Folkestone come out on top in a tough encounter with Old Williamsonians.
I have previously mentioned the indomitable club and team spirit that exists at Folkestone and it was this that prevailed in an exciting match, the result of which made thoughts of relegation fade.
FOLKESTONE 1stXV 20 OLD WILLIAMSONIANS 1stXV 12
Saturday 11th November 2017 London 3SE report by Alan Schofield.
With the two top teams in the division failing to beat Old Wills, Folkestone must have known they were up against formidable opposition – and with yet another team made up of reserves, new selections and repositioned players – the omens were not good before this match.
However, I have previously mentioned the indomitable club and team spirit that exists at Folkestone and it was this that prevailed in an exciting match, the result of which made thoughts of relegation fade.
There was a lively attitude to Folkestone’s early play as they set up attacks through the centre - and on each wing - after some crisp passing movements. Kyle Deakin failed with an early penalty attempt from 25 metres. Unfortunately, possession was lost on three occasions with short grubber kicks that only served to give the ball to the opposition, but the Old Wills defensive kicks were well fielded. Tom Snare blocked a 22 metre drop kick and worried the defence as he made ground up to the 5 metre zone.
Although Folkestone were outweighed in the scrums, they managed to play quick ball to maintain advantage. Passing and handling were good and when the ball was quickly moved through to the left, John Eustace fooled his opposite numbers with a well disguised dummy pass, then releasing Josh Holt, unopposed, 25 metres out. Josh Holt ran through fast to score under the posts giving an easy conversion to Kyle Deakin 7 – 0, after 12 minutes of unrelenting attack.
Josh Holt again was in the game as he intercepted a long pass and David Jarvis had a good run down the right wing. But Old Wills showed their other results were well earned as they turned on the pressure towards the end of the first quarter. But having shown some excellent attacking moves, Folkestone were now fully engaged in defence as Wills strongly went for an equalizer. The whole Folkestone team resisted three 5 metre scrums, two 5 metre line outs and three penalty kicks in a massive effort to prevent a score before they were undone by an overlap on the far left wing for Wills to score, but too far away for a successful conversion. 7 – 5.
Kieran Smith was injured and Steve Doughty replaced him before half time as The Stones regained their attacking mode. Callum Guy distributed passes fast and accurately from the back of rucks, mauls and set scrums – enabling Guy Carney to link with Jack Brooks to force Old Wills backwards. But Wills had their own moments in attack all of which contributed to an excellent first half in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
The second half exceeded the first half in excitement and fast moving rugby. Steve Doughty charged through the middle and made 30 metres before being hauled down. This was followed by an excellent move started again by Steve Doughty, through Callum Guy and Jordan Godden putting John Eustace over the line, but he was well held up by the Will’s defence and unable to touch the ball down.
Sam Beech was rested after a solid performance in the line-outs and loose play and on came Connor Leather to go to hooker. The Stones were then rewarded for their consistently good play against very worthy opponents, who, however gave away two converted penalties by Kyle Deakin. 13-5. The forwards involving Adam Bloomfield and Alex Green set up a 22 metre maul when Tom Snare popped up from behind it with the ball – he crashed through two tackle attempts and dodged another as he powered through all the way to the line to score a well-deserved try for The Stones. And when Kyle Deakin converted it the score was 20 – 5 and Old Wills found themselves having to score three times to win.
Although they managed to score a good converted try, 20-12, rewarding their hard working and fast backs, it wasn’t enough. A try was denied to ‘Scotty’ Stewart as he sprinted alone down the left wing to fling himself over the line, but the referee adjudged (without the support of the Old Will’s touch judge) that he had put a toe on the touchline. But now The Stones were rampant as they finished the game as they started it in all-out attack with some excellent passing moves left, right and centre, but full credit must be given to Old Wills for constricting Folkestone to only two tries in the game.
After an indifferent start to the season this was a truly encouraging achievement to worthily beat a good team with a side that had never before played together and missing key players. The whole team is to be congratulated for this and, in particular, Thomas Snare and Scott Stewart who were indomitable.
N.B. Old Williamsonians website refers to the team’s nickname as Old Willies, but not wishing to in draw comparisons, and in deference to the sensitivities Messrs. Hughes, Cribbo, Ruddock and Foreman I have abbreviated this to Old Wills.
Team: Kyle Deakin; Josh Holt; John Eustace (Capt.), Jack Brooks, Thomo Murray; Guy Carney, Callum Palmieri; Thomas Snare, Adam Bloomfield, Alex Green; David Jarvis, Kieran Smith; Sam Beech, Scott Stewart, Jeremie Cowell.
Subs: Steve Doughty, Connor Leather, Jordan Godden.
Scorers: Josh Holt 5; Kyle Deakin 2, 3, 3, 2; Thomas Snare 5.