A real humdinger that proved too much for Aylesford (1s)
The ref seemed to have more cards than a Christmas postman.
Pre-arrival ‘Bridge were mumbling about a possible tryfest as we traveled to struggling Aylesford, murmurs of 100-0 were being flung around. This was definitely not to be the case as our opposition were slightly bolstered by the 9 first team players that donned the 3's attire. The bench all looked leaner than a decent butcher shop window and I though that we may be in for a very painful afternoon session.
Kick off time, the kick didn’t go 10, scrum Aylesford. The bridge scrum dominated with the forceful front row of C. Mitchell, Miller and Decoteau. Backed with the 5 athletes that proved to run our oppo ragged.
Tackles were flying in from all over the park, none more so than the 2 Sams (Rickets and Tan), both really setting the tone for the match.
The stalemate was broken after 12 gruelling minutes with Lewis Bowen showing a real turn of pace to finish under the sticks. Conversion slotted 7-0.
Soon to be pegged back by the London 3s team, who thinking that they’d hammer us, cockily opted to attempt the drop goal conversion. Their tight head prop missed! 7-5, game on!!!
The next scores belonged to Edenbridge. Lee Roberts, maturing into a very very good leader, took the Bulls by the horns and duly pinged over for 3 points (twice) 13-5.
Back charged the Bulls with a very well deserved try of their own. Relentless bridge defence eventually broken after a period of severe domination by the attacking home team.Cocky conversion number 2 missed, this time by the open side flanker. 13-10.
Not to be out done, 'Bridge fancied one last burst before the half time oranges. A huge cross field kick by Roberts, hunted down by Bowen and Rickets. The resulting line out won and after a short period of scruffy play, Rob Mitchell popped over the line for his 12th try if the campaign.
Half time 20-10.
The team talk seemed very calm and collected, concentrating on what we did well in the 1st half and how we were going to manage the multitude of 1st team players that were about to enter the fold.
‘Bridge heads stayed up, and booming tackle after booming tackle kept the Bulls giants a mile away from our try line. Impenetrable defence was definitely the key to getting anything from this game.
A rather swanky punch up started as the frustrated home team and Jamie Bennett went hell for leather, 2 yellow cards, a fair decision. For the next 10 minutes though tempers rose as the Bulls frustration mounted. Behaviour only normally seen from the ladies who play football, was to the fore from the Bulls. Although, I think Jack Miller has made a new best friend. I think they had forgotten who was winning!
Back to the white line.... a huge run from ‘junkyard dog’, Craig Decoteau, off loaded to Spike Smith who ran half of the pitch, pass to Lewis to sprint it in ahead of the quickly retreating defence. 25-10.
We would have gladly ended proceedings there, as Aylesford looked to be strengthening yet again. But still 15 minutes to go, the game was anyone’s.
More swinging handbags reduced the home side to 14, with the Bulls very athletic 10 shown a straight red card for doing what everyone else wants to do, punching Lee Roberts in the face. (Sorry Lee). Then they were 13 for a rather tame yellow for a late tackle.
Not to be outdone by Bowen overtaking him in the try race, there was just enough time for our #8 tank, Rob Mitchell to get over for try number 4 in the corner. Final score 30-10 in the visitors favour.
Rarely do we get to witness greatness, but today we did. Huge performances from every player, a 1st team debut for academy youth Jack Plunkett and great heart and skill shown all over the park.
Next week we welcome Maidstone to the amphitheatre of dreams, and the Bulls return to their china shop.
Man of the match - a difficult decision as everyone was awesome. Eventually I plumped for Spike Smith. A brilliant performance in defence and attack. Are you actually made of iron?
Dick of the day - was easy. Jack Miller for his perpetual irritation of the Bulls. Did you get their centres phone number?
by Mike Whitehead