Sat 23 Sep 2017, 15:00
After a successful previous season that saw the 2nd XV finish top of the league and secure promotion, expectations were high for the first game against Cranleigh. Not only were Guildfordians looking to make their mark on the new league, but a win against their old rivals would secure, for the first time in 4 games, the coveted 'Cranleigh Cup'. With that in mind, and with this the debut game of Toby Finnis' captaincy, expectations were high.
On an unexpectedly hot, September afternoon, Cranleigh won the toss and chose to pay downhill in the first half. This saw Guildfordians' pre-season fitness training put to the test whilst Robin White held off waves of attacks from the strong Cranleigh back-line. After a penalty and an impressive cross-field kick, Cranleigh touched down in the corner for the opening try; 0-10. Despite some impressive backs play from Guildfordians, they weren't able to cross the line until some quick hands saw Cranleigh touching down once again. The score stood at 3-15 going into the second half.
After a rallying cry from the Captain, Guildfordians started off the second half with a bang, with debutant Joe Crawley scoring a hat trick of tries in quick succession; 22-15. A strong response saw Cranleigh draw level before the Guildfordians winger, Ben Waller, scored a fantastic try in the corner to bring the hosts 7 points clear. Into the final 10 minutes, Cranleigh levelled the score and with the pressure on Guildfordians rose to the challenge. Impressive runs from James Cope, Dan Collins and Steve Saunders ensured the hosts were in the oppositions 22 with 3 minutes to play. A scrum, masterfully controlled by the no.9, Paul Dingley, resulted in a Penalty try and a decisive 7 points for the hosts, ending the game 36-29.
A fantastic start to the season and a win over the old rivals. The 'Cranleigh Cup' returns home!
MoM goes to Robin White who put on a defensive masterclass aswell as some great runs.
DoD goes to Steve Saunders who had an exceptional game at 6 but is leaving us to work in Canada for 6 months, all the best Stevie!