Pinner 2s played a friendly against Hanwell, away, on the 26th of November. The side made their way to Boston Manor by any means, but thankfully were able to field a strong side ready for battle.
The game kicked off just as the national side were getting stuck in at Twickenham, but thankfully started the game much better than the lads in white. Keeping ball in hand and pinning Hanwell back in their 22’. Pinner decided to go for the jugular from the outset and No. 8 Thomas ‘Cozzie’ Cosgrove found space after deflecting the tackles of several defenders and crashed over for the first points of the game. Fly half Ben Solomon converted. Hanwell were not to be doubted however, as Pinner failed to deal with the kickoff and surrendered possession. Despite their best efforts they were unable to defend the subsequent driving maul, which stuttered its way to the try line.
Pinner brushed off this minor setback and were showing some outstanding skills to keep the ball alive and mobile. The backs finding half breaks all over the park and the mobile set of forwards bulldozing anything in a green shirt. Executing their game plan heralded results and Cozzie found himself over the try line again for his second of the day, with scrum half Fred Riley adding the conversion. It was clear that Hanwell didn’t take too kindly to being abused up front like this and decided to get a bit feisty on occasion. Pinner did not get drawn into the arm wrestle and continued to cause problems for defenders time and time again. It wasn’t too long before Hanwell’s defence was rocked yet again by Cosgrove, who finished off a length of the field team try which had defenders at sixes and sevens.
By the time the second half started Hanwell were teetering on the edge of a yellow card, and Pinner were in danger of retaliating to some of the offences coming their way. The visitors lost the path slightly and conceded a try through sloppy defending, but bounced back with a searing run from Ben Solomon, who failed to score. Then full-back David ‘Swimteam’ Hickman collected a high ball in his own 22’ and managed to find a way through the centre of the field, swerving this way and that to avoid defenders at pace. He had plenty of defenders after him but only one support player who unfortunately was unable to collect his desperate pass.
Pinner held on to the territory however and soon-to-be hatrick hero Cozzie, popped up again to force his way over, Solomon missing the conversion from in front of the posts. The fly half corrected himself shortly after to spot an opportunity out wide, and after taking the quick penalty under the sticks flung the ball wide for inside centre Phil Bladon to cross in the corner. Riley taking over the kicking duties was unable to convert.
In the dying moments an extremely dubious refereeing decision went against Pinner on the half way mark, from which the defence was unable to scramble and unfortunately conceded a try with only seven minutes remaining. Hanwell then had the wind in their sails and were going for the win, with a kick at goal after yet another dubious call from the official. Fortunately justice was served and the kick went wide, with Pinner holding on for a very well deserved 22-21 win after a thrilling encounter.
Man of the Match – Ed Campos – A great first game at Hooker.
Dick of the Day – Tom Cosgrove for leaving early and not buying the beers, and Dave Hickman for denying himself a try.