On Sunday 22nd February Pinner U14s travelled to Watford RFC for a friendly fixture. The team took to the ‘marsh like’ field and from the whistle took the game to Watford in their half; a place they were to spend most of the first half.
Some great tackles and support play saw James Nye weave through the opposition to score Pinners opening try. On receiving the kick-off Pinner were back into the Watford half, with some powerful play saw a break by centre Tom Davies stride over the line for the second try, shortly followed by Sam Alexander crashing through the defence to score under the posts.
Two more tries followed before the half time whistle blew 3 from 5 tries were converted by Joseph Holden leaving Pinner with an impressive first half lead 31 – 0
The second half began with a revitalised Watford team, Pinners central defence managed to keep the game tight for most of the second half with crunching tackles coming in from both sides eventually Watford managed to get a unconverted try, which was almost instantly cancelled out by Tom Davies again crashing through the Watford defence to score under the post followed by a conversion by Joseph.
In the dying moments Watford found the Pinner defence on the wrong side of the 5m scrum and scored a try which was converted, leaving the final score Watford 12 V Pinner 38, a great result for this vastly improving Pinner squad.
It has been a rather frustrating two week-ends for Pinner RFC adult teams. On the previous Saturday there were no matches due to the international at Twickenham and then last Friday the Pelicans [2nd XV] match v Barnet was called off by the opposition and as late as Saturday morning Chiswick cried off from the 1st XV game. However that gave Pinner a 25 – 0 nominal win and 5 league points ensuring, that with the undefeated run through the season, they are comfortably the winners of the Middlesex Merit table 5. They now enter the ‘play-off’ phase and semi-finals of the cup.
On the morning of the England v Italy international match 76 year old Pinner Club President had the honour of captaining the Middlesex Over 60’s team against a squad of visiting Italians at Staines RFC. A continuous three session match was played involving first Over 50’s, then the Over 60’s and finally a general game. Most of the 130 strong Italian party from Milan and Parma went to the match at Twickenham but then returned to prepare an Italian meal for all in the evening utilising ingredients that they had shipped over from Italy. Four of the Italian International teams match jerseys were auctioned raising over £4000 to set up foundations in memory of the 19 year old son of one of the visitors who had been killed in a road accident. A truly remarkable day of rugby !
On Sunday Pinner u14 travelled North to Hitchin RFC for a league match, with a great turnout on a spring like day, Pinner kicked off in what’s to be one of the Pinner teams hardest games of the season so far, an evenly matched opposition saw the first half play moving from end to end with some brilliant tackling from both sides, the Pinner forwards worked hard securing the ball at the breakdowns and winning the scrummages delivered by both sides, which the Hitchin front row players later said that they were unable to hold back the Pinner scrum due to their technique. Sadly at the last play of the first half Hitchin broke down a great Pinner defence and scored in the corner.
Receiving the ball from the second half restart Pinner picked up the pace and took the game to Hitchin again with some ferocious attacks mixed in with some superb defensive tackles from the back line, however again Hitchin found a gap in the centre of the field and sprinted for the line scoring their second try out wide again. Pinner kept their heads up and returned to the opposition 22 where after some brilliant forward and back play we ended up with a ruck on Hitchin’s try line the ball worked to the back of the ruck when taken on by hooker Harrison Lovesey who dummied the defender and dived down to the try line scoring Pinners try.
The game continued with constant attacks by both teams repelled superbly by their defenses. In the last seconds of the game Hitchin succeeded in another wide out score. The Pinner team put on a fantastic display of rugby and received many great comments from the opposition parents and coaches.
report submitted by Paul Parker Price
Final score 15 v 5 to Hitchin. Pinner are recruiting, fancy trying out call Paul on 07917088802
Pinner, undefeated in Middlesex Merit Table 5, took on Uxbridge in the Merit Cup at Hatch End on Saturday. Pinner dominated the first quarter of an hour but although there were several promising attacks they were unable to score. Frustration led to too many penalties being conceded enabling Uxbridge to recover. From a line-out following yet another penalty Uxbridge drove over the Pinner line for number 8 Davey to score. Fly-half Guy added the two points. This galvanised Pinner into more constructive play. Winning a ruck in the Uxbridge half the ball quickly went right to find the full-back in support to score the first home try. Chris Jepsen added the conversion to level the score. However more penalties let to Guy giving the visitors a 13 – 7 lead at the interval.
The half-time pep talk gave Pinner the much needed focus and they were in the lead within five minutes of the kick-off. Winning a line-out captain Aaron Nicholas took the ball on to find centre Rohan Desai on hand to score under the posts. Jepsen’s kick was successful. Soon they scored again after being awarded a penalty on their own 10 m line. Scrum Half Chris Jepsen caught the defence napping and raced 40 m to score under the post. He converted his own try. Pinner were now in full flow. Mid-way through the half they won a scrum on the Uxbridge 22. Number 8 Andrew Alexander powered through the defence to score. Five minutes later a clever kick out of defence saw hooker Aaron Nicholas outpace the defence and his own team to gather and score the home team’s fifth try. With time running our Pinner won another scrum on the Uxbridge 22. Fly-half Chris Hall engineered a change of direction wrong footing the defence. Jepsen was in support to score the final try to bring the score to 36 -13, Pinner taking the second half 29 – 0. They now meet Chiswick in the next round.
