Cranleigh had a tricky start to their Surrey 2 campaign with an away trip to Old Walcountians, which saw less-than-perfect preparation as the side got stuck in
Despite only having 25 minutes for a warm-up, surprisingly composed, the Cranes kept Old Walcountians at pay for the opening 15 minutes, despite pressure from the home side.
Flanker Christian Morris and centre James Moore lead the defensive effort, though first up tackling from the side as a whole allowed Old Walcountians to build momentum.
The home side scored a penalty to go ahead and snuck in a try shortly after to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Cranleigh upped their game and retained possession building competent phase play as they worked their way into the Old Walcountians half.
Whilst a blowing wind and referees whistle prevent Cranleigh’s lineout from working effectively, the visitors found their way into the Walcountians’ 22.
Five meters from the line, the visitors were awarded a scrum and dismantling their opposition looked sure to score a try only for the Walcountians back row to find their way alongside their Crane’s counter parts.
The penalty awarded, the hosts amazingly avoided a yellow card but Bryan Woodhouse sniped for the line trying to take advantage of the defensive disorganisation. Second row Tom White then smashed over the line from short distance to open Cranleigh’s scoring. Curtis Beecroft added the conversion with a less than straight forward kick.
Walcountians would have the last score of the half when with the whistle about to blow, a lapse in defensive concentration saw them ghost through a gap and offload for a score by the posts. The easy conversion slotted the score at the half stood at 15-7.
Turning around the Crane’s were determined to start the half sharper and within minutes Beecroft stepped up to slot penalty from outside the 22.
With momentum in Cranleigh’s favour a comeback looked on the cards but a worrying injury to captain and talisman Phil Moore saw the game halted.
With Moore out of the game and the with momentum gone, Walcountians capitalised and scored three unanswered tries in quick succession. Compounding the problems, Woodhouse was questionably sin binned and the game had slipped away.
Cranleigh provided their usual spirited finish and with Woodhouse back on the field they soon found the rhythm that had seen them score their first try. Building on the new solid platform, a kick down field saw Woodhouse in hot pursuit and forcing the error from the home side he scored between the posts for Beecroft to slot the easy extras.
The final whistle blew with the score 30-17 with Cranleigh left looking at the areas they need to build on.