The T.G. Millner field synonymous as a graveyard for many visiting teams was reversed last Saturday. In bitterly cold conditions, University defeated Eastwood 24-11 which was not assured until near the end of the eighty minutes.
Unquestionably it was the finest game for University’s deceptive winger Harry Potter with his wizard like powers that scored and assisted in tries a mere mortal could never achieve.
Only nine minutes had elapsed when a set move saw Potter virtually ghost through sets of defenders after the ball was swung open from a lineout. Potter like a Dyson vacuum just glided through without a hand touching him to score beneath the posts. The trusty boot of winger Kane converted for an early 7-0 lead.
Eastwood’s five eighth Tayler Adams kept his side in the touch with a series of penalties. When Eastwood did camp themselves inside the University five metre zone they struck. Halfback Snowden darted from the scrum towards the blind drawing defenders . Eastwood winger Pakalani received the final pass to dive in the corner to increase their lead by 11-7 at the half time break.
It was cold, windy and overcast. But to cheer and warm the crowd’s bones was Eastwood’s down to earth ground announcer. A man who would rival our own The Voice golden tonsils Andrew Coorey. You almost expected the gentleman to announce the price for a kilogram of broccoli at IGA Top Ryde with his distinctive fireside chat voice.
The second half was a dogged affair where Eastwood failed to accrue any further points. University on the other hand were looking likely to lose until the last few minutes brought a comeback to rival Dame Nellie Melba.
Eastwood throughout the whole half were about to burst the Students dyke. But some heroic defence and some luck always stopped the Eastwood attack short. The clock was winding right down until University decided to gamble.
Outside centre James Armstrong decided that some daring play was required to break the impasse. Armstrong drove downfield and chipped ahead, the ball went over the head of the Eastwood defender and bounced in a wicked manner. Wicked for Eastwood but hallelujah for the Students! That man for all season’s Potter followed through and regathered. Potter surged towards the try line and was stopped short. A series of torrid rucks later saw the ball passed to five eighth Connor O’Shea. With a little step, jig and spin applied from his Irish ancestry, O’Shea drove over and scored. But in his effort to touch down he was late hit by an Eastwood defender.
In scenes of yesteryears Saturday afternoon World Championship wrestling on channel nine, both teams exploded in the in goal area. After peace was restored referee Mr Quinn red carded a player from both teams. University’s Lachie Swinton was sent to the sidelines. University were now just ahead 12-11. Due to the late hit a penalty was awarded to University back on the half way line. Kane drove the ball deep for a touch finder. The lineout was formed and the ball was spun wide. University were now causing Eastwood all sorts of problems. But once again that man with mysterious powers Potter came to the fore. Potter backed up and reached through a line of defenders to score along the clubhouse side. Kane’s conversion increased the score to 19-11. Just enough to win the game in case Eastwood scored a lucky late converted try.
There was literally a minute left on the clock however Connor O’Shea was now sin binned for a misdemeanor. University were now short of two men. A lineout later formed. It had to be the last play but University decided to have one for the road. A bobbling ball was regathered by Students hooker Ben Carolan. Carolan somehow made a break down the clubhouse touchline and linked with replacement halfback Banjo Travers. Frustrated with his forced recent injury layoff where he had to fry sausages for rehab, Travers exploded and went into overdrive chased after by a single Eastwood defender down the touchline. The Eastwood player was making no ground on Travers who sprinted down the field to score a try to the rapturous applause of the University supporters. The bell sounded and University were victors 24-11 in a sensational ending. Once again the battles with Eastwood was a classic encounter.
Next week University drive to the northern beaches where we play the resurgent Warringah Rats for a 1st vs 2nd battle!