Wanstead rugby youngsters return to action with a win over rivals Woodford

Wanstead under-16s face the camera after Woodford victory

Wanstead under-16s face the camera after Woodford victory - Credit: Jeremy Turner

Wanstead under-16s rugby could only muster a 14-man team as they sealed a 41-29 win over local rivals Woodford, as the hosts kindly loaned a player to make up the numbers in the friendly. 

Wanstead started the game brightly and were up and running with three quick attacks on the hosts' defences in the opening minutes, with some great passing and possession.  

It looked like the Herons would rue their early missed opportunities as they had done after the previous week’s game and luck would be against them. 

Ralph Steel, Jon Delves and Josh Harris worked together to drive into the hosts half and the ball was spilled five metres from the line, but a quick-thinking Mofe Abidekun took up the ball and charged over for a try. 

Wanstead began to dominate possession, restricting their hosts to very few chances, and were moving the ball around with ease when the hosts broke away and scored their second try, which they failed to convert. 

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Undeterred, Wanstead restarted with Tierry Cummings, Mason Bartley-Ford and Gabriel Chapman all combining to drive through the host's lines down the right wing, allowing Abidekun to score the Herons' second, conversion missed.  

The hosts clearly hadn’t learnt from this as Cummings created room once more for Abidekun to run through and score a well-taken try, conversion missed. 

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Not to be outdone in the fine solo runs and scoring department, Ryan Salter got in on the act to score his first try of the season and with Matt Ross converting, the score was now 22-12 to the Herons. 

Following his hard work during the game up to this point, it was satisfying to see Bartley-Ford drive over the line to stretch the lead. 

The game opened up and it looked like the Herons had run out of steam as the hosts gathered themselves to reduce the score to 24-27 with a couple of quick tries.  

Giving the hosts a glimpse of a win, they once again turned on the style as Salter powered through with a very good solo run from inside his own half with Ross converting. 

Bartley-Ford completed the scoring for the Herons with a trademark, unstoppable, drive over the line. Ross converted this time with a trick shot off the posts. 

Woodford scored again with the last play of the game but failed to convert.  

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