On Sunday the Under 15 team visited top of the table Barnet. The Pinner performance belied the difference in league position and they were still in the game till mid way through the second half. The two late soft tries gave Barnet a 29 – 14 victory.
The Under 12 tournament scheduled for Sunday was postponed for a week due to frozen pitches.
Next Saturday Pinner play Hampstead at Shaftesbury playing fields. Club President will be holding his annual President’s Lunch when many former players will return. The guests will include Middlesex Rugby President Brian East and Hampstead Vice-Captain Simon Gaskell.
After last week’s fiasco of an 108 – 0 win at Quintin, Pinner met much tougher opposition in Ealing Exiles at Hatch End. It was soon evident that they had a game on their hands when the visitors went ahead with a penalty after only five minutes. This galvanised Pinner into more effort and organisation. They soon responded when the forwards won the ball to put winger Naill Curran over for the first try converted by scrum-half Chris Jepsen. He soon added further points when Ealing were penalised for not retreating. Now Pinner were in control and attacks looked promising. On the half-hour, winning a scrum in front of the posts, the ball was quickly fed out to left-winger Michael Baggs who scored the first of his three tries. This gave the home side a comfortable 15 – 3 lead at half-time.
Straight into the second half Pinner showed their intent by attacking from their own half. Good work by the half backs got the line moving and Curran again finished things off in the corner. Jepsen added the conversion. Ealing Exiles now came more into the game but the Pinner defence held. Injuries to No. 8 Alexander and prop Ken Ryan meant the home team had to re-group. A couple of scoring chances went begging when the ball was dropped near the line. Into the last quarter and the Pinner backs were now buzzing. Curran proving his finishing power with his third try. Next Pinner were awarded a penalty on the half-way line and chose to run the ball. From the resulting ruck on the Ealing 5 m line replacement no. 8 Patrick O’Leary, playing in his first game for Pinner went over in the corner. Ealing responded as Pinner got a bit too casual. They drove into the home 22 and scored under the posts. Pinner were not yet finished and centre Rohan Desai sliced through the defence to score their seventh try under the posts. Jepsen brought the final score to 48 – 8.
Pelicans [2nd XV]: For the second week running the Pelicans have had their Herts – Middlesex Merit table match cancelled as their opposition could not raise a team. This avoided a long drive to Letchworth. They are awarded a 25 – 0 win giving them five out of five. However a last minute friendly home fixture with Chesham 2nd’s proved a bit too tough. Pelicans, reduced to fourteen men for most of the match, went down 70 – 12. Home tries were scored by scrum-half Graeme Searles after a sniping run from the base of a scrum on the visitors 22 and by left –winger Clyde Gordon sprinting from his own half. The conversion was added by Chris Hall. Later, in the clubhouse, Clyde was presented with his club Colours by Pinner President Dave Hiles in recognition for this long contribution as a coach and referee for the mini and youth sections.
Celebrations when on long into the evening marking ‘Deryck Westwood Day’ in memory of a former vice-president and founder member who left money in his will to mark his birthday each year in a suitable fashion.
Pinner RFC travelled down to Chiswick on Saturday the 11th to face Quintin 2nd XV, on a day of fantastic conditions for running rugby and a high scoring game. Pinner had a few regular players missing but were faring better than Quintin who had failed to field a full team, however both captains agreed to play on. The home side kicked off and received a shock with Pinner showing great hands to spread the thin Quintin defence from left to right before breaking through for the first try of the game, from regular scorer Dan Smith.
This set the tone and four further tries in almost as many minutes piled the pressure on the home side. The spaces in their defence being fully exposed by a hungry Pinner side, eager to stamp their mark on the Merit Table and stretch their lead over their rivals. The kicking duties were handed over to stand in fly half Don Williams, who time and again released Pinner runners in space.
The pressure was too much for Quintin to handle, and with only twenty minutes on the clock the game was already far out of their reach. Pinner captain Aaron Nicholas took matters into his own hands and agreed with the opposition captain to even the playing field, literally. He pulled on a Quintin shirt and instructed lock Dave Logan to do the same before taking the field.
This was a true demonstration of sportsmanship and showed not only what Pinner RFC are all about, but what club rugby around the country is made of. One spectator asked this reporter “Why would they do that? Play against their own team for a side that are taking a beating?”… To which I replied, “Its what separates us from the footballers”.
The game was now much more challenging for Pinner and their aim now moved from putting a big score on the board, to keeping the opposition off it. Quintin played with renewed energy and had Pinner camped in their own twenty-two on a few occasions, although unable to break their duck. Pinner on the other hand kept the score ticking over and saw a few squad members get their hat-ricks, with winger John ‘Bo’ Petrella bulldozing his way over for his fourth near the end of the game.
The final score resembled that of a cricket match, Pinner keeping Quintin from touching the score board, and getting 108 points of their own. The result was an unfair reflection on a battling Quintin side who did their best to play right up until the final whistle. Pinner on the other hand will take the momentum from that game into the match this weekend against Ealing Exiles at their home in Shaftsbury Playing Fields.
