A sunny afternoon at Turramurra Memorial Oval provided great conditions for a big round of rugby and the Barker Old Boys Ladies day.
The sideline was packed, busy with supporters from both sides, supporting the first grade clash of two strong uniforms in the Barraclough cup.
The ladies day event was in support of the Gidget foundation which aims to raise awareness for perinatal anxiety and depression in women. Barker Old Boys players were wearing pink variations of their first grade teams’ jerseys, which were exclusive for the event.
Turramurra oval buzzed as the teams finally met at the kick off, Lindfield coming out hard and fast and working into the BOBs 22 almost immediately.
But the first scrum of the day was smashed by the Old Boy forwards, Steven Hayter making a good clearance thereafter.
Lindfield set up a trend of dangerous-looking attack. Winger Cam Smith toed the ball through scattered defence off a counterattack attempt, but was unsuccessful. Almost immediately after, the ball was chipped back behind the BOBs try line before being made dead by fullback, Hugh Doran, and the BOBs were awarded a 22 metre dropout.
The Old Boys used this string of threatening Lindfield offence as enough of a warning, turning play around and forming consistent, solid phase play from then on. Winger, Thomas Williamson, made a convincing break, bringing the game into the Lindfield danger zone, building the anticipation on the sideline.
Strong defence allowed for the ball to be cleared, however Scott England managed to conceal the ball and powerfully break back into the Lindfield 22 again. This play allowed for a simple break off a ruck and the first try of the game to BOBs second rower, Jordy Smith.
Lindfield appeared deflated by the very quick and powerful try off restart as the BOBs are almost immediately able to march back into their half. A lineout, and subsequent maul, 10 metres out from the try line allowed for another break to Jordy Smith, and his second try.
Tension seemed to ease after the kick off for the Old Soldiers as they managed to form solid phase-play through strong forward running and ball retention from front-rowers Aiden Rooney and Patrick Lang, second rower Chris Morrow and number 8 Jonno Broome.
Play remained static around the mid of the field for an age, both teams trying to spot weaknesses in each other’s play structure.
Lindfield used great positional kicking from fullback, Ryan Leeson to gain a lineout close to the BOBs line. But in true BOBs style, the ball was not only cleared out of their 22, but then re-collected by winger Thomas Williamson, offloaded to inside centre Lachlan McIntyre who was then able to offload again to fly-half Steven Hayter, foxing the Lindfield defence and opening up another break to the try line for Hayter.
The score was now 19-0 and the multitude of BOBs supporters were loving the game that was forming before them.
Lindfield needed to turn the game somewhat in their own favour, as they were struggling. Using their quick outside backs, Anton Wright, Cam Smith and Ryan Leeson, they were able to aggressively wear down the BOBs defence.
Foiling an Old Boy clearance attempt, winger Cam Smith was able to counterattack with a big break from 60 out for his teams’ first try.
Off restart, both forward packs were happy throwing their weight around, as the break-down consistently smashing it out with intense power from both sets of large forwards. Lindfield show urgency in their structure as they work back down into the BOBs 22 for a lineout.
An unstraight throw gives the Soldiers a scrum, 10 metres out from the BOBs line. Fly-half Jason Rickard-Ford claims the ball, stepping inside twice and working another good try before half time.
At the half, the score was 19-12.
The Soldiers’ half time chat looked to have motivated the boys enough for them to keep applying the same pressure the first half had ended with, breaks from centres Bobby Geldens and Sam Slanter making good progress for their team.
Well structured phase play from an all-round team effort allowed for a good short pop from fly-half Jason Rickard-Ford to outside centre Sam Slanter who was able to bust the defensive line and capitalise yet again.
The scores now tied, the BOBs needed to reassert dominance in the game and managed to do so off handy ball play in the backs and strong forwards work at the break down.
Fly-half Steven Hayter and centres Lachlan McIntyre and Mark Foster cohesively worked the attack, moving the game into the Lindfield 22. The ball was spread wide off a ruck quickly, giving winger Andrew Wallace opportunity enough for another try in the corner.
A quick blindside break was made by the massive prop, Ben Ryan as he broke away towards the line, offloading to Jordy Smith just in time, for his third try of the game.
The Soldiers used the dying embers of the game to capitalise one more time after working back into the BOBs deep defensive zone. A strong scrum between two beaten and battered forward packs was won by Lindfield before a cheeky inside ball was fed to fullback Ryan Leeson for the final try of the day.
The final score was 29-24 in the BOBs favour, victoriously ending a successful, exciting and entertaining ladies day for the club.
Photography: Joe Coles