Folkestone showed that they can win games when confident with running with the ball.
There were too many good performances to nominate a Man of the Match but the accolade goes to the whole squad who showed spirit, enthusiasm and the will to win.
Folkestone 1stXV 34 Crowborough 1stXV 12
Saturday 9th December 2017. London 3SE. Report by Steve Hughes.
Prior to the match Folkestone were 8th in the League table with 23 points. Above them were two sides on 24 and 25 points respectively. Folkestone gained five points (including the bonus point for scoring 4 tries) which took them up a position to 7th. This could have been 6th but Old Williamsonians beat bottom of the table Crawley keeping them one point above Folkestone.
However, now on to the game itself. I'm afraid my trusty handheld recorder has, after nearly thirty years, given up the ghost, but I was not aware of it when the match started, consequently this match is from memory (fading I might add) so please excuse any lapses in continuity. The match started in sparkling fashion when Ben Brooks broke in from the wing to take the ball up to the visitors try line but when tackled found his brother Jack able to pick up the ball and score a try which Seyhan Fell converted. 7 – 0. All this within 90 seconds of the kick off and within minutes Seyhan Fell slotted a penalty to give a 10-0 lead. The Folkestone pack were just managing to hold their own in the set scrums but were struggling in the line outs. It still took Crowborough 15 minutes to get into the home half of the field. From loose play in the visitors Red Zone, John Eustace popped out of a loose maul and crashed over for another try which was again converted by Seyhan Fell making it a comfortable 17 - 0 inside 25 minutes. It then appeared that Folkestone took their foot off the throttle and allowed the visitors to score a push over try from a loose maul which they duly converted giving the half time score 17 -7.
Folkestone had the superior three-quarter line but did not get enough ball to capitalise on that advantage. Several scoring passes were either delayed too long or were passed forward to such an extent that tries went begging. As the game progressed Crowborough got further into the game and tried throwing the ball around from all areas of the pitch. Such tactics took them down into the Folkestone 22 area from where they manufactured a push over try from a loose maul which was converted and put them back in the game again at 17 - 12. I can't vouch for the sequence of the following tries but the first that came to mind was from pressure by Folkestone near the right corner flag only to see the sylph like figure of Mat Roots emerge from a melee and pop the ball to Steve Doughty who crossed from 5 metres out (he blames my eye sight and informs me that it was from 25 metres). No conversion and saw the score increase to a more comfortable level of 22 - 12.
The half back pair of Calum Guy and Guy Carney are developing into a quality combination and for two youngsters (still under 20) punch above their weight in the tackles. Scott Stewart caused havoc with his runs from number eight and with Sam Beech they were a marauding pair all over the field putting in some crunching tackles and often breaking the gain line. Billy Monk scored the next try following a period of pick and drive to burst through the middle for a try which Seyhan Fell again converted 29-12.
Folkestone's defence was solid under severe pressure and try as they might, Crowborough could not break the stranglehold. Several breaks from No.8 by Scott Stewart added some sparkle when inter-passing with the back line and John Eustace was prominent with his no-nonsense tackles and bull-dozing runs into the opposition. Folkestone suffered two yellow cards as opposed to one for the visitors. Jason Baker, on only his second appearance in the First XV scored his first try when fed by Seyhan Fell, to cruise over in the right corner which went unconverted. The final score of 34 - 12 was well deserved and there were too many good performances to nominate a Man of the Match but the accolade goes to the whole squad who showed spirit, enthusiasm and the will to win.
Team: James Mead; Seyhan Fell, John Eustace (Capt.), Jack Brooks, Ben Brooks; Callum Palmieri, Guy Carney; Bob Porter, Adam Bloomfield, Mat Roots; David Jarvis, Billy Monk; Sam Beech, Colby Hayward, Scott Stewart.
Subs: Jason Baker, Jake Ellis, Steve Doughty.
Scorers: Jack Brooks 5; Seyhan Fell 2, 3, 2, 2; John Eustace 5; Steve Doughty 5; Billy Monk 5; Jason Baker 5.