With the Pinner 1st XV Middlesex Merit Table Vase cup match cancelled as Civil Service Barbarians couldn’t raise a team the Pelicans [2nd XV] braved the Watford football traffic to face Hemel Hempstead IVth XV on Saturday. None of Hemel’s first three sides had matches either. Playing with the slope Pinner soon were in command, the ball rarely getting out of the home team’s half. The first try came after 15 minutes when the Pinner pressure led Hemel conceding a penalty which was quickly taken and sent along the line to left-wing Jon Petrella who ran through several tackles to score out wide. Fly-half Don Wilson’s fine kick added the extra points. Pinner were soon back in the home 22 with Hemel conceding a series of penalties for off-side. From one of these Pinner forwards drove forward allowing number 8 Andrew Alexander to score the second try. On the crux of half-time Hemel knocked on in their 22, Pinner quickly fed the ball left for Petrella to round the slow defence to score under the posts. Williams kicked the 2 points to give the visitors a 19 – 0 lead.
Hemel obviously know their sloping pitch and came more into the game in the second half. They were first to score when Pinner were penalised for not rolling away allowing the home team to get their first try. Pinners, now down to 14 men following a first-half injury to winger Jepsen, were forced on the defensive. Their chance of a second score came when they opted for a line-out after yet another penalty but the defence held. Pelicans fought their way back to the opponents 22 and a fine break by the scum-half sent Petrella in for his third try giving a bonus point and a comfortable lead of 24 – 5. With only ten minutes remaining Hemel refused to lie down and hammered the tiring Pinner defence. A strong forward drive resulted in the home second try close in with the conversion to bring the score to 24 – 12. Still Hemel attacked and with Pinner one man down gaps were appearing in the defence. Two minute left and another Hemel try on the left to bring it to 24 -17. Surely Pelicans could hang on but Hemel were now Rampant. Straight from the kick-off, in the first minute of injury time, the full-back again ran powerfully down the left to score under the posts. The conversion was successful and the scores tied at 24 all. Hemel collected the kick off and looked to attack from deep in their half and steal a victory. Fortunately possibly the pass that would have sent their winger speeding down the left wing, was intercepted by Pinner Chairman Andy Wright now playing on the right wing. From the resulting maul Hemel gained possession were penalised. Now in the fourth minute of injury time with some visiting spectators calling for the ball to be kicked into touch and settle for a draw Pinner had other ideas. The penalty was quickly taken and whipped to centre Ash Fison who evaded three half-hearted tackles to score Pelicans decisive fifth try. Williams added the conversion to retain Pinner’s unbeaten record at 21 – 24.
Two out of two – Pinner Pelicans continued their winning ways with a great performance against Fullarians RFC on Saturday 27th September. Hopefully there will be a match report sent to the website soon, in the meantime here are some images from the game, again more to follow………
The Pelicans [2nd XV] took on Fullerians IV in the Herts-Middlesex merit table. They found the going much harder against one of the stronger team in the division and were soon a converted try down. However Pinner fought back and by mid-half had established a 10 – 7 lead through a penalty by fly-half Don Williams. Fullers responded with an unconverted try and penalty. Egged-on by home supporters Pinner added two further tries before half time. For one Arshood Joonoos, playing in his first rugby match, sprinting 40 m to score. Half-time score 22 -15 to the Pelicans.
In the second half the play was very even with neither team willing to concede territory. Both managed two further tries, one converted and the other not. In all Pelicans ran in five tries, three of which were scored by Rowan Desai and the other by youth team coach Clyde Gordon. The final score was 34 – 27.
The two Pinner teams are now undefeated in September and have amassed 190 points between them and are both sitting at the top of their respective merit tables.
Next Saturday the 1st XV have an away cup match against Civil Service Barbarians whilst the Pelicans travel to Hemel Hempstead for a merit table game.
Sporting their new kit Pinner hosted the league match against a strong London French side on Saturday 27th September. The match report will follow but in the meantime enjoy some of the images from the game…….
For the first time in several seasons Pinner, now with a regular 2nd XV, the Pelicans, hosted two home matches at Shaftesbury Playing Fields Hatch End on Saturday. Both teams had started the season with 60 + points victories and were looking to build on this success.
The 1st XV entertained London French in the Middlesex Merit table. From the start Pinner showed their intent and dominated the early play. The pack was in good form keeping the play in the opponents 22. The first try was not long in coming when after only eight minutes the pack drove the visitors back and number 8 Andrew Alexander forced his way over. Scrum-half Chris Jepsen added the extra points. Pinner continued to have territorial advantage with London French unable to match the home pack. However this led to some sloppy play allowing French to use their strong backs. From a Pinner mistake French ran in a try under the posts to equal the score. This galvanised the home side to greater efforts. Spurred on by the large crowd the pack reasserted its control. From a 5 m scrum Alexander dived over for his second try again converted by Jepsen. With half-time looming another Pinner lapse allowed French in for their second try to bring the score at the interval to 14 – 12 to the home team.
