Men’s 6s Draw with Deerstalkers
By JJ Draper
Men’s 6s 2 – 2 Richmond Deerstalkers
A tale of two whistles for M6… The one didn’t know how to blow, and the other that didn’t know how to stop.
A 2-2 outcome against a skilful Richmond Deerstalkers that could have easily gone either way, but which should have very much gone to the 6s.
It was a gritty first half played in good spirit by both teams, who left everything on the pitch. There were some close chances for Surbiton early on, with one going against the post and a handful of missed opportunities that meant we approached half time neck and neck.
With merely two minutes to go of the half Richmond played out a speedy counter attack that resulted in a short corner. Defended well by the men in white, which should have closed out the half, before the umpire at the halfway line took it upon himself to blow an infringement that only he could see.
A polite query, a green card later and the retake ended in the back of the net. Tickling the outstretched toe of the ever-young Tony Haycroft on its way past.
A no-nonsense half-time talk by JJ and Ravers and Surbiton started the half with some strong movement, solid possession and good passing.
Unfortunately the clinical shot still deserted us and with ever-growing frustration we saw infringements that we had been blown up on waved on by an umpire more interested in the sound of his voice than the game in front of him.
Richmond broke away with another well-timed counter attack that saw JJ caught between two attackers, and Tony having to come off his line to close the angle. Despite JJ’s best efforts, which would have been well received a few miles away at Twickenham, they squeezed the ball through and over the line to make it 2-0.
With nothing to lose Surbiton held possession and pressed more men up front to squeeze a high press that began to pay dividends. First an interception off a Richmond 16 gave Ravers the opportunity to penetrate the edge of the D and put a ball across the front of goal, which took a healthy deflection and went between the keeper’s legs to put us 2-1 down and back in the game.
Plenty of high pressing, but no final opportunity presenting itself, Surbiton continued to throw more and more into the attack. We eventually came up trumps with exceptional interplay off a well-won short corner. Trevor and Jabbers raising heart rates and hopes with a 1-2 at the top of the D, before the former slotted the ball past the keeper to put Surbiton level.
The rest of the game played out at a high pace with a few lungs blowing, but everyone giving it their all. None more so than Tony who put in a point-winning save at the cusp of full time, keeping Richmond out after a skilful deflection towards goal.
All in all a well played game, plenty to prove in the rematch and a hunger to take the points we should have claimed today.