“Mixed emotions for me today, sadness at our relegation but so proud and honoured to have captained such a wonderful group of young men” commented Alex Luff after his last home game for the Wanderers “If they stick together they will get success next season”
“I’m sounding like an LP stuck on a turntable (youngsters might need an explanation) but our game management is poor. We create problems for ourselves and gifted Beddau too many points” commented manager Luke Burton.
On a bright afternoon at the Memorial Ground things began badly for the home side. A speculative kick downfield from midfield seemed to catch the Wanderers defence very flat footed and the Beddau right wing chased hard, re-gathered the ball and crossed for the first try of the game. That score gave the Wanderers a jolt and the home side started to get into their stride. With Josh Hurley very lively in attack and Tim Cronin keeping the pack moving the Wanderers established pressure inside the Beddau 22. The visitors were forced into some desperate defence and eventually the home side levelled things up. Attacking through several phases and then moving the ball wide Hurley was on hand to power through several attempted tackles before crashing over to score. Ed Doe converted 7-5. The pressure continued and when the Wanderers attacked again, Beddau received a yellow card for an infringement at a ruck. Despite the baulk of the possession and territory the Wanderers could not make it count and the game ebbed and flowed back and forth. Beddau then edged back ahead after another defensive error. A kick downfield once again caused panic. The ball seemed red hot and the grateful chasers gathered up the hot potato to cross for a converted try 7-12. Back came the home side and before half time they were level. A break in midfield by Mike Stephens carved open the defence and when he was halted in the Beddau 22 Garrick Armstrong was on hand to receive the pass and crash over. Doe missed the conversion and the sides went in at half time at 12-12.
The 2nd half began with the Wanderers continuing their generous spirit to visiting teams. Yet another kick out of defence was the cause. This time, having apparently covered the threat a wild pass to the invisible man sent Beddau on their way to score an unconverted try 12-17. The score took the wind out of the Wanderers sails and the visitors started to gain some superiority. The home side were forced into attacking from deep and although at times the Wanderers created some great opportunities they could not break the Beddau defence down. A series of penalties for the visitors reinforced their superiority and as time started to run out on the Wanderers Championship campaign the home side had to really dig deep. The forwards drove at the Beddau line and after a series of drives they nearly went over after a neat chip by sub Steff Simpson. The home side pounded away at the line and eventually Simpson crashed over to score after a number of scrums and there was hope at 17-26. Time was short and the Wanderers attacks became a little frantic. The final nail in the coffin came from another Wanderers attack when a ball went loose from an attacking ruck and the Beddau backs raced away to send the home side to Division 1 East!
Pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/