Success in First Away Game
A plethora of tries for 'Bridge including a quick-fire second-half hattrick for Lewis Bowen sees a comfortable away victory secured.
A strong, attacking start saw Edenbridge on the scoresheet within two minutes once again; strong running and an excellent carry from Bobby Weaver saw Sam Tan over for the first of his two tries of the game. Sadly the score proved to be too wide for Lee Roberts on the occasion so 'Bridge led 0-5.
A common theme of the open quarter was of an Edenbridge side not fronting up in defence; uncharacteristic poor restart work saw the rangy Maidstone winger collect the dropout and set the home team on the front-foot. Initially 'Bridge seemed to struggle to adapt to a pick-and-go power-game and eventually 'Stone's forward momentum so their scrum half over for their opening try which duly converted to leave 'Bridge trailing 7-5.
In what was a tit-for-tat opening 20 minutes, 'Bridge were next to score with a strong contender for try of the season. Sam Tan fielded a long kick deep by Maidstone and set off on a trademark mazy-run. From the ensuing breakdown, 'Stones were stretched and the ball was spun wide to Dominic Mitchell lurking in the wide channels. He was ably supported by Nick Tingley who ran a storming support-line out onto the 5m line. Drawing the tackle, the pass was spun wide once again to Tingley for him to finish the length of the field effort in a perfect team try. Again though the kick was too wide for Roberts but 'Bridge had a three-point cushion, 7-10.
Back came Maidstone again and again, sloppy restart work gifted them the front-foot leading almost immediately to their second converted try. 'Bridge trailed 14-10 despite playing the more ambitious game.
Once against, straight from the restart, 'Bridge had their answer to home team; Bobby Weaver was next on the score sheet with a standard Weaver solo break darting in from the home sides 22. An easy conversion this time for Roberts to put 'Bridge 14-17 up. Weaver should have had a second within five minutes but for a high tackle only a yard from the Stone's try-line. Despite getting back to his feet and finishing the job, unfortunately, the referee didn't see what all the players and all the touchline had seen. In blowing his whistle and raising his arm, he was in fact signally for a penalty to Maidstone for Weaver not releasing the ball in the tackle. A baffling decision but once which wasn't going to keep Bobby Weaver out for long as he went over 5 minutes later for a duly converted try. 14-24 now and 'Bridge starting to play with real confidence having shored up the defence around the fringes.
The final score of the half was so nearly another beautiful try; playing with penalty advantage a nearly immaculately weighted cross-field kick from Lee Roberts just proving a fingertip too far for Lewis Bowen. Back to the infringement went the referee and 'Bridge opted to keep the scoreboard moving with a simple three-pointer in front of the posts. 14-28 at halftime then and 'Bridge attacking looking as dangerous as it has all season.
The opening twenty minutes of the second half passed without too much to report save for Sam Tan's second try; a just reward for his running lines all day; dropping in behind a decoy Andy Ward run, his turn of acceleration left the Maidstone defence for dead and he was in for a try from the halfway line. 'Bridge, feeling comfortable with their lead, were perhaps guilty of trying to play too much rugby and the ambition often came unstuck with one pass too many or just succumbing to the knock-on in the slippery conditions following a quick downpour prior to halftime.
It was, in fact, Maidstone next on the scoresheet courtesy of a baffling penalty try decision at the first offence with the home team continuing with their pick-and-go game at the Edenbridge line. No warning given, no previous penalty and certainly not a definite scoring attempt but under the posts the referee went.
'Bridge weren't to stay quiet for too long however with Lewis Bowen blowing the cobwebs out with a rapid-fire hat-trick of tries. In five minutes, 'Bridge scored 3 converted tries to put the game well and truly out of sight of the home team. They weren't done there however and Robert Mitchell still had to add his score to ensure he has now scored in every one of his appearances for Edenbridge.
Credit to Maidstone however who kept coming and were determined to finish the game with a flurry. A series of Edenbridge infringements saw Maidstone tack quick-penalty after quick-penalty and march their way up the field for a consolation score with the final play of the game.
Our thanks go to Maidstone for their great hospitality and another game played in great spirit. We look forward welcoming you to the Rec later in the season.
Next weekend, 'Bridge face Sevenoaks IV at home in what looks to be a firecracker of a match. Sevenoaks are also unbeaten having dispatched Swanley by forty points this weekend. We hope to have a second XV out on the same afternoon at home with staggered kick-offs so if you fancy dusting off your boots, or just are looking for a great day out at the Club, this coming Saturday, 7th October looks to be a great day to do it!
Tries: Tan (2), Tingley, Weaver (2), Bowen (3), Mitchell R
Cons: Roberts (7)
MOTM: Nick Tingley
15. Lytham (rep. Helps), 14. Tingley, 13. Tan, 12. Presland, 11. Friend, 10. Roberts, 9. Horner, 1. Patterson (rep. Miller), 2. Mitchell D (rep. Read), 3. Mitchell C, 4. Ward, 5. Bright, 6. Weaver, 7. Bowen, 8. Mitchell R, 16. Read, 17. Miller, 18. Helps, 19. White