A very, very close fought loss for the 1st XV! But a losing bonus point was gained.
The Stones have had a terrible start to the season with injuries, holidays and missing players – having now to depend heavily upon support from the second and third XV’s.
BROMLEY 1st XV 27 FOLKESTONE 1st XV
Saturday 23rd September 2017 London 3 SE Report by Alan Schofield.
Folkestone missed last year’s fixture between the two Clubs as Bromley were promoted – but normality was restored as relegation followed, after a difficult season for them, in the higher division. History shows that in the last ten matches Folkestone have the edge 6 – 4 in wins before this tussle and now, remarkably, six games out of the last eleven have finished with three points or less between the teams.
The Stones have had a terrible start to the season with injuries, holidays and missing players – having now to depend heavily upon support from the second and third XV’s. They started with a front row, whose combined age tops 120 years – who, to their enormous credit did their bit, and more, in mostly holding the scrums against a bigger pack. So take a bow Bob Porter, Alex Box, Thomas Snare – and after a five year break Adam Bloomfield!
In a final seven minutes of play, four of which were in mysteriously extended injury time Bromley were awarded a penalty try that seemingly defied credulity – to win a game that they marginally deserved to win. And when the Bromley supporters clapped and laughed, it was not clear whether they were reacting to the players or some very unusual decisions.
The Stones had a bright start with Adam Tolman breaking loose and running clear – only to be brought back for a knocked on ball, and then Josh Holt sprinting down the left wing but just failing to touch the ball down over the try line. The Folkestone backs were running with the ball and putting Bromley into full defensive mode. Guy Carney, growing in confidence in his second game, looked well in control of kicking and marking his opposite number – put play downfield for Seyhan Fell to open the scoring with a penalty kick. 0 – 3.
Three more penalties were exchanged in the first 22 minutes to bring to score to 6 – 6, with Folkestone looking the better of two sides in open play. Nevertheless, whilst holding their own in the scrums, they were outjumped and outplayed in the line-outs. And when Bromley kicked a penalty into touch on the five metre line, Folkestone could not hold the ensuing well-rehearsed ten man shove that barrelled them back over the line and a Bromley try, subsequently converted. 13 – 6.
Thomas Snare and Bob Porter forced their way through the middle, making ground, and Adam Tolman made a 30 metre break before being pulled down and then, in a move that deserved a try Jeremie Cowell released Adam Tolman from the back of a scrum, the ball was fed quickly through Jon Morton to ‘Thommo’ Murray – Seyhan Fell joined the line and made it almost to the try line throwing an inside pass to John Eustace – who just not control it sufficiently to make contact with the ground. The third denial of try scoring moves! But Seyhan Fell, on the point of half time took to the score to 13 – 9 with a well taken penalty.
The second half started with Coach Darren Molloy extorting his team to tackle low as the big Bromley pack was consistently making ground before being brought down, often by two or three men. Bromley now had a game plan to test The Stones with winning line outs and eight men mauls. The situation was helped by some poorly placed kicks out of defence by Folkestone – giving possession away. Thus, the home side began to look the stronger team in the forwards, unhappily for them, not always in full obedience to the laws of the game, conceding a string of penalties. Their tactics worked again when, from a line-out, the play was moved infield for the Bromley forwards to set up another eight man rolling maul up to the five metre line, for the scrum half to seize the ball and run round a mass of players to score next to the posts. 20 – 14.
Folkestone used all their substitutes in an effort to change the mode of play with Aaron Robbins, Adam Bloomfield and Liam Purdie coming into the fray.
And the Stones, to their credit came back strongly, helped by an ever mounting penalty count against the home side. Winning a ball from a scrum 15 metres from the try line in the centre field, Adam Tolman snatched the ball from the back row – barraged through two players, side stepped another and touched down behind the posts to give Seyhan Fell the easiest of conversions 20 – 19 after 68 minutes.
Now Folkestone were inspired, and Bromley were rattled as we entered the most remarkable final 15 minutes of play. Bromley missed a penalty from 25 metres just wide of the posts and then a four minute continuous period of play followed with Bromley attacking on both wings and Folkestone defending effectively. Jack Brooks, John Eustace, Jon Morton , Liam Trinder and Jeremie Cowell all tackled ferociously throughout the game. But eventually Bromley created a fast move to the left, with an overlap – and the final pass actually on the try line – when Seyhan Fell snatched the ball in flight and hotfooted 100 metres up field to put Folkestone in the lead 20 – 24, increased to 20 – 26 by the easy conversion – much against the run of the immediate past play - and only three minutes of normal time remaining.
Folkestone held on and looked to have won the game in stoppage time. But the Bromley were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, the reason for which flummoxed all and sundry – however the easy three points was not enough so Bromley kicked for touch. Unfortunately – in full view of those immediately behind the ball it was kicked into the in-goal area. The Bromley touch judge did not raise his flag, Folkestone ran back to the 22 metre line for the drop kick restart, but the referee, presumably unsighted and therefore undecided, consulted the touch judge and then amazingly gave Bromley a five metre line-out. Now, in the fifth minute of added time (with only two brief stoppages) Bromley won the ball with three extra players immediately joining the ensuing maul and, within seconds, powering the ball over the line on the far left hand touchline. And then to the incredulity of players and spectators alike awarded a penalty try to Bromley giving them the exact seven points they needed for victory following four completely astonishing decisions in an extended period of extra time!
Next week Folkestone take on Old Dunstonians, at home, and, having been suspended for three weeks, your match reporter will be the renowned cruise expert, world traveller and apple grower extraordinaire, Steve Hughes, (who knows a bit about rugby as well).
Team: Seyhan Fell; Thomo Murray, Jon Morton (Capt.), Jack Brooks, Josh Holt; Guy Carney, Adam Tolman; Bob Porter, Alex Box, Thomas Snare; Kieran Smith, Billy Monk; Jeremie Cowell, Liam Trinder, John Eustace.
Subs: Aaron Robbins, Adam Bloomfield, Liam Purdie
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 2, 2; Adam Tolman 5.