The second half started much as the first. Within 5 minutes Pinner one a scrum just inside the visitors half. Scrum-half Jepsen sprinted 40 m to score under the post and then convert his own try. He soon added a further 3 points from a penalty after French had failed to release the ball in a ruck. The game now went through a more even phase with the French backs always a threat. Once again it was the pack that restored order and with only five minutes remaining number 8 Alexander drove over for his third and Pinner’s fourth try. Jepsen once more added the points to give Pinner a comfortable 31 – 12 lead. Pinner now relaxed and were severely punished as the French backs, throwing caution to wind, attacked down the left wing. This resulted first in a converted try and then, straight from the kick-off, another as the final whistle blew. The final score was 31 – 24 earning bonus points for both teams.
The two Pinner teams are now undefeated in September and have amassed 190 points between them and are both sitting at the top of their respective merit tables.
Next Saturday the 1st XV have an away cup match against Civil Service Barbarians whilst the Pelicans travel to Hemel Hempstead for a merit table game.
Pinner, playing their first match of the season, travelled to nearby Uxbridge for a Middlesex Merit table clash. Inspired by their Pelicans [2ndXV] 60 – 0 win the previous week the 1st XV did even better with an eleven try 65 – 0 win. Playing up the slope in the first half they took a while to settle with several new players in the team. However the forwards soon showed their strength . With only 5 minutes gone Pinner won a scrum on the Uxbridge 22. No 8 Andrew Alexander drove forward to set up a ruck under the posts. The ball was quickly recycled to the right for centre Ashley Hicks to score the first try. This was converted by scrum half Chris Jepsen. Soon Pinner were on the attack again initiated by Jepsen with Alexander taking the ball close to the Uxbridge line. However the home side managed to clear their lines but from their kick out Pinner rested control in their own half and after a couple of passes Hicks broke from the half-way line out pacing any defence to score wide on the left. A few minutes later another scrum in the Uxbridge 22 saw Alexander pick up, dummy the defence to crash over for the third try. From the kick off Pinner attacked from their own 22 getting the ball to left wing Fred Riley who cut inside the defence but his final pass was adjudged to be forwards. With five minutes to go to half-time Pinner again fielded a desperate Uxbridge kick-out. A good break by right-wing Niall Curran found fly –half Chris Hall on hand to score under the posts. Jepsen converted to bring the score to 24 – 0 at the interval.
With Pinner now playing down the slope the next score wasn’t long in coming. A powerful run through the middle by replacement centre John Petrella took the play deep in the Uxbridge half. The ball was quickly re-cycled and a deft chip over the defence by fly-half Hall enabled captain and hooker Aaron Nicholas to score. Riley added the points. Pinner were soon back in the Uxbridge 22. A driving ruck near the line enabled prop Neill king to gather and dive over for try number seven. With the score now at 41 – 0 Pinner realised that moving the ball through the backs would bring more tries. Once again the home side’s kick out failed to find touch. Rapid movement along the line put winger Curran over in the corner. Straight from the kick-off Pinner brought the ball back to the half-way line for open-side flanker Dan Smith to run 50 m shrugging off several tackles and then out pacing the cover to score under the posts. With still the final quarter left Pinner became complacent and Uxbridge mounted a spirited effort to stay in the game. But with less than 10 minutes left Pinner stepped up a gear and James O’Brien added try number ten. Finally . with everyone waiting for the final whistle scum-half Jepsen ran round the exhausted home defence to score under the posts. He converted his own try to give a final score of 65 – 0.
For the first time in a few years Pinner will host two home matches at Hatch End next Saturday. The 1st XV play London French whilst the Pelicans host Fullerians IVth .
A big thank you to all who came along this weekend to help spruce up the Club and clear the rubbish, it looks really great so lets all keep it that way!
Especially well done to all those who did the 2 full days especially Dave Hiles, Aaron Nicholas, Sandy, Chris Jepsen and the rest of the first team who came along.
Also thanks to Caroline and family and the other mini parents who supported the weekend.
If you were unable to attend your financial support is always welcomed, donations or sponsorship can be sent to me or any of the committee and don’t forget subscriptions for the 2014/15 season are due to Biffo who can be contacted on email@example.com
It is with great sadness that I forward Tanith’s E-mail and have to inform you that Eric Dodge passed away over the week-end. The funeral arrangements are set out in this e-mail and I hope that there will be a good turn out from P&G members, former colleagues and students.
Our sincere condolences go to Dredagh, Tanith and the family. With the passing of Eric so soon after Fred Runacres we lose the last of our Past Presidents who together with Bill North did so much to establish Pinner & Grammarians Rugby Club after the merger in 1969. Eric was the first Chairman and eventually succeed Fred as President. Prior to the merger Eric had been President of Pinner Old Grammarians RFC and also Honorary Secretary of the Middlesex Schools RFU. Those of you who are former pupils and colleagues of Pinner County Grammar School will remember Eric as a truely inspirational Head of Geography. His promotion, following the reorganisation of secondary education in Harrow, to Lowlands VI Form College was thoroughly deserved but a great loss to Pinner. To some colleagues he was known as the ‘Judge’ because of his role as magistrate. Personally I have Eric to thank for my being appointed, in 1970, as Head of Mathematics at Pinner Grammar School as he had misled the Headmaster into thinking that I was the captain of the Old Boys Rugby Club. In reality I was captain of the 3rd XV of the combined club and a former Pinner RFC not POG RFC member. There was only me at the interview !
