Miserable Conditions and Minimal Points
By Dominic Mitchell
'Bridge suffer first loss in a tight and messy game.
A far easier journey than for the Ash away game saw Edenbridge arrive nice and early for this away league game. Unfortunately, the grim weather was not too far behind them and arrived just in time for kick-off.
With a firm pitch but with a constant stream of rain, conditions fast became very slippery, not helped by the rather tired looking match ball which had certainly seen a lot more grip in an earlier life. It was these conditions which were to lead to a very sloppy spectacle in which the home forwards had the upper hand for a lot of the match at the set pieces while Edenbridge's backs look dangerous but were starved of ball and when it came it was often hard to keep hold of.
The home team struggled just as much with the slippery ball and 'Bridge were spared a few blushes as a result of Medway runners not being able to take the ball with them.
The majority of the game passed by as a tale of Medway looking dangerous in the scrums and from lineout-set mauls and then 'Bridge kicking the ball back following the inevitable knock-on running the ball back only to knock it on themselves.
'Bridge has the first chance to register points within only the first minute with Medway guilty of diving in off their feet over the first real ruck of the game; unfortunately the connection to the very wet ball was not great and it sliced wide.
Medway had their own shot a goal a quarter of an hour later and were dead on 3-0 the score and 'Bridge already forced into a change with Nick Tingley forced off with an ankle injury.
'Bridge sought to strike straight back though and were eventually able to unleash the dangerous running on Sam Tan who took a sluggish Medway defence by surprise. When he was eventually brought down Spike Smith was on hand to continue the mazy run for another 25 metres or so for the opening try of the match. The conversion followed the earlier penalty but the visitors now led 3-5.
Medway still sought to keep deploying their power play but time and gain they were stopped not only by weather induced errors but also by some sterling Edenbridge defence which improved phase on phase. With the game seemingly heading for stalemate, Medway eventually found a way to string together enough phases to register a score of their own way out wide in the corner.
With the score now at 8-5, 'Bridge found themselves reduced to 14 as with both substitutes used for injuries, Ben Weston also succumbed to his injuries and had to leave the field. Medway piled on the pressure for the remaining 9 minutes and came within a inch of scoring but for some last ditch heroics by Rob Mitchell, Sam Rickets and Dan Rowland who just did enough to keep Medway's handy Number 8 at bay leaving the full-time score at 8-5 to Medway.