Crows roost on the 'Bridge to deny the win
With a huge urge for some competitive rugby, we were forced to travel over to Crowborough to take on their 2nd xv. This was because old Gravesendians were unable to travel to the rec to fulfill our league fixture. (Scared I think)
Upon arrival to my old club, we noticed the sheer size of the opposition. Big lads! Still, as we are pretty awesome, it didn’t faze us. Game on.
With the privilege of playing on the 1st team pitch, reasonable weather and attending fans of at least 10 we were in for a fun afternoon.
A good kick off and chase from Edenbridge led to a dominant period of play. The travelling pack dominating their way up the park resulting in a breakaway try for regular scorer Robert Mitchell. Well converted by Lee Roberts. 0-7 inside the 1st 15 minutes.
Edenbridge claimed the restart and began barging their way back up the park. Unfortunately, Crowborough proved to be more than able at the breakdown. This resulted in a turnover and a booming release kick, deep into the ‘bridge 22. Unable to claim the high ball and a favourable bounce for the home team, they scored completely against the run of play. 7-7
As always, it wouldn’t be long before pace man Lewis Bowen was into the game. Out of position he received the ball from a delayed Jack Plunkett pass. Good finish from about 30m out. 7-14
From try scorer to ‘lucky to stay on the pitch’, backtracking Bowen managed to catch the very quick Crowborough centre. Only problem was he caught him in the jugular, denying a certain try. Penalty try and a slightly false scoreline of 14-14.
With half time looming, there was just enough time for another score. A tap and run penalty in the Crowborough half. Long pass from Lee Roberts at 10, gathered by Aam Bright, who ran it in from 25 yards, including a dummy pass to beat ex-bridge player, Billy Stevens.
Half time 24-19 in the away teams favour.
Onto the 2nd period. It took only 4 minutes for Lewis Bowen to notch up his 2nd try if the afternoon. Running almost half of the pitch and beating no fewer than 8 tackles to pop it down under the posts. 14-26 and surely out of sight.
Here came the changes. Dan Rowland, Tamás Tolnai, Jack Miller and a debut for Kevin Parker.
Uncharacteristically, the bridge defence had a little 10 minute blip, as we seemed to switch off for 10 minutes. This resulted in 2 tries in quick succession for Crowborough and amazingly that brought the scored level.
Although the scores were even, the amount of players per team wasn’t, Courtesy of a couple of punches and some ‘80s style raking’ from Adam Bright. Yellow card.
Injury brought a sad end to what had been a really fun and competitive and friendly match. We all wish Ben Weston a quick recovery and hopefully the hospital wasn’t too boring.
There was another incident at the end of the match that caused unanswerable conflict. A Spike Smith high tackle on the defensive try line looked certain for a yellow card and penalty try. But, the ref blew the whistle due to Bens neck injury. Then calling the game and never signalling for the penalty try. This left a tad of confusion as to the final score. I’m going with 26-26 whereas Crowborough are favouring 33-26 score line.
Regardless, a really good afternoon with a good bunch of lads.
Man of the match - Ben Weston. A constant pest around the breakdown and countless big hits. Unfortunately, due the pending ambulance he couldn’t drink his drink, so 3rd choice Chris Mitchell took it for him.
Dick of the day - my choice was Lee Roberts, for the rather amusing and calamitous reactions under the high ball. He strongly disagreed with this, so we plumped for ale guzzler Jack Miller instead.
So, for the first time in my life, I am stuck between 2 birds. The crows last week and the swans next. Shame we couldn’t have played ‘O Geese’.
by Mike Whitehead