At times such as this many anecdotes come to mind, here are three. Eric was a great one for getting people to do jobs for him. He offered to donate his old electric cooker to the rugby club and I agreed to collect it one Sunday morning. I arrived about 10:30 to find the old cooker still wired in, the new one in its box and Sunday lunch prepared ready to be cooked. After much frantic activity the change was successfully accomplished, the old one bundled into my estate car. I assume that Eric got his lunch on time – I didn’t ! The second is also ‘electrical’ Eric had a vintage wooden motor cruiser moored at Bray on the Thames but it wouldn’t start. I again was persuaded to go this time after school to try to discover and the rectify the fault. This time we failed but Eric managed to drop the starter switch into the bilges. I have this image of him, clad in his smart school master suit, fishing about in the oily water. Finally, at Pinner GS we ran a staff cricket team and, through the good offices of Ken Ponsford, played several matches at Rickmansworth Cricket and Hockey Club. After match festivities carried on well into the small hours aided to no little extent by the guitar playing of Andy Robinson. I have this vision of Eric and Bill Johnson sprawled across the small back seat of Pete Williams’s MGC sports car, feet over the side and being driven home to Pinner by Pete whose eye-sight was not good in bright sunlight. Next morning Ponsford and I were summond to the Headmaster to explain why half the staff were not their usually efficient selves.
Eric, thanks for everything and rest in peace.
With over a hundred plus visiting players today, at Pinner Rugby Club, it was all hands on deck to provide a warm Pinner welcome to all. Even some of our committee members were at the club today, to see how the minis do a Sunday! One made a comment that maybe the U11/U12s could show the first team a thing or two!
Today at Pinner Rugby club we hosted over 100 children playing rugby in the glorious spring sunshine. Chess Valley RFC brought their tag teams (U6 – U8), U9s and U10s to play some great games. Initially the teams joined together for a fun training session and then matches were played. Great fun was had by all.
The Pinner U12s played Barnes RFC and Teddington RFC in the U12s Middlesex Tournament. During the first match – Teddington v Barnes – Barnes played a strong game and won by 40 – 7. Barnes scored 6 tries and converted all but 1! Teddington scored 1 try with a conversion.
Pinner then played Teddington RFC. It was a close match but eventually Pinner stormed through to win 19 – 12. Joseph Holden, Reece Connolly and Luke Sealby all scored tries and 2 tries were converted by Joseph. Ciara Evans was spotted by the referee and congratulated for her fantastic tackling. Pinner’s scrums were strong and they won the ball on most occasions.
The final match between Pinner and Barnes was a different story. This started with both teams looking fairly equal, however Pinner, who were tired after playing the previous game, found a rested Barnes were just too strong overall. Barnes RFC won 0 – 26 scoring 4 tries with 3 conversions.
The referee spoke highly of the excellent sporting attitude of Pinner players, on and off the pitch. All the players put in a fantastic effort throughout the matches and some brilliant rugby played.
To see the images from this morning please go to
P&G RFC’s President David Hiles played host to over 60 former players and guests at his Annual Lunch on Saturday. This year’s event was planned to incorporate the promotion of the book ‘Riding in the Shadow of Death’ by Chris Keltie on the remarkable, but unsung, war time experiences as a young 20 year old of Bill North, the former President of P&G RFC, who died two years ago. In June 1944 the Lancaster that Bill was piloting was shot down near Rouen in northern France. Only some of the crew were able to bail out as the remaining parachutes had been damaged. Bill, although badly wounded himself, managed to crash land his plane in the dark in a field near Les Andelys. All the crew survived but spent the remainder of the war in a POW camp. Chris Keltie who grew up next door to Bill in Kenton felt that this was a story worth telling. To the surprise and delight of all those who attended the lunch Chris brought the sole surviving member of that crew, Dennis Bartlett, now in his 90’s, who was Bill’s mid-upper gunner together with Geoff Grey, a former Pathfinder pilot with 61 squadron, and his wife June an ex- war time nurse. The whole day was charged with deep emotion. At the start of proceedings, members stood in silent tribute to two members who died last week. One, Geoffrey Nuelle, was a player and Clubhouse Secretary in the 70’s and 80’s but the other was Fred Runacres was the last President of the former Pinner RFC and the first of P&G RFC. Fred was also a former player and secretary of the Harrow and District Rugby Referees Society. One of his daughters is married to another former P&G captain and honorary treasurer Howard Walters. His nephew Tony, another former player, is coming from New Zealand for the funeral which will take place that the Chiltern Crematorium Amersham on Monday 3rd February at 1:45 pm.
