Streatham-Croydon are in to the semi-finals of Surrey Bowl after scraping past Old Georgians 17-15.
The well manicured grounds of St Georges College, Weybridge were the setting for this scrappy quarter final between 141 year old Streatham-Croydon and the nin-month old Georgian team.
Although in their first season and so not eligible for the Surrey leagues, a little bit of homework showed the Old boy team were not going to be a push over and with Streatham fielding a 1s/2s side for the fixture it was always going to be tight.
From the off it was clear that Georges were going to throw everything at the Surrey Three leaders and obviously felt this was a scalp for the taking and it took some heroic defending by the visitors to keep them off the score board.
The earlier rain had made conditions slippery and both sides were guilty of far too many handling errors leading to a very scrappy first half which ended with Streats sneaking a three point lead thanks to the boot of winger Aaron Brown.
With Streatham generally dominating the set piece, St Georges started to look for the spark of individual skill to break the deadlock and 10 minutes into the half it came through a darting break from the Old boys backs, a missed tackled saw the home side centre diving over for a try. Converted, taking the score to 7-3, this was a nightmare five minutes for Streatham.
A poor restart saw the ball go straight to the closest home side player who immediately shipped the ball wide, again an individual piece of skill saw the Georgians centre step his opposite man and shoot through a huge hole in the defence to score.
With the conversion missed, Streatham were 12-3 down with 25 minutes to go.
As so often has happened this season, the Streatham forwards decided to keep it tight and started to put real pressure on the college pack, a huge driving maul saw Streatham drive over the 10m line and when the ball came loose, wing forward Owen Howells picked up and drove over the line from 8m out, with Brown adding the two points the score moved to 12-10.
The next score was all Brown, a loose chip from Georges was plucked out of the air by the winger, who running out of space on the touch line cut inside two players and ran in Streatham’s second try which he also converted. 12-17.
As the game again became scrappy towards the final 10 minutes, Georges had two opportunities at goal both of which were missed, at least that was what the spectators believed, as the final whistle went the referee confirmed that she had over ruled both touch judges and given Georges the three points. Final score 15-17.
Streatham-Croydon are now on the chase to win the Surrey Three title, needing only to win one of their last three league games to do so. The first attempt with be this Saturday when they travel to third placed Economicals.