Perse triumph in local derby
The Perse 1st XV rugby team have had an excellent term, which they concluded in superb fashion in what is always the biggest and most fiercely competitive game of the season against the Leys on Saturday. This year’s game certainly fell into the category of a tempestuous local derby, with the superior battling qualities of the Perse team seeing them through to a famous victory.
Straight from kick off the Perse showed almighty attacking prowess to push the visitors deep into their own half, masterminded by great game management from Toby Hackett and Harry Hitchcock. This intense pressure finally resulted in Henry Blackman crossing the line for his first try of the season.
The Leys came back at the Perse after the restart however, and managed to find a way through the strong home defence to score a try. Ferocious defending from Sam Behagg, Alex Macaness and Bryn Kendrick-Jones prevented The Perse from falling behind in the aftermath of the try, and the home side were able to again take control of the match and regain their lead as half time approached. Henry Blackman again scored the try, this time following a great lineout move involving Nick Cox, Joe Harper and Sam Behagg, with a pin point lineout throw from Tom Picton-Turbervill.
During the second half the game became more one sided as the Perse started to exert their dominance. Tempers briefly boiled over in an unfortunate incident, but the Perse quickly regained their composure to score another try following some excellent handling from Josh Gray and Tom Sherrington-Scales.
During a final attempt to break through the exceptional Perse defence the ball ended up in the hands of a Leys winger. Josh Gray sprinted across the pitch to make the tackle, but was somewhat overenthusiastic and flirted dangerously with the line between tackling and decapitation! After some deliberation the referee awarded a yellow card.
The Perse were knocked by this severe loss to the team, but rose to the challenge impressively as Oscar Giles majestically broke through 5 tackles to score, and take the game out of the reach of the Leys.
Pete Gordon and James Knoop continued to pile pressure onto the Leys defence with some electric side steps. Replacements Alex Jackson, Ollie Parker, Charlie Salisbury and crowd favourite Sachin Kurl came on to work the tiring Leys defence, and eventually The Perse scored yet another try to seal the victory.
The final score was The Perse 34-11 The Leys; an excellent way to round off a superb season for the 1st XV.
Photos of the game provided by Ben Hall, 10R