A tale of two halves sees Mere’s unbeaten run continue
A rousing second-half performance sees Haslemere 1st XV notch up back-to-back wins for the first time this season and climb to seventh in the league.
Haslemere 17 – 13 Old Suttonians
Blustery conditions at Woolmer Hill meant the weather was always likely to play a part in
proceedings, and with the wind firmly behind them Haslemere came out of the blocks at break-neck
speed. Within the first five minutes second row Mike Harvey had the ball agonisingly ripped from his
grasp as he was about to score, while prop Zaren Hawkes was adjudged to have been held up over
the line despite calls of a fair grounding from the sidelines.
Undeterred, Old Suttonians showed appreciable spirit to get a foothold in the game and they
worked their way up to the other end of the pitch to score in the corner against the run of play;
conversion unsuccessful. From this confidence soared and their tidy play combined with some
indiscipline from the home side saw another try take the score to 10-0. A final penalty from in front
of the posts brought a forgettable half for ‘Mere come to a close with them 13-0 down.
A rousing half-time team talk saw frustration turn into determination, but when full back JP
McCumisky cut inside some weak tackles to score Haslemere’s first try on 50 minutes there were
questions over whether a come-back had been left too late. From there man-of-the-match fly half
George Dyer took control of the game; a slick offload on the twenty-two line putting captain Dave
Head into space and from there he did the rest, breaking multiple tackles to go over the line.
Another missed conversion against the wind showed just what a tough task the kickers had, but with
ball in hand ‘Mere always looked dangerous. Hard-running centre Robbie Campbell had been making
yards all game, and when his run took the home side into Suttonians’ 22 the forwards did the rest.
Prop Sam Alderson charged over from close range and Dyer slotted the conversion to give
Haslemere the lead for the first time in the game on 75 minutes.
A couple of silly penalties led to a nail-biting finish, and it took a bone-crunching try line tackle from
veteran second row Nathan Scott to keep the visitors out in the final minute. That proved to be the
last play of the game as Haslemere held on for the win, and they will take considerable confidence
from their spirited second-half revival.
A grudge match at home to Woking awaits this Saturday. A high scoring match was decided by just
five points at the start of the season, and ‘Mere will be out for revenge as they look for another W in
the final game of the year before the Christmas break.