With a loss already to Old Millhillians this year in controversial circumstances this was a must win game for Pinner and they did not disappoint. The team saw some unfamiliar faces in certain positions with Ed stepping in to replace Fred at Scrum half after a pre-match coaching and the main question at the start of the game was how long would Andy Ryan’s back hold out in the scrum.
As the game kicked off Pinner were almost automatically in the ascendency and the game settled into a rhythm that would become more familiar as the game went on. They were dominant in the scrums with Liam and Andy in the front row but it was Old Millhillians who went ahead when a misplaced pass ended up with their centre who steamed through to score under the posts. Dave’s misplaced pass would soon be rectified however when Pinner overturned a ruck on the left-hand side and the ball was played through for Dave to put the ball under the posts for his first of the game. Ben Solomon stepped up to place the kick between the posts for his only conversion of the match.
Although Pinner remained dominant in the first half and there were a number of occasions for the forwards to convert opportunities into points, including two held up tries from Liam and Simon and a scrum that was dominant but not used to full advantage by the backs, it remained 7-5 at the break. This was in part down to the hard work of Pinner’s very own Pat Leahy who had stepped into the Old Millhillian ranks and was a constant thorn in their sides throughout the first half winning turnover after turnover. The first half also saw the introduction of Bow into the front row for the first time, albeit again for Old Millhillians!
Some inspired changes at half time saw Muggins bring on Arran into the pack. Pinner started the second half in much the same way that they had ended the first but now with a new found clinical edge and Dave soon put the ball over the line for his second of the game to give Pinner more breathing room. This was quickly followed by a try from the half-time substitute Arran who went on a mazy run from the right-hand side to place the ball down for a brilliant try – his first of two this game. Pinner, being true to form at this point, lost concentration and allowed Old Millhillians back into the game when they ran through the whole team thanks to some woeful defending to score and then kick the conversion from in front of the posts.
However, it was to be Pinner’s afternoon and some excellent further tries including a brilliant solo effort from Ben Solomon, a first of the season for winger James Micallef and Dave’s hat-trick put Pinner in a commanding lead. With 14 minutes to go Andy’s back finally gave outputting Sandy into the front row for the first time in the game but the scrum continued to dominate and with only seconds left on the clock Bow received the ball on the left hand side and in brilliant fashion proceeded to steamroller two players in quick succession, leaving them dazed and confused, before he placed the ball for Pinner’s 8th try of the game. In true irony, it was the two players that Pinner had loaned Old Millhillians, Ed and Gibbsy, who had borne the brunt of his final minute rampage.
Pinner 42- 12 Old Millhillians