Livett delivers late blow for Vandals
IT is not often you get to label a rugby team draw specialists. But a week after a 6-6 stalemate with Tadley on home turf, Vandals were involved in another, in a marginally more entertaining contest at least in terms of points. Nevertheless, it was a good point and reward for their never-say-die attitude against a side one place above them in the table. Having been behind for the majority of this scrap, but dominating for long periods in the second half, Vandals made a last-ditch effort to get on terms or even snatch the win. And they had Darren Livett to thank, the No 8 producing a super piece of intuitive skill when, with limited space available, he twisted and turned to squeeze over in the corner to level the match at 8-8. Out wide in boggy conditions, the conversion was never on but the equalising try was well deserved and recognised as such by even the most hard-nosed Effingham supporters. Effingham started the stronger and after they had kicked a penalty to inside Vandals’ 22, they had a great chance to score from phase play but they knocked on short of the line. Unperturbed they attacked again and scored from a catch-and-drive routine at a lineout. They had a chance to repeat the trick but a crooked throw handed the initiative to Vandals who drove downfield with Livett and Cassian Bramham-Law making penetrating runs. A good angle of running by prop Luke Higley maintained the impetus and a fine kick by fly-half James Wellden forced Effingham to concede a penalty as they were caught in possession, centre James Humphrey getting his side on the scoreboard with the kick. Effingham went in front with a penalty to make the score 8-3 and had a chance to increase it when they turned over Vandals in midfield. But the Brownacre boys finished the more likely to score with an aggressive foray by Livett which came to nothing even though he was well supported by Bramham-Law. Going for the attacking lineout from an early second-half penalty, they were again beaten to the ball but a superb break from Wellden raised their hopes and a kick by replacement scrum-half Sam Hall kept Effingham on the defensive. Vandals pressed hard from five metres out but they got turned over and when Bramham-Law received a yellow card for taking out a man in the air it appeared Effingham would make use of the extra man.
Although still relying on their lineout, the hosts made no real impression when they moved the ball wide and after a good run by Hall, when he took his side into Effingham’s 22, it was Vandals who looked more penetrative. Weybridge were given a boost by the return of their captain, but conceding penalties in attacking positions it seemed as if Effingham would cling on to their precarious lead. Their discipline was vital as one indiscretion could have been Effingham booting the ball upfield, Vandals’ hopes going. But they stayed on the right side of the referee and this discipline and patience paid off with Livett’s try in that dramatic last play of the game.
Last-gasp: Darren Livett was quick on the draw for
Weybridge Vandals against Effingham.