The sun made an appearance on Tuesday 14 March as Wotton House (NA) took on Common Lane House (IRS). Each House had an abundance of support, and tension was high as the pitch was surrounded by chanting and wildly passionate fans. The umpires were Mr Jones and Mr Roberts, and with the bullies set in the middle, the final began. It was a close start to the game, both bullies appeared to be evenly matched, with very little separating the two. Both teams had even numbers of supporters on the pitch and the air was filled with the raucous sound of chanting in support of their respective teams, attempting to instil energy into their players. It was a very physical game, as each bully tried to impose their dominance, but for the first ten minutes, neither team gave anything away.
Halfway through the first half, Wotton House, in pink and blue, made a break and were able to record the first points of the game, scoring a rouge, having gone along the line. The ball was touched down by Common Lane House, resulting in three points for Wotton House. The crowd of Wotton supporters went wild, waving their flags and chanting their support. Common Lane House, in green and grey, tried to bounce back, getting close to the goal on many occasions. However, there was stoic defence from Wotton, who were able to just keep them at bay. There was a huge sigh of relief from the supporters in pink and blue as Mr Roberts blew the half-time whistle.
Both teams had a chance to refresh and regroup during the interval, with the bullies able to restore some much-needed energy. Each team had differing moods and challenges, Common Lane House needed a way to try and break through the Wotton defence, while Wotton were looking to extend their lead and give themselves more of a cushion.
Both teams had clearly shaken off the initial nerves, as the second half started at a very high intensity. They were all quick out of the blocks, with the bully operating at a fast pace. However, it was Wotton who were able to edge their way in front and extend their lead as they caught a player for Common Lane sneaking on the line. They were also able to push over a very tidy bully conversion, extending their lead to 9-0. The Wotton supporters were elated, cheering wildly in support of their team, while the Common Lane supporters tried to raise team morale and instil belief in what appeared to be a losing cause.
Common Lane fought back though, quickly scoring their first points of the game. They were able to apply some pressure on the Wotton players and bring the score to 9-3. What followed was an inspired period of domination from the boys in green and grey, as they pressured Wotton, causing some errors from the bully and working their way into the opposing half. They were constantly pressing the Wotton goal, and were eventually able to force a mistake from what had been, until then, a stoic defence. Wotton got caught sneaking on the line, and gave away what could be a vital point. This re-energised the Common Lane supporters and their chants rang out. Common Lane then had the tantalising chance to even up the match but were unable to convert either of their attempts at the bully pushover. With the score now 9-4 and the match going down to the wire, Common Lane kept up their unrelenting pressure. As the full-time whistle drew closer, tension in both camps was at an all-time high, with the Wotton supporters begging for their team to hang on, and Common Lane supporters trying to push their players to achieve the comeback. It was clear that the nerves were getting to the players as well and another incident of sneaking along the line by Wotton brought the game within Common Lane’s grasp.
At 9-5, the entire match hinged on this last bully pushover for Common Lane. The five points would see them win the Senior Ties Final. However, Wotton were able to hold their nerve and prevent the bully rouge from being pushed over, in one of the most dramatic ends to a Field Game match.
The final score was 9-5 to Wotton House.