A strong looking Taunton Wanderers II squad took on a decent looking Chew Valley side fora game which was likely to go to the wire, given the progress made by the Wanderers since their introduction to Somerset 1 and Chew Valley’s form thusfar seemingly decent. So it proved with the Wanderers on the search for their first win of the season.
The game could not have started any better for the Wanderers. Usually the victims of being picked off by the opposition when a mistake is made, this time the tables were turned when Chew made a mistake near the Wanderers 22 only for the ball to be collected by Gav Farley who hared down the line. Chew scrambled well in defence but within minutes the Wanderers were 1 try to the good, and against the usual run of expectancy for the Wanderers, the try was converted by Tom ‘Sarge’Sargent.
Thereafter the Wanderers found themselves on the back foot as not 1 but 2 key players in Mark‘pretends he’s welsh’ Evans succumbed to injury followed not too long after by Shane‘Redwood’ Jordan. What it did mean is that Dan Flynn was introduced back to the pace of Somerset 1 after an absence of 2-3 years, and a very welcome return itis for the Wanderers!
Despite the setbacks the Wanderers stood their ground in both the line out and scrum as well as at defence time. The biggest difference this season has been the discipline and determination needed in defence to repel some excellent pressure attacking from Chew and over and over again the line held firm. Along with try conversions the omens were looking good.
Chew were next on the score sheet with a well taken penalty before the Wanderers used excellent work to get themselves in a position for a first try for Kyle ‘Kage’ Giblett to slide over for a well worked try. Again the try was converted.
The second half proved to be a bit of a war of attrition resulting in two more penalties for Chew as well as a very well worked forward’s try from a maul, which was converted. The Wanderers managed to get on the score sheet, capitalising on another mistake by Chew and with quick hands out to the left hand touch line the ball found a lurking prop in the shape of Baz Lockyer, who will tell you he was on the wing for tactical reasons…not a fitness related one! Baz finished the try much to the delight of his team mates….and Baz himself. Again, the try was converted.
The last quarter of the match was a nail biting event for the Wanderers with Chew scoring their final try and penalty after the Wanderers last converted try but, it has to be said, right to the very last second of the game the Wanderers defensive display was of a very high quality given that Chew were relentless in their pursuit of the breakdown. At the final whistle both sides were clearly showing the effort displayed by both sides to make the match a very entertaining and evenly matched battle. Final score Taunton II 21 - Chew Valley II 16 and the Wanderers headed out for their first social of the season…the less said about that the better!