Imperial Medicals 1st XV 0 - 24 Imperial College 1st XV
After a poor first league performance against UCL, Imperial 1st XV entered this week’s fixture looking for blood.
Playing in the league against Varsity rivals, Imperial Medics, the College were looking to repeat the result of their victory at The Stoop. The atmosphere in the changing room was charged to say the least, with a near emotional wreck of a captain, Mike O’Connell, tearfully explaining to the team that “we do not lose to Medics”. Bearing that in mind, as well as a few bruises from Jack Flanagan’s pre-match headbutts, the team stepped out onto the pitch to a roar of nearly a dozen spectators.
IC kicked to start and the game was underway. The aggression from the offset was much improved on last week, and after a few big hits from both the forwards and the back line it quickly became clear that the Medics were intimidated. The scoring opened mid-way through the first half with gazelle-like winger Freddie White dancing through the opposition on a counter attack from the half-way and scoring under the posts. 0 - 7.
Utilizing their traditional strengths, Imperial crossed the white line again soon following relentless forward pressure. The Medical defensive efforts proved in vein as Tom Hedley peeled off the back of a driving maul to touch down. Fly-half James Cox found the uprights with his conversion attempt, leaving the scoreboard at 0 - 12.
A rallied Medic attack brought them close to the IC line, but dogged scramble defence and solid tackling maintained the clean sheet. The crowd were soon on their feet when fresher prop Tom ripped the ball from a maul and bulldozed his way up the pitch on a legendary debut break. With the ground still shaking, Imperial set up the driving maul once again and were only prevented from scoring again by a questionable grounding of the ball. As the teams went in at half-time Imperial looked completely in control.
Half-time: Imperial Medicals 1st XV 0 - 12 Imperial College 1st XV
Moving into the second half the game continued much the same. Solid tackling and patient defence from the entire team stunted the Medic attack and despite conceding a penalty within 5 metres of the line, a passage of play which reflected the match saw Imperial push the Medical attack back to 15 metres out and finally turn the ball over.
From the back of a scrum on the Medic’s 10 metre line a well executed back line move left 1st XV debutant Jon Mann in plenty of space to burn down the left wing and score a well deserved try amidst humerus screams of ‘F**king yes!’ from our vocal half-Irish captain. With the crowd in stitches, a missed conversion left the score at 0 - 17.
Further pressure in the Medical half lead to yet another driving maul, mildly encouraged from the side line by IC’s reserved head coach Brimah Kebbie. A well organised pack controlled by Tom Hedley at the back allowed a long drive up the touchline and a second score by Hedley in the final minutes of the game. With less than 90 seconds to go, James Cox calmly took his time in slotting a difficult conversion through the middle of the posts from near the sideline. The final whistle blew with a satisfying final score of 0 - 24 to Imperial College. After the cheers subsided and songs were sang, a night of celebrations ensued; a fitting evening to award club ties to the Freshers.