Match Report:
Oundle 2 – 4 Rugby & East Warks

After last week’s hard fought victory over Melton, Oundle were looking to make it back to back wins for the first time this season. Oundle returned to HQ this week, with the visitors being Rugby and East Warwickshire 3s, the team sitting directly above Oundle in the table. The two sides separated by a single point. The reverse fixture earlier this season produced a 4-2 win for Rugby.

Rugby travelled with a  strong squad, bringing with them a full complement of players. Oundle could also boast a strong squad of players, with Jonny Crittell available to make his first appearance of the season. Oundle were however lacking some firepower with forwards Goal a game Dalley and flying rhino Pickstone both unavailable for today’s game. Defensive midfield maestro Peter Allett also decided that he would rather be skiing so did not want to play.

Rugby started the game with pushback and signalled their intentions early going straight on the attack, Brenners, having faith in the players behind him, decided that after the whistle was blown was a good time to start tying his laces. Rugby had also brought a large following of fans with them who were intent on clapping every 2 yard pass the Rugby made.

The clappers however were silenced when, strangely enough for Oundle, they started quickly, putting Rugby under pressure and immediately made that pressure tell, Martin finding some space in the D and hitting a sweet reverse strike low to the keepers right. 

Oundle kept the pressure up throughout the early stages of the half and were unlucky not to score another, with the final ball just lacking. Rugby however were not without their chances, the first shot on the Oundle goal was saved by Youngy, the save going high into Jimmy who had to take evasive manoeuvres. This was enough for the umpire to award Rugby with the first penalty corner of the match. The first short corner caught an Oundle foot and was subsequently cleared by Youngy, the 2nd one was well cleared.

Rugby grew more and more into the game, with Oundle pinned in. Rugby soon made this pressure tell when a cross from the Oundle left found an unmarked player at the back post who had the simplest of jobs, tapping home into the empty net. Moments later it appeared that Oundle had not learned their lesson, when another attack from Oundles left produced the same result with Oundle unable to clear their lines.

After this quick double from Rugby, the game settled down, with both teams keeping the ball and transferring the ball round the back. Rugby appeared to prefer to sit on the counter, letting the pace of their forwards cause the issues. Despite this, there were no further goals in the half.

 The 2nd half started with an Oundle pushback, although it appeared no one wanted the ball! Going through the midfield before being collected by the defence, who then decided that they would be sporting fellows and pass the ball back to the Rugby forwards. Thankfully this attack amounted to nothing, however Rugby continued to ride their luck and Oundles discipline started to collapse, the first being P.Wilson (Phil) who received a green card for an awful tackle. Just after Phil had returned to the pitch, Phillips won a free hit in the Oundle 23 and was given a yellow card for looking funny at the umpire, personally I think it’s because he’s bald.

Things went from bad to worse from Oundle when John Brown decided that he wanted to take out one of their players, and not for a nice meal. The tangle left the Rugby player on the floor, he tried to break his fall with his face which didn’t end well. The umpire gave a short corner which was well charged down by Farmer Jimmy. Unfortunately forgetting which end of the pitch he was at, he deflected the ball straight past Youngy in goal increasing Rugby’s lead to 3-1.

It was at this point in the game that Jimmy decided, enough was enough, and it was time for his solo run of the week. Picking the ball up on the Oundle 23 line, he ran.. In a near enough straight line, with the Rugby players unable to get near him! Jimmy’s eyes lit up with the thought of doubling his goal tally in an Oundle shirt. Unfortunately while daydreaming about the back pages of the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, and his Oundle teammates breaking into a rendition of ‘Old McJimmy had a Farm’ this allowed one of the Rugby players to catch up and push Jimmy in back, causing him to lose the ball, Jimmy was too honest and refused to go down as easily as Bruno Fernandes to try and buy a penalty.

Oundle stuck to their game and were rewarded with a number of penalty corners, the first of these was narrowly drag flicked wide by Peter Ellis. The 2nd penalty corner again went to the self proclaimed ‘Hockey God.’ Ellis used all of his divine might to smash home to the keeper’s left, reducing the deficit to 1. The last of these short corners again went to Ellis who decided to try his famous lob. This was unlucky not to find the goal with the Rugby keeper scrambling to keep it out.

With Oundle pushing for an equaliser the game became very stretched and end to end. Rugby stuck to their game plan and was not long before they hit Oundle on the break, with an Oundle defender’s stick unlucky not to stop the resulting shot from creeping in the left hand post.

The game finished repeating the score line from the reverse fixture, a 4-2 win for Rugby. The result leaves Oundle 3rd bottom 4 points from safety with 2 teams in the top half of the table to play. All seems lost, but stranger things have happened. We go again next week for the final home game of the season against Nottingham Trent Uni 3s. HWTL.

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