The other guests were Ian Webster, President of Mill Hill RFC and his wife Collie and the Mill Hill Chairman Geoff Williams. Other former Pinner captains present were Mike Barnes, currently President of Middlesex County Rugby, and his wife Anne, and Mel Williams, former captain and President of Saracens. Bill North’s three sons all of whom played for Pinner were also there and brought some of Bill’s memorabilia for the Club archives. Nearly everyone present purchased copies of Chris’s book all of which were personally signed by the author and the veteran war heroes. Copies were obtained for former members who now live in far-off Toronto Canada and Brisbane Australia. Many took the opportunity to talk to these wonderful guys, the chance of which they are unlikely to have again. Since Bill died Chris has updated his book to record meetings with Prince Charles, the belated and much deserved unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial and the meeting that he, the veterans and the North family had with David Cameron at no. 10.
In his speech welcoming everyone David Hiles said that the visit by the comrades of the beloved former President was probably one of the greatest honours ever bestowed on the Club. He also commented that had he not been Alun North’s form master at Kingsbury High School in 1967 he would never have met Bill at a parent’s evening. This had brought him to Pinner RFC. What a different life he would have had. Hiles gave an update of the Club’s current situation with the difficulties caused by the shortage of matches in the 1st XV’s league and by the problems associated with the pavilion which the insurance loss adjusters were pursuing unsuccessfully with the LB of Harrow. The success of the youth and mini rugby was a source of great encouragement with the U14 team heading its league yet again. The fact that some 1st XV players were now helping with the coaching of these youngsters was also a great hope for the future. Some of the lunchtime guests struggled out to watch the 1st XV play Mill Hill and afterwards the party and reminiscences continued well into the evening.
Brief match report: Herts-Middx Div 3 P&G’s 9 Mill Hill 29
The lack of recent matches showed in the cohesion of the home side. Conditions also mitigated against open rugby and the better drilled Mill Hill pack quickly gained the upper hand. The first halve saw Mill Hill run in three tries and a penalty to P&G’s response of three penalties all kicked by winner Fred Riley. Late in the second half Mill Hill added their fourth and bonus point try to give a final score of 29 – 9 to the visitors thus avenging their pre-Christmas defeat by the Pinner side.
The recent wet weather led to the postponement of the proposed mini’s festival on Sunday.
Sunday saw a top of the table clash between Pinner U14s and Twickenham U14s with both teams knowing a win would put daylight between them. The conditions were excellent for rugby with the pitch soft under foot after all the recent rain.
Both teams started strongly, with fearless tackling and aggressive challenges at the breakdown and most of the game being played in the middle of the park.
The breakthrough came after six minutes when Pinner recycled clean ball from the breakdown and the ball was spun wide to the left giving Ben Stone a clear run in to score the first try half way between the posts and the touchline. The metronomic boot, now with a new kicking tee, of Freddie Hart added the conversion, 7 nil Pinner.
Buoyed by the try Pinner gathered the restart and worked their way back to the half way line with Twickenham working hard at the breakdown to turn over the ball. After some strong work from the Pinner pack the ball was again passed down the Pinner back line to Kai Gordon who ran in under the posts having broken a couple of tackles on the way. An easy conversion for Freddie and Pinner were ahead 14 nil.
The second try broke Twickenham’s resistance and Pinner started to dominate the game in all areas and it wasn’t long before try number three was scored. Pinner pack again recycled clean ball for scrumhalf Louis George to run down the blind side to score wide out near the left touchline. Unfortunately Freddie was unable to added the extras. Pinner 19 Twickenham 0.
An excellent catch from the restart by Charlie Gascoine set Pinner romping forward again. It took three defenders to bring Charlie down close to half way and out of the pursuing ruck appeared Joseph Burling with the ball. He set off on a jinking run dodging two or three tackles leaving him one on one with the fullback who surrendered and let Joseph score Pinner’s fourth and bonus point try under the post to which Freddie added the conversion. Pinner were now 26 ahead as we headed for half time.
However, Pinner weren’t finished there. Charlie again took a clean catch from the restart this time shipping the ball outside him where it eventually arrived in Kai’s arms and he set off with his after burners blazing running around the outside of the Twickenham players scoring closed to the posts. Unusually, Freddie missed a relatively simple opportunity to add the further two points and at half time Pinner were leading 31-0.
The second half was a lot tougher with Pinner making substitutions to give every player some game time and Twickenham starting to give their bigger boys more of the ball in an attempt to make ground against a Pinner defence which resolutely stayed strong with a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude we have come to see and expect from the boys in the past two seasons.
Pinner managed two more tries in the second half both from strong runs by Kai but only one was converted and the final score was 43-0 against a side the boys had expected to give them more of a game than they did.
The win moves Pinner 5 points ahead of Bishop Stortford and 6 points ahead of Twickenham, who both have a game in hand over our boys, giving them potentially 10 points each from their final 2 games. However, this will be irrelevant if Pinner can achieve a bonus point win against Saracens B on 23 March as they will be promoted with 25 points.
|1||Pinner and Grammarians||5||4||0||1||4||20|
|2||Bishop’s Stortford B||4||3||0||1||3||15|
Two strange decisions by the referee cost P&G’s 14 point and a much needed win away to Old Grammarians of Tottenham. The first was after 25 minutes of the first half when he gave a penalty for an offence in a ruck 5m from the visitor’s line. He converted this to a penalty try under the posts. The law requires that there would have been a high probability of a try had the offence not been committed. Not even the home supporters were convinced that this would have been the case. The second decision was to allow the second half to run on for over 50 minutes, normally 40 minutes per half, and again those on the touch line could not remember ten minutes of stoppages or injuries. Old Grammarians scored their second and decisive try which they converted to sneak the game 17 – 13.
