Yet again Folkestone fielded another changed team
Folkestone left it very late to wake up and beat the bottom of the table Sheppey.
Sheppey 1stXV 20 Folkestone 1stXV 27
Saturday 4th. November 2017. London 3 South East. Report by Alex Ruddock.
Yet again Folkestone fielded another changed team, Guy Carney back off his holiday, Alex Green stepping up at prop, Jack Barton returning to the fray as a lock after a season out, substitutes Dave Jarvis stepping up and Connor Leather in his first Senior game. James Lunnun flyhalf the previous week moved out to outside centre. These changes showed in the first half when defensive play was disrupted and some poor tackling leaked three Sheppey tries. Along with Folkestone giving penalties away, and half time arrived at 15-8 to Sheppey, things were looking ominous again.
Sheppey started off with a converted pushover try after six minutes, their larger forwards bulldozing eight metres forward from a lineout with Folkestone too upright in the maul rather than getting their shoulders down into a pushing/holding position. 7-0. It is obvious that a long session on the scrummaging machine needs to be introduced so that body positioning and the tightness of the scrum can improve. Kieran Smith suffered an injury and came off to be treated with David Jarvis coming on to replace him.
Seyhan Fell punished Sheppey with a long-range penalty kick to bring the score back to 7-3. However, from the restart the Sheppey backs ran some good lines to get down into the Folkestone half, this eventually resulted in a scrum to Sheppey on the five metre line, which then powered over for another pushover try. 12-3. This time from the restart it was Folkestone’s turn to strike back quickly with James Lunnun on the receiving end of some timely passing to go over for an unconverted try. 12-8. After a short while with some desperate defence Folkestone were penalised for coming into the maul from the side. The penalty was neatly struck. 15-8. James Lunnun then had to come off injured to be replaced by Michael Gardner.
From a scrum Scott Stewart broke open and started an attack with Captain John Eustace, Michael Gardner making more ground and Seyhan Fell kicked downfield but in the ensuing maul Folkestone were penalised which allowed Sheppey to clear their twenty-two and move well into Folkestone’s half. There is a period with Sheppey trying to bludgeon their way through Folkestone’s defence and although the defence held it was only after several poor tackles before the attack was halted.
So, half time came with the score, still at 15-8.
Two minutes into the second half and Folkestone stood and watched as the big, tall, Sheppey centre broke through several tackles and stepping out of tackles on a forty metre jinking run to score an unconverted try. 20-8.
Eventually halfway through the half Michael Gardner and John Eustace do their own bit of bulldozing through the opposition to combine with youngster Guy Carney who is able to jink in and score a try under the posts. Seyhan Fell converts. 20-15. It starts to look as if the visitors have at last woken up! The elderly hooker Adam Bloomfield is replaced by debutant 18 year old Connor Leather.
Having restarted the game Sheppey, again came at Folkestone, trying to batter their way through which resulted in Folkestone infringing in front of their posts, a sitter of a penalty kick! However the kick went quite wide to the delight of the Folkestone side and their small band of elderly supporters.
Then in the thirtysecond minute of the half Kieran Smith (back on) made a bulldozing run himself and recycled the ball out wide for Josh Holt to round his opposite number to score wide out. Seyhan Fell ‘s conversion kick hit the left upright and went wide. 20-20!
Sheppey now came back with a vengeance realising that with time quickly disappearing were starting to make mistakes and somehow John Eustace intercepted one of their passes and streaked away 70 metres upfield, out running the home side to score under the posts! Seyhan Fell obliged with the conversion. 20-27.
With injury time remaining Sheppey fought their way into Folkestone’s twentytwo area and eventually gave away a penalty, Seyhan Fell kicked to touch, but it didn’t go out so he hurriedly followed up and got a foot to the ball just before the approaching Sheppey back and managed to get the ball over the touchline. A sigh of relief as the Referee blew his whistle for full time!
Yet again the young half back pairing of Callum Palmieri and Guy Carney stood out, with good contributions from Kyle Deakin, John Eustace and Josh Holt, those in the pack. However although it showed stickability from the team they still need to have a settled side and to practice together and hone their skills on a Tuesday and Thursday at training.
The bonus point win lifted Folkestone from tenth to ninth and Sheppey remain propping up the table.
Team: Seyhan Fell; Josh Holt, James Lunnun, John Eustace (Capt.), Kyle Deakin; Guy Carney, Callum Palmieri; Thomas Snare, Adam Bloomfield, Alex Green; Jack Barton, Kieran Smith; Sam Beech, Jeremie Cowell, Scott Stewart.
Subs: Connor Leather, David Jarvis, Michael Gardner.
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 3, 2, 2; James Lunnun 5; Guy Carney 5; Josh Holt 5; John Eustace 5.