SATURDAY brought a reminder of just what a challenge weather and Gloucester League Rugby can present, to the ever developing Fairford team. The rain and wind relented shortly before kick off, however, the day remained bitterly cold and incredibly heavy underfoot.
With Fairford starting down the slope, at Gordon League, the first 15 minutes presented a tight affair with both teams vying for territory and possession. Gordon League struck first, when Fairford conceded a penalty in front of their own posts.
This appeared to jolt the Badgers into action, as the scrum began to be dominated by the boys in green and Blizzard began to rampage. Gordon League were buckling and Fairford were looking their authoritative selves. Hard running and slick lines brought Fairford their rewards, as from the back of a scrum Ben Cohoon attacked the line and offloaded smartly for Bobby Tilling to bomb over the line. Jake Summers converted. 3-7 after 25 minutes.
The points seemed to once again turn the tide, as Gordon League suddenly looked to attack and Fairford began to falter. They secured their first try after 30 minutes and went in 8-7 up at half-time. Gordon League scored again shortly after the break to take a 13-7 lead.
The Fairford defence was strong, but the lighter weight players and wet conditions were favouring the larger home side. Gordon League continued to dominate and set pieces became an issue for Fairford, however, this was forcing Fairford to open up and attack from deep. Once in the opposition half, Blizzard, Griggs, White and Tilling all carried with ferocious intent and began to batter and bully Gordon League. The final 20 minutes was spent with Fairford probing the hosts’ line, spending several minutes and phases within a metre, but to no avail.
It was a day of intense and hard rugby, and a day where Fairford learnt some valuable lessons.
MOTM: Adam Blizzard