Final score: Surrey 19-12 Imperial
Last week’s fixture against Surrey saw a determined Imperial 1st XV turn up in force, ready to put the previous week’s fixture against Reading behind them and get some points in the league table. A sharp, no-messing-about warm up reflected this mood, as did the start of the match; after kicking off, our aggressive blitz defence paid dividends as Surrey coughed up possession. Quick to respond, we counter-attacked, which saw the ball whipped out wide and then halted five metres from the line. Several pick-and-goes later and Michael Radigan was bundled over the line. With the try converted by fresher Joao’s idol James Field, we were 7-0 up within five minutes. Shortly after the restart, Slytherin mudblood Ben Jones was forced off the field with a shoulder injury. Alex Amato, sensing Ben’s serpentine tendencies long before that evening’s social, offered no condolences to his team mate as he slithered off the field. Sensing a chance to swing the momentum in their favour, Surrey attacked with vigour and were rewarded with an unconverted try in the corner to get within two points. The referee, keen to get involved, began dictating the game by awarding penalty after penalty, whipping himself into a frenzy of officiating. Nathan Tomlinson, unaware of this carnage, and perhaps after one too many grecs, rashly smashed through a ruck and earned himself a 10 minute opportunity to reflect on his actions. Surrey took full advantage of Imperial’s depleted ranks, a penalty ensuring they reached half time with a slight advantage, leading 8-7.
The second half got underway smoothly, Imperial once again building pressure with good attacking structure. However, with everyone in the team deciding to follow club captain Toby’s example by dislocating their shoulders, it was Surrey who drew first blood after the break, another penalty pushing them to an 11-7 lead. This inspired the team to respond, Allingham and McGrail creating line breaks left and right with well-timed pops. This led to Amato showing his blistering pace to score a superb try and give IC a slim 12-11 lead with 10 minutes remaining. However, as is becoming the norm, we were simply unable to see the game out, and succumbed to a penalty and a last-play try to stumble to a 19-12 loss and walk away only with a single bonus point. Commiseratory pints were on self-made barman Louis Benson, whilst Nate joined banned-from-union squad in A&E for the second week running. Sylvia sleeps on.