Horner and Tan on Song to Secure the Draw
By Dominic Mitchell
The main talking point of the day was to be about the journey to the game but Sam Tan & Jamie Horner steal the headlines.
'Bridge's longest away trip of the season got off to an inauspicious start; the M20 was closed and then there was a four car pile up on the M2. As a result, the kick-off was delayed by forty minutes and even then, two players still didn't arrive until mid-way through the first half; thanks go to Ash for lending us a couple of players to tide us over for kick off.
Ash are able to field a huge pack and they made this tell during the opening twenty minutes; wave after wave of heavy ballcarriers thundered into the Black and Gold defensive line which, having no warm-up to speak of creaked and groaned, coughing up 2 converted tries and a penalty.
18-0 down, a quart of the match gone and having barely had the ball in their hands, 'Bridge would have been forgiven for thinking that promotion this season had come too early and as a side, we were not ready for this level.
How wrong we would be though; the arrival of Jamie Bennett and Alan Erskine meant that 'Bridge finally had a full complement of 8 forwards and were able to return their two loaned backs. Immediately the set-piece had some order and with the new-found possession, 'Bridge were able to do what they do best and open up the opposition defence.
Sam Tan opened up with one of his trademark incisive lines, cutting through the Green and White defenders to get 'Bridge onto the scoreboard with an unconverted try.
Directly from the following re-start, Jamie Horner slotting in at flyhalf for the injured Lee Roberts showed the deftest of feet to skip and dance his way through the home defence for a sixty-metre try of his own which he duly slotted the extras for 17-12 and much more like it from 'Bridge.
Eager to show that it isn't just the Edenbridge backs who can play with tempo, the forwards were next on the scoresheet courtesy of Adam Bright who ran in untouched from the 22 following a sustained period of quick phase play. With Jamie Horner on point from the tee, 'Bridge reach half time 17-19 to the good.
The second half was to produce a real spectacle of rugby for the neutral (nail-biting for an interested party) with end-to-end action. Despite a further try for Ash and a slotted penalty, Sam Tan was too busy setting out his stall for leading try scorer for the season. Another scything line from him, fed by the young Horner saw him over for his second try of the afternoon. Though unconverted, Horner was on point from the tee to add three points from a penalty; 27 a piece then.
The drama was not to end there though as with the clock red, Ash pushed hard to secure a vital score. Struggle to contain the big runners again, 'Bridge conceded a penalty on the halfway line. The only viable option for Ash was to elect for the post and 'Bridge stood powerless to do anything about. As the ball was struck, hearts were in mouths and it just drifted wide at the last second.
Ball dead, game over and a well-deserved draw for 'Bridge to open their account for the season.