Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Croydon 8 - Avondale 7 (London Premiership 29 June 2009)

An all too familiar story, with a few colourful embellishments. The first quarter finished 4 - 1 to the home side and given the final score that's not a great way to start a game. Avondale, despite once again finding themselves well below full strength could have won this game but for a very lax first quarter and an inability to put the ball away in front of goal... made all the more difficult by some excellent keeping from the home goalie. Even after the slow start the visitors showed signs of pulling themselves together until a 'difference of opinion' about what constituted playing the ball after a foul resulted in Shaun sitting out the remainder of the game. The Croydon player went to pick up the ball and dropped it and the eagle eyed Bond flicked the ball away. His reward, an exclusion for interfering with the foul. As ever, debating this with the referee produced a less than satisfactory outcome for the visiting team.

Neither side really distinguished themselves in what ended up being a scrappy game. The final quarter started 8 - 4, and in the end the home keeper frustrated the increasingly dominant Avondale attack and allowed Croydon to hang on as the clock ticked away.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Ealing 7 - Avondale 11 (London Premiership 25 June 2009)

Where were you when Michael Jackson died....

Louis will remember it as the night he received his first red card as a coach. Shrieking at the referee, "Your ruining the game!", along with some useful refereeing tips that included learning the rules, proved to be too provocative for the match official. Avondale's most successful captain of the modern era and team coach for this evening's match spent the last quarter cheering from the stand.... along with Andy Parkin, whose demise triggered Louis' vein bulging outburst. Meanwhile, back in the pool.....

The visitors were well below full strength for this potential banana skin against a reportedly 'frisky' Ealing team. Late withdrawals from TBFTE and Shaun meant that four of the starting seven were absent and the informed pundit might have anticipated plenty of exercise for the Avondale keeper. In fact, the visitors started the stronger and some very solid defence, a couple of saves and some wayward shooting from the home team preserved a clean sheet for Avondale in the first quarter. In contrast, 007 was in sparkling form. The hapless Ealing keeper flailed ineffectually at the early howitzers and 007 notched up four of avondale's five goals in the opening quarter. Ealing contrived to miss a penalty, their shooter dropping the ball in the act of shooting. The avondale keeper will be claiming a save!

Never a team to deny the crowd value for their admission fee, the visitors then proceeded to pass the ball to the opposition rather than their team mates for large portions of the second quarter. Ealing had their share of extra man opportunities and converted two well, working their far post man inside his defender on both occasions. The quarter finished 3 - 6 and there was life in the game still.

Avondale incurred more reversals in attack in the third and fourth quarters than they would expect in two or three games under normal circumstances. This was a very physical game that would have suited several of Avondale's missing players very well and Andy Parkin took exception to being hit in the face and reciprocated. The resulting fracas meant that he and Louis saw out the remainder of the match from the stand. In a very hard faught(!) third quarter 007 added a further two to his total despite the constant attention of several defenders and Steve Eakins found the top corner with a quality finish. Despite the improved control from the visitors the home team took advantage of the stream of majors and pegged back another goal. Avondale should really have been out of sight, but the last quarter started at a far from comfortable 7 - 9.

Despite incurring two further majors Avdondale defended very well and managed to contain the home side in the last quarter. It was a very physical battle against 'heavy' opponents, but the whole team fought hard for a well deserved win.

NB. The home team videoed the match so perhaps Louis' contribution is recorded somewhere for posterity...

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Beer & Rugby on 20 July!


Don't forget to join us at The King's Arms for the 1st test between the Springboks and the Lions.
We'll be there from 12am and the game starts at 2pm.

The pub is on the Fulham side of Putney Bridge at the corner of Fulham High Street and New King's Road.

Andrew Parkin

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Avondale 9 - Penguin 10 (London Premiership 8 June 2009)

Penguin brought a strong team for what promised to be a very competitive game. The home side were missing the tank from his usual pole position and the always entertaining Beast From The East...

For a change, Avondale started well and after an even start began to asset themselves and looked more likely to control the game. A far tighter defence that included a double Bond and Moorhouse combination restricted a very strong Penguin offence to two goals in the first quarter. In offence the same Bonds and the ever dangerous sniper Jacobs hit the target repeatedly. Then having led by four at one stage Avondale let their concentration slip. Against a team with the talent of Penguin, this is not a smart move and by half time the game was back to 6-5.

Avondale had their chances to win the game and hit the woodwork repeatedly. Some barely sub-sonic shooting and the odd slower ball deceived both keepers, but as the clock wound down it was Penguin who managed to get their noses in front and, with their considerable experience, to stay there.

Avondale wasted too much ball and on occasions the last pass let down an otherwise solid performance. With their fire power Avondale will always score spectacular goals, but Penguin controlled their own possession better and in the end the home side could not outscore these visitors.