taking place at Lily Hill Park between Bracknell Stags and the Chinnor Wildboys.
As per this fixture in the previous seasons, the Wildboys were left scratching around for a team until the day before the encounter, but thankfully what they were left with was a solid bunch of players who were hoping to open the league up fully to the top three teams and to put them all on level points.
As the game commenced it looked like the Wildboys could get their wishes and there was an early score by Robert Nichols, the resulting conversion was missed, and the score was 0-5. The game then evened out and was a spectacle for us spectators, hard running lines were thwarted by hard tackles from both sides and there was a stalemate for the majority of the half. Big tackles Tom Rackstraw, a shift from Tommy White, strong runs from Jayson Abbott and some well controlled play from Harry Hillier saw the Wildboys come the closest to scoring, but they failed to capitalise on their efforts due to unforced errors and dogged defending by the Stags.
Eventually the deadlock was broken by Bracknell who scored a well drilled forwards try which was neatly converted to make the score 7-5 in their favour. This is how the half closed out and both sides were still very much in it for the win.
Much of the half-time chat was about how the Wildboys needed to continue in the same vein, as they believed they had the making of the fixture and all that was required was patience. For some reason, as the second half commenced, all this chat seemingly disappeared as easily as the YMCA libel case. The Wildboys had visibly and audibly switched off and the Stags had done quite the opposite, scoring two expertly crafted tries in the right-hand corner within the opening 10 minutes. This major setback was then followed by a moment of madness and the Wildboys 13 attempted to chip the ball out of his own 22, only to see it poked into the onrushing Stags player who continued his line right under the posts.
In the first 15 minutes of the half the Wildboys had capitulated under the pressure from the Stags, and credit to the Stags for doing quite the opposite. As the Wildboys congregated under the posts facing a deficit of 26-5, a few of the players were losing their voices in an attempt to spur some life into downtrodden team mates.
As the game commenced it appeared the Wildboys had decided they were not to go down without a battle. Robert Nichols was leading the charge with his show and go, but having to offload sooner than usual to Jayson Abbott who continued with his powerful lines, once again the Wildboys were on the front foot. The forwards were required to clear the rucks in numbers and there were some strong carries from Mark Wilkinson. Thomas White continued his carrying form from the first half, however this half he was frequently being met with thunderous tackles from the Stags hooker with onlookers questioning if White may have offended the young man in some way. The fast pace from Bracknell’s defence meant that scrum-half Harry Hillier was having to carry the ball a lot himself and when not carrying, deliver finely tuned passes. This big shift from all 15 players paid off and saw another try scored well from Robert Nichols which was converted by Hillier. Not long after there was another try, this time scored by Max Wood, closing the score further to 26-17.
It was sadly a case of too little too late for the Wildboys and the paradoxical first 15 minutes of the second half proved too much for the Chinnor chaps to overcome.
Despite the result there were some great displays from the Wildboys players and they showed some real spirit. A Man of the Match nomination went to both Tots Rackstraw and Mark Wilkinson who both worked hard throughout, but the majority of the votes were shared between Jayson Abbott, Tom White and Harry Hillier who didn’t stop for the full 80 minutes, this time the accolade taken deservedly by Mr Hillier.
A Mare of the Match vote went to Max Wood for not passing for what was a sure try. Another one went to James Way for his dearest love telling Gossip Girl that James was not allowed to play. However, this week’s honour was pretty conclusively gifted to Guy Hackshaw for gifting Bracknell their fourth try with that daft chip!
Next week the Wildboys look to bounce back against Witney in their first home fixture of 2018. Until then, keep it wild…..
You know you love me
Man of the Match: Harry Hillier
Mare of the Match: Guy Hackshaw
Tries: R.Nichols (2), M.Wood