Watford Win Away
By Martin Lee
Watford were back to winning ways following a physical encounter away to Pinner.
In fairly torrid conditions, the visitors started the match with intensity and focus, John ‘Skinny’ Portway setting the tone with a typically aggressive carry in the opening minutes. The Watford forwards were clearly in the mood, the set piece a constant source of clean, quality ball despite the terrible conditions. The front row of Hancock, Gordon and the returning Luke Bees clearly having the upper hand at the scrum whilst Jon McClennon ruled the air regardless of who’s throw in it was. Credit to Hancock who coped admirably to consistently find his target on such a wet and windy day.
Despite enjoying the vast majority of territory and possession, Watford struggled to apply the finishing touch against some resolute Pinner defence with the match scoreless until the 24th minute. Watford dismantled a Pinner scrum within the opposition 22 earn a free shot – McGee stepped into the line from full back, his deft chip finished off by Upton. Extras missed, 0-5 Watford. 5 soon became 8, Pinner punished for straying offside just outside their 22.
Watford continued to apply the pressure, however firm Pinner defence meant the score remained 0-8 at the break.
Pinner enjoyed a greater foothold in the second half, utilising their power game to great effect. Time and time again Watford felled strike runners from the home side, Pitsialis, Dunlop and Holloway all making telling hits. Having weathered the storm, Watford once more went on the attack – Routley making ground before Martin Lee crashed over from the subsequent ruck. Extras added, Watford 15-0 to the good.
What should perhaps have inspired a push from the men in red, white and blue for the two tried required to register a bonus point instead saw a resurgent Pinner score a deserved try following a series of powerful carries from their pack.
With time running out, the remainder of the game was played within the Pinner half – Watford frustrated in their attempts to put the game to bed. Final score – Pinner 8 vs 15 Watford.
A tough, attritional game which Watford will be pleased to have won – Pinner clearly a stronger side than their league position suggests.
MOTM – Clenners. Absolute dominance at the lineout, great contributions around the park.
WOTW – Louis. Took Andy’s kit for a day trip to Pinner before succumbing to a cold 10 minutes after kick off.