The first half started with the home side kicking with the wind but against the slope. They were soon awarded a penalty, the first of a multitude given against both sides, to take a 3 – 0 lead. Pinner were having difficulties in adjusting to the slope of the pitch and the rather heavy and ponderous O G’s pack. Yet another penalty on the P&G 22 for off-side was missed in front of the posts. Pinner now began to get their act together and mounted a series of pick and drive attacks which brought them into the home 22. Winning another ruck scrum-half Sam Heath found centre Ollie Blazey to fee is co-centre Richard Southam who shrugged of a few tackles to score in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful but P&G’s had a 5 – 3 lead. Then came the penalty try to put the home side 10 – 5 up. Pinner continued to threaten for the rest of the half with strong attacks through the centre but did not take advantage of getting the ball wide where their wingers would have out-paced the defence. O G’s were forced to defend and it was Pinner’s turn to be awarded penalties which took them in range of the goal line. With half-time over due they opted to kick at goal and Fred Riley stepped up to take the 3 points to bring the interval score to 10 – 8 to O G’s.
Pinner kicked off up the slope but with the wind. The kick went deep into the home 22 where the defenders made a mess of things. P&G’s won a turn-over at the resulting ruck. The ball was quickly fed along the backs and centre Ollie Blazey scored out on the right. The conversion was unsuccessful but the visitors had a 13 – 10 lead. Pinner continued to look threatening but didn’t use the wind enough to get often into the home 22. An injury to no. 8 Andy Alexander reduce the power of the pick and drives and the heavier O G’s pack was gaining momentum in the set scrums and mauls. Pinner had a possible third try disallowed but the game never really flowed due to the constant awarding of penalties and free kicks. With full-time past, there was little injury time to add on according to touch-line watches, O G’s mounted a series of drives with the referee giving yet more penalties. From the last one with Pinner retreating O G’s dived over for the final conclusive converted try to snatch victory 17 – 13. The eight club Herts- Middx Div 3 now goes into an enforced period without competitive matched until 11th January.
On Sunday the 15th December Pinner RFC mini and youth section, carried out a fun training session at their club on Shaftsbury playing fields, Hatch End. After a short contact training session two teams were formed and a well committed game took place with plenty of great tackles and some superb running play, all cheered on by the parents from across the age groups who had come outside to cheer on the teams, all agreed that they played with great confidence and skill.
After the final whistle blew the players had a great surprise when they we joined at the club for photographs and signatures by Saracens prop NICK AUTERAC, the players all enjoyed being up close to a Saracens player. Everyone moved to the changing rooms and after a wash and a quick change into clean clothes they entered the clubhouse to see it had been transformed by the parents into a Christmas party room, with decorations, crackers, music and party food all the children sat down to a fun noisy lunch. But then another special visitor arrived this time it was Father Christmas. At Pinner RFC we have a tradition at Christmas the players donate a Christmas present for a boy or girl who is less fortunate than themselves so Father Christmas collected the presents to be delivered to the children’s wards at local hospitals.
So that was the first half of a great season finished, we have seen our team numbers increasing and a great family club developing, we are always after recruiting new players to join all our teams from u6 through u15, we are also looking for people to volunteer who may be able to help with coaching or sponsorship interested please call Paul on 07917088802.
Pinner and Grammarians RFC U14s travelled to Tring on Sunday, knowing only a win with a try bonus point would get their season back on track after losing in the league game 2 weeks ago at Bishop Stortford.
The game was played in ideal conditions for running rugby. Pinner kicked off and a good follow up contained Tring in their own half. Both sides fought hard for the ball and the first try came from Kai Gordon for Pinner using his strength and pace to beat a number of Tring defenders down the right wing to touch down under the posts to give Freddie Hart and easy conversion and Pinner a nil-7 lead.
The lead was held for long as Tring put pressure on Pinner and after a couple of scrappy break downs and some weak tackling Ting scored a try close to Pinner’s right touchline. Trings kicker made a brave effort but the ball fell short leaving the score 5-7 in Pinner’s favour.
Following some further close rugby with both sides threatening each others try line, some great rucking by the Pinner forwards allowed the backs to ship the ball to outside centre Ryan Healy who burst a couple of tackles to score under the post giving Freddie another easy conversion, 5-14 to Pinner which remained the score at half time.
Tring kicked off the second half and were immediately put under pressure by an ever dominant Pinner team who were beginning to control the game in all areas and it wasn’t long before Kai burst a number of tackles down the right wing to score his second and Pinners third try of the game under the post. Freddie Hart, now minus his favourite kicking tee, duly converted putting Pinner in to a commanding 5-21 lead.
It wasn’t long until the Pinner got the fourth and bonus point try when Ryan again used his strength to burst past the Tring defence and score a try under the posts, which Freddie, still minus his favourite kicking tee, duly converted, 5-28 to Pinner.
