in honour of a true clubman
A year on from the untimely and devastating death of club man and all round legend Ian Maxwell, Streatham-Croydon RFC hosted a memorial game on the evening of Friday 7th July. With Steve having gallantly fought the mower the straw had been cleared away and with the sun beating down it was going to be a test of endurance in the sunshine. A team from Battersea Ironsides arrived punctually and began a comprehensive warm-up that had the SCRFC side slightly concerned as boots were dusted off and shirts traded to find ones that fit the front row.
Despite this, Streatham came flying out of the blocks from the off. 4 minutes into the game Dan Witter made a characteristic break, brushing off the backs defence who were unable to contain his powerful run, leading to the first points of the game which unfortunately fly-half Josh Burke was unable to convert. The Ironsides came back with some solid pressure succeeding in especially disrupting the home side’s lineouts, despite the best efforts of second row Robbie McNaugher. Good defensive line-speed and pressure on the visiting team forced the errors, and an early dominance in the scrum led to Streatham being camped on the 5m line. Unfortunately, the entire team seemed unable to distinguish between the 5m and the try line and eventually the referee called time on the first quarter.
The referee had a busy second quarter with poor discipline from Streatham-Croydon giving away multiple penalties. They were saved from conceding the try by an incredible defensive shift from full-back Philip Maytom. A lack of cohesive support play prevented the elusive second score. Ironsides looked to be away on the wing after a break from the sizeable fly-half, but they hadn’t reckoned on back row Joe Reynolds appearing out of nowhere to scoot him into touch. Eventually a smooth play off Josh Burke at fly-half by Dan Witter put him over for his second under the posts, which remained unconverted bringing the score to 10-0.
Battersea came firing back after conceding with a brilliant line from their lock, who had been creating difficulties at the break down for SCRFC all game. Fortunately, a try saving intercept by Ibby as he was tracking back kept them out. It was all in vain however, as a solid shift from their forwards pack eventually secured them the try in the corner which was converted with an awesome kick from the 5m line by their 10 bringing the score to 10-7.
The omnipresent Josh Burke continued to make opportunities for Streatham-Croydon in the second half, ultimately leading to a brilliant break for returning player Chris Geary who streaked down the pitch, ably supported by Joe Reynolds who (after alarmingly juggling the ball) managed to dot down under the posts for an easy conversion.
They say you’re always weakest after scoring and it certainly seemed to have an impact on Battersea who put Streatham-Croydon under a period of solid pressure leading to their second score which was also converted. Frustrations for Streatham in a tiring scrum led to a few penalties, but Streatham’s defence stayed strong with huge hits from men’s vice captain Rolstone Langmead and brave efforts from Matt Brown. A break from front row Owen Howell looked promising but he was taken down comprehensively. The final score of the game came from hat-trick king Dan Witter with a monumental solo effort at the end of a tiring game, handing off multiple players to get the score which was well converted by Dan Soper. Final score 24-14.
The party carried on well into the evening with a wonderful BBQ organised by Daisy Leach and Grace Moore, and the crowd a testament to a wonderful man who was well remembered.