Michaelhouse hosted Kearsney on their Founders’ weekend in ideal Midlands playing conditions.
Kearsney started the match well and exerted pressure right from the start. Their first try came from a scrum against the feed, with fullback Derick Marshall eventually scoring in the right-hand corner after a strong gallop of about 20m. Scrumhalf Cade Carmichael converted for a 7-0 lead after three minutes of play.
Kearsney continued their dominance and soon added another Carmichael penalty, after being called back from a disallowed try.
Kearsney laid the foundation with strong scrumming and mauling and hooker Reid Stuart soon got his name on the scoring sheet after a line-out maul. Michaelhouse had hardly been to the visitors’ half but in one rare occasion slotted a penalty for their only points of the half. Kearsney added another Carmichael penalty for a deserved 18-3 half-time lead.
The second half saw the home team fighting back what seemed a slightly over-confident Kearsney team who had seemingly lost rhythm. Michaelhouse prop Jewell scored with a pick and go from close out, after Kearsney failed to exit their half.
Kearsney then put together a passage of play reminiscent of their first half dominance. Winger Luke Dudley scored in the right-hand corner after some powerful play by Kearsney’s forwards and a nifty cut out pass by flyhalf Matthew Hind. The visitors stretched the lead to 23-8.
The hosts must be commended on their never die attitude. Flyhalf Moodie collected the ball from his team’s bad overthrow in an attacking lineout, and forced his way through some uncharacteristic poor defence by the visitors. Now highly motivated and aided by some poor decision making by Kearsney saw lock Crampton go over for a deserving converted try. The score-line was 20-23 to Kearsney.
A tense affair with 12 minutes to go, both teams produced some good passages of play. Michaelhouse winger Khumalo was prominent for his team. Only desperate defence kept him at bay.
Kearsney ended deserved winners in a spectacular and memorable match.
Photographer: Tracey van den Aardweg