Match Report: BATs S1 v Ponteland

The song says "what a difference a day makes" but today it was more a case of "what a difference a few months make".

Our boys played out of their skins (which at times, thanks to a Northumbrian deluge of biblical proportions, were soaking) against a team who had beaten them convincingly in the Windermere tournament last season.

This was a team that whilst losing by 10 tries to 7 undoubtedly played the more expansive and skilful rugby against a big Ponteland team.

Our squad had lost a few boys to injury and family commitments and the 18 boys who pulled on the BATs shirts must be commended for the energy, passion and intensity they showed over the four quarters of the game. They came flying out of the changing room (in which you would have struggled to swing a Manx cat, let alone one with a full tail).

Communication, handling, tackling, line control, ruck, maul and scrum were all areas of which the boys can be proud as they built on the great work of prior seasons with a display that those watching thought as their coming of age as a rugby team and squad. It would be unfair to single out any one player over another for credit, so we won't. However, we must mention Nick Paterson who went off with an injury - wish him well and look forward to seeing him back bossing the forwards as soon as possible.

Ponteland scored first, somewhat against the run of play but BATs bounced back quickly to establish a pattern that saw the lead change hands more often than Donald Trump’s wedding ring.

Xander Stevenson opened our scoring with probably the last swallow dive of this summer. He was joined as scorers by Euan McVie, who got two tries to match his Dad’s career total, Alfie Maitland, Fin Cunningham and Adam Peters, as well as Xander adding another himself. Adam not only played at prop for the first time but also silenced his watching big brother by scoring in the corner. Get it right up him, Adam!

BATs held their own until the last 20 minutes when Ponteland scored a couple of tries from the breakdown of BATs’ moves to win a competitive and enjoyable game played in a fantastic spirit.

The only minus of the day was the Mourinho-esque outburst from one of our alickadoos on the touchline, which incurred the wrath of Northumberland’s answer to Nigel Owens. Obviously, what goes on tour stays on tour so we can’t reveal the identity of the accused but suffice to say he’s Glaswegian, wears glasses and has a son called Lochie. Other than that, my lips are sealed, but the players’ court will no doubt determine sentence at the end of the season.

We look forward to welcoming Ponteland back to Raeburn Place on 20 November when we aim to return the hospitality in what we hope will become an established fixture between two teams with similar values.

BATs squad today was drawn from eight schools and comprised:

  • Cameron Cartwright
  • Euan McVie
  • Lochie Nairn
  • Calum Blyth
  • Nathan Donald
  • Alfie Maitland
  • Rory Dowling Clark
  • Rory MacAulay
  • Sholto Fursman
  • Fin Cunningham
  • Jake Arena Terry
  • Ethan Midgley
  • Nick Paterson
  • Adam Peters
  • Aidan Shulenberg-Calvert
  • Xander Stevenson
  • Joseph South
  • Finlay Balloch

Freddie Ballantine and Bryn Evans, who were both injured, travelled with the team and acted as water boys.

Thanks to Callum, Iain, Malcy and Sandy for preparing the squad so well and to them and everyone else who came along to support.

Our next fixture is scheduled to be Heriot's on 30 October, with Hawks (away) on 6 November.

The BATs S1 squad at Ponteland RFC

Posted on Sunday, 09 October 2016 under Match Reports Club News BATs