Freemen's end disappointing season with victory
OLD Freemen's just had enough in the tank to ensure they finished a disappointing first season in the London leagues on a winning note.
The Old Boys' victory was their seventh of the 22-match campaign, taking them to 39 points, but wasn't enough to move above 10th place in London Three South West.
Andover, who along with Alton had already been confirmed as relegation victims, began strongly and had a try on the board within three minutes following a fine run by one of the centres.
But their lead was short-lived with a good dummy from John Ormrod bringing him a try under the posts, converted by Alex King.
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Constant Freemen's pressure helped increase the lead to 14-5 when a deft kick from Jon Wilson into the right-hand corner allowed Michael Barrett to pick up from a fortunate bounce and cross for a try, with King again converting.
After 24 minutes, the home full-back converted a penalty awarded by the referee which was subsequently moved 20 metres forward following back-chat by King.
But the visitors were the dominant team, and King redeemed himself by making an excellent break down the left and feeding Olly Crabtree for the try, which was again converted for a 21-8 lead at the break.
Although King stretched the lead early in the second half with a penalty kick, Andover signalled their determination not to buckle when the home side's large pack engineered a scoring opportunity for the scrum-half, which he took to make it 24-15 after the conversion.
On the hour mark Freemen's achieved a fourth try through Tom Ormrod.
This secured a bonus point, but not the win as many, including perhaps some in the visiting squad, may have thought.
Two more tries by the hosts following forward pressure meant Freemen's went into the final 10 minutes of the season with just a two-point lead, however renewed determination and some solid defence helped nail down the win.
The game was a final appearance for Alex King who returns to New Zealand this summer after two seasons in the Old Boys' back division.
Freemen's return to the Surrey leagues in September knowing that the standard of rugby at London Three is not beyond them. Most games at the higher level were closely-fought. Of 15 defeats, ten were by single-figure margins and just three by more than 20 points.
Old Freemen's: A Moodie, Telford, Brooks (Gotto), Reavley, I Moodie, Hatcher, Bird, Daniels, Owens, King, Crabtree, T Ormrod, Wilson, Barrett (Rowan), J Ormrod.