Pinner’s spirited display runs out of steam
P&G’s, playing against promotion contenders Saracens Amateurs, put up a spirited performance in the game postponed through snow two week earlier. This should have been a ‘free’ Saturday and several key players were either at Twickenham for the Calcutta Cup match or otherwise unavailable. Saracens won an early line-out on the half-way line and quickly moved the ball to the right for Nev Bailey to score in the corner. Pinners replied with constant pressure in the visitor’s 22 but were held up 2m short of the line. However Saracens offended at the resulting ruck and acting captain Mark Razzell reduced the arrears to 5 – 3. The Pinner pack was getting control of the set scrums and continuing to play in the Saracens half. A P&G kick ahead was gathered by the visitor’s captain and centre Rob Eston who put in a really powerful run deep into the P&G half only to be stopped by a superb tackle by John Kirby. Pinner won the resulting scrum but a lose pass was intercept by Eston who scored under the posts. This time the try was converted by No. 10 Scrase. With a few minutes to go to half time Pinner lost a line out enabling Saracens to move the ball to right wing Andre Aduleke who scored the corner to give a half-time score of 19 – 3 to the visitors.
The second half started with the home team in command of the scrums and winning good ball in the rucks and mauls. Poor passing behind the scrum nearly led another score when yet another pass was intercepted but the referee adjudged that the Pinner full-back had been blocked in attempting to catch the fleeing Saracen. Pinner then had a scoring chance only to drop the ball just short of the line but with the half-hour approaching P&G’s won good ruck ball on the Saracen’s 10m line and with backs and forwards combining the ball reached veteran Gordon Morris on the right wing who scored wide out. The muddy ball was proving difficult for the place kickers so the try went unconverted. The score now at 8 – 19 Pinner sensed a chance of at least a losing bonus point but the heavy mud was taking its toll. Saracens greater resources now proved decisive as they were able to bring on several replacements for the last ten minutes whereas P&G’s one substitute had been used for an earlier injury. Several referee decisions puzzled both players and spectators alike. He had earlier yellow carded the Saracen’s second-row and now turned his attention to the home team’s scrum half. Pinner had to play the last ten minutes with only 14 men and without their key player. In that time Saracen’s ran in three more tries through Michael Cawthrorn  and one more for Aduleke to bring the final score to 32 – 8.