Charlie Gascoine, playing back in his favoured position of number 8, added a fifth try for Pinner when he ripped the ball from a Tring attacker during a maul between the half way and their 10 metre line and burst down the left wing beating the winger and full back to crash over near the corner flag. Freddie, now no longer caring about what he kicked the ball off, slotted the long range conversion to make it 5-35 to Pinner.
Pinner taking more confidence took the game to Tring who were now visibly losing their confidence and discipline. Pinner looked to have scored their sixth try when Taylor Goodman powered over the Tring try line driving two Tring defenders with him only for the referee to rule the ball held up, no try, but as Taylor had driven over the Tring line, so Pinner had the put in to a 22 scrum.
With the game being completely dominated by Pinner at this stage and with about 5 minutes left on the clock Pinner held the a scrum and then drove Trings back the Pinner pack quickly worked the ball to the back of the scrum where Charlie picked up at the back and ran uncontested over the Tring try line to give Freddie another difficult conversion attempt which fell just short [maybe he was still missing that kicking tee] leaving the final score at 5-40 to Pinner.
The boys have given themselves a massive boost with only two league games, both at home, left of the season to get promoted two seasons in a row.
|1||Pinner and Grammarians||4||2||0||0||69||5||1||0||1||50||32||3||0||1||119||37||82||3||15|
|2||Bishop’s Stortford B||4||2||0||0||49||22||1||0||1||62||31||3||0||1||111||53||58||3||15|
Expectations were high for P&G’s encounter with local rivals Watford. A bonus point win would see Pinner go to the top of Herts / Middlesex Division 3. The home side started well enough but with many changes caused by injuries in the previous match early team coordination left much to be desired. Three penalties in the first quarter of an hour inside the P&G 10 meter area were all kicked by the Watford fly-half posting an early 9- 0 lead. The visitors were now full of confidence and running the ball with some purpose. Another penalty in front of the posts was quickly taken whilst P&G’s were not alert. A try resulted on the left and the extra points added. Pinner’s cause was not helped when their powerful no 8 Andy Alexander was yellow carded for holding back an opponent. A Pinner attack broke down and Watford fly-hacked ahead getting the luck of the bounce to score their second converted try. On the half hour Pinner were awarded only their second penalty which was slotted over by Fred Riley. With half-time approaching the powerful Watford forwards set up a driving maul to score the third try and make the score 30 – 3 at the break.
Pinner started the second half with much more purpose and greater coordination. The teams appeared evenly match with the home side dominating much of the play. However injuries to key players again caused disruption. There was no score for nearly half an hour when Fred Riley kicked his second penalty. This gave the home side more confidence and several promising attacks developed. In one of these P&G lost the ball in the Watford 22 and the visitors broke away at speed with support to get their fourth and bonus point try. The coordination of their backs and drills of their forwards showed the benefit of being able to train under lights the opportunity for which the home side is denied. Pinner had their best chance to add points when winger Fred Riley intercept a Watford pass in his own 22 and sprinted deep into visitors half before being caught by an even faster defender. With this chance gone the visitors great fluency resulted in a further final try to bring a the score to 44 – 6 to the great disappointment of the home crowd.
Pinner, visiting promotion rivals Old Isleworthians on Saturday suffered another frustrating afternoon. In the last two seasons P&G’s were pipped in the closing minutes of their matches. This time a serious injury to prop forward Lee O’Callaghan disrupted the match for 50 minutes. Early exchanges were fairly even but with the home side, playing with the slope, having more territorial advantage. Neither side generated any scoring opportunity other than a missed penalty by the O I’s fly half. After about 15 minutes a scrum on the half way line collapsed and O’Callaghan appeared to have damaged his knee. With the replacement on the referee allowed play to continue even before the P&G player could be help to the touch-line. A few minutes later the player went into shock and the game was suspended whilst first of all the paramedics arrive and then an ambulance. Play was held up for 50 minutes and with the light failing the referee decided that he would abandon the first half having only played 19 minutes and restart the match with the second half. P&G’s were unhappy with this decision and many on the touch-line doubted if the game could be finished safely.
In the second half P&G’s played with great spirit and no little endeavour spending more time in their opponents half. Pinner had a chance of a score but rejected a kick at goal. Attacks by both sides were easily nullified by strong defence. Several powerful drives by the forwards eventually broke down but kicks from deep by full back Chris Jepsen often looked promising but many went into touch on the small pitch. With about 15 minutes to go Old Isleworthians were awarded a penalty on the P&G 22 and this time their fly-half made no mistake. This appeared to be going to be the only score. The P&G fly-half Chris Hall, attacking on the right chipped over the defence to produce a possible scoring chance. He was illegally held back and after saying a few words with the offending player he, and not the guilty man, was yellow carded by the referee whose general management of the game left much to be desired. All now looked up for the visitors but Chris Hall was to have the final say. With minutes to go and in almost darkness Pinner won a line-out on the O I’s 10 metre line. Scrum half Sam Heath got the ball to Hall, now back on the field, who drop-kicked magnificent goal from 35 metres to equal the score at 3 all. Probably a fair result in the circumstances.