The St Francis 2nd XV The Friars entertained local rugby club Crawley 3's this weekend in what has always been an age old derby game which has always had a bit of edge to it; however on this occasion a great game of rugby was played with a friendly but competitive atmosphere on the pitch.
Crawley had turned up with a side that had bundles of experience in an old guard squad that any team should be weary of. St Francis was on the opposite end of the scale with a relatively youthful side with a couple of players making their debut not only for the club but with the game also.
Crawley were quick to get out the traps with an early score after camping in the Friars twenty two for a torrid 15 minutes where the Friars just couldn't seem to escape their quarter.
Despite some strong efforts from the Friars pack making some great breaks it was Crawley who seemed to captialise on the turnover balls leading them to a second try before the halftime whistle.
Further tries in the second half from Crawley left the Friars with nowhere to go and as the penalties continued to mount the harder the Friars made it for themselves with the match ending 0-22
Captain Minnis said of the game; "We made it hard for ourselves out there by not sticking to the game plan and giving away far too many silly penalities. We all know how we can fix it and will put that into place next week - that aside it was great to finally play Crawley in a match that had no dramas between the teams and where both of us were evenly match allowing us to enjoy the competition on the field in the spirit of the game".
The Friars welcomed veteran and former St Francis superstar Dave Griffin who returned for a run out after a 10 year hiatus and also Jack Vearney who had made his debut. Ross Williamson once again put in a valiant display earning him another man of the match award in his second outing for the Saints.
Next weekend sees both teams playing at home with a 1st XV fixture against BSMC Medics and the 2nd XV The Friars facing Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents.
Team: Boyer / Parsons / Baker / Larkin / Williamson / Lace / Norrie / Ul-Haq / Poole / Graves / Graves / Minnis (Capt) / Harper / Powell / Vearney
Subs: Griffin / Minnis / Dalton / Wiseman / Etherington / Morgan