Match Report
Sherborne School Boys-U15A vs  Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 08 Oct 2022
Venue: Away

Lost:      19-26

Tries:      Harrison F, Edwin L, Charlie W

Cons:     Edwin L 2

Saturday saw another gripping contest, but sadly another narrow loss, for the Junior Colts A team as they went down by a solitary score at Abingdon. A glorious sunny day brought the best out of both teams in a match where the lead changed hands with almost monotonous regularity and which ended with Sherborne pressing hard, but ultimately in vain, for the points which would have brought a well-deserved draw.

Although our hosts were first on the scoresheet, the light blues then showed tremendous character to hit back with two tries in as many minutes. First Harrison F stormed over after a punishing lineout drive and then Edwin Langley demonstrated his finishing prowess after some great approach work by Albi R. We had gone from 0-7 down to 12-7 up in the blink of an eye before a further coruscating break from Albi R fell at the final hurdle. A third try at this point might have put the game out of Abingdon's reach but, to their credit, the home side rallied and forced Sherborne into desperate - but outstanding - defence. We seemed to have weathered the storm until Abingdon scored again on the stroke of half time to take a two-point lead into the break. Nonetheless, there was plenty of optimism in the Sherborne camp at the interval and a real sense that a first win was about to materialise.

Sadly, it was not to be: an error-strewn start to the second half resulted in two quick tries for Abingdon, albeit with some dispute over the proper grounding of the first and suddenly the away side found themselves facing a 14-point deficit. However, there was still plenty of time on the clock and hopes rose still further when Charlie W pounced on a handling error to score near the posts. Edward L's conversion meant that just one score separated the sides with ten minutes remaining and Abingdon down to 14 men. Sherborne pressed and pressed: Henry C went close from another powerful break and the outside backs provided a constant threat. Unfortunately, a couple of errors stopped our momentum at key points and the Oxfordshire side were able to just hang on. Their heartfelt celebrations at the final whistle said everything about how hard they had been made to work for the victory and, even in defeat, Sherborne found a lot of positives and emerged with real credit. Notably, there was a lot more variety and fluency in the attack - especially in the wider channels, whilst the defensive organisation has come on in leaps and bounds since last week.

Given this progress, the first victory of the term can't be very far away - perhaps it might come against Millfield in Wednesday's NatWest Cup fixture...

Man of the Match: Albi R - constantly threatening in the wide channels and one last ditch cover tackle was worth the entrance money alone!