Livett de­liv­ers late blow for Van­dals

Surrey Herald/News - - SPORT -

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.

Jake Dar­ling

Last-gasp: Dar­ren Livett was quick on the draw for

Wey­bridge Van­dals against Eff­in­g­ham.

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