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Kent 2 2014-15

By Dominic Mitchell

The First XV will be entering their second season in Kent 2 (level 10) in September. There will be some new faces this time out.

A brief guide to the sides making up Shepherd Neame Kent 2 in 2014-15:

  • Askeans
  • Colours: Blue, White and Black
  • Askes will have been disappointed to miss out on one of the promotion spots at the end of last season finishing fourth in the final wash up. They led the way for most of the early season. In last season's games it ended one apiece with 'Bridge taking the spoils with a try bonus point at the Rec and Askes just holding on at the final whistle after a strong second half comeback by 'Bridge at Well Hall. Askes have been clear in setting out their stall as wanting to go one step further and make it into Kent 1 this time round.
  • Brockleians
  • Colours: Green, Red and Brown
  • Some might say the surprise package during the second half of the season last time out. After some middling performances in the first half of the season, Brocks came back hard at sides in the return fixtures. This surge in form saw them turn over eventual league winners Bexley, become the only side to beat 'Bridge at the Rec and knock off the other promoted side Lordswood. They capped all this off by beating Bexley for a second time in a month to walk away with the Kent Salver on County Finals Day.
  • Dartford Valley
  • Colours: Red and White
  • A difficult campaign last season saw Dartford Valley finish bottom of the pile in Kent 2, with no wins and a minus points total after an administrative points deduction. Despite some encouraging showings during the season, ultimately the season ended in disappointment with both the first and final blows coming from the ‘Bridge boys running out 31-0 winners in the season opener, and finishing the season just as strongly with a 54-12 victory over at the Leigh Academy.
  • Edenbridge
  • Colours: Black and Yellow
  • ‘Bridge experienced a slightly up and down league season last year, beating eventual promoted teams Bexley and Lordswood particular highlights, as well as defeating each team in the league at least once. Falling off the pace following the Christmas break, it was always going to be tough to challenge for those promotion spots. However, ending up just 6 points off will be a great cause for celebration following the return to the RFU set up. A lot has been said already since the close of the season about how the boys in black and yellow will approach this year, but it’s safe to say that there has been a great platform laid to build upon.
  • Faversham
  • Colours: Sky Blue and White
  • The other new boys into Kent 2 along with 'Bridge last season, their fortunes were a little different. They did however claim the end of the Black and Gold winning streak in abysmal conditions in late December. Despite this, Faversham ended up finishing second from bottom. A tough team to play on their day, and with the prospect of fiery encounters certain, ‘Bridge will be wary of both games this term.
  • Footscray
  • Colours: Royal Blue and Yellow
  • Bouncing back into Kent 2 after one season in Kent 1, the boys from the STC will have a point to prove. They finished bottom of the pile last term with only three wins. An administrative points deduction will not have helped their cause, but even the extra 5 league points would not have saved them. Of 'Cray's 3 wins, one came early season in a dominant display over fellow relegated side Shooters Hill. This result however was reversed in the return fixture so expect some fireworks from these two this year!
  • Greenwich
  • Colours: Red and Black
  • A new side to Kent 2 this season, moving back into the RFU Club Championship from the Kent Metropolitan Leagues. Greenwich finished fifth in Invicta Premier West (the equivalent league to 'Bridge's last season in the Merit tables) and have returned to Kent 2 after dropping out a few years after Edenbridge's exile began. As we know all too well, reading anything into results from Merit Table seasons is a risky business but suffice to say that Greenwich have been building well over the last two seasons and will certainly be ready for the step up.
  • New Ash Green
  • Colours: Green and Black
  • Another side who will have been disappointed to miss out on a Kent 1 spot last season, just falling at the last equal on 64 points with Lordswood but around 100 behind on points difference. NAG demolished a lacklustre 'Bridge at Punchcroft early season with 'Bridge making amends in a hard battle at the Rec during a very wet January. NAG will certainly be there or thereabouts come the end of term 2015.
  • Orpington
  • Colours: Black and Yellow
  • Orpington were one of the teams that ‘Bridge managed the league double over last season largely due to superior fitness leading to a scoring frenzy in the last 20mins of both the home and away games. A well drilled unit up front, the slope of Orpington as well as their giants in the second and back rows could very well claim a number of victims in the coming season.
  • Shooters Hill
  • Colours: Green, Blue and Red
  • The second of the sides relegated into Kent 2 for this season. Shoots finished with only two league wins and second from bottom. Interestingly they turned over Park House in the second week of the season (Park House went on to comfortably top the table and only lost twice). Their only other victories came in a win over Footscray and a (narrow) defeat of Kent 2 newcomers Greenwich in the Kent Vase.
  • Whitstable
  • Colours: Blue and White
  • As the relegated side from Kent 1 last season, expectations would have been high to see a solid performance from the Oystermen. A series of below par performances saw them finish 8th with only 4 wins to their name. 'Bridge did the double over Whitstable last season and the seven game un-beaten run began at Reeves Way in October. Whits will be a lot stronger this term out having acquired the services of ex-'Bridge (Westcombe Park and Folkestone) coach Darren Molloy to mastermind their return to glory.

Where next?

NatWest Rugby Force Update The Rugby Force weekend is creeping up on us. Here's what is planned at the Club which needs your help.
ERFC Weekly Email A new and improved weekly email service is coming from ERFC.

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