Aldeburgh v Maldon II Match Report
Aldeburgh v Maldon II
11th January King’s Field
Result: Aldeburgh: 5 Maldon: 49
A Game of Yellows
Depending on your point of view, this match was decided either by the ill-discipline of the Aldeburgh players or by a referee who was keen to demonstrate that he was in control.
After a well-contested first 20 minutes, the game was balanced with a single try to Maldon. The pattern of the game was set to continue throughout. Maldon won every line out bar one; Aldeburgh dominated the set scrums; the rucks and mauls were even; but Maldon kept the ball moving more effectively. The game could have gone either way. Aldeburgh’s attacking potential was demonstrated early on when James Cook scythed through.
After warning Aldeburgh about giving away too many penalties, the next offender got a yellow card. Hard to see from the touchline what the problem was. A minute before he was due to return, a second Aldeburgh player received a yellow for a somewhat clumsy offside challenge, hardly even a tackle. Harsh decision at this level.
By the time Aldeburgh returned to full strength early in the second half the score was 32-0 and the contest was over. Maldon’s ability to keep the ball moving through the hands would have been a challenge with a full team but with a man down they always had an extra man to pass to.
To be fair, they scored a further three tries in the second half. It just wasn’t Aldeburgh’s day. Ben Atherton broke from the half way line to score under the posts only for play to be brought back for a penalty to Maldon. (It wasn’t clear why he was not brought back sooner.) Then Aldeburgh destroyed the Maldon scrum only for the ball to pop out of one of our player’s hands, straight to a Maldon player who whipped his pass away. Five passes later, they scored under the posts.
A game that was threatening to peter out flared back into life with a few minutes left after an altercation led to a yellow card for each team. This seemed to fire up Aldeburgh who surged forward from the penalty they were awarded from the incident. Jon Hall charged through, the forwards supported him with a passion, went down the pitch and scored. For the last stage of the game, Aldeburgh used their big forwards, principally James Ledger and Tristan Revell, to drive hard into the Maldon pack, gaining metres every time. It showed again what a close contest this could have been without the cards.