Old Dunstonians are emerging this season as the surprise contenders for promotion – having been well beaten when they were the visitors to Burlington Field last September.
Today’s result did nothing to alleviate the feeling as Folkestone were soundly beaten by a better team by 10 tries to two.
OLD DUNSTONIANS 1stXV 65 FOLKESTONE 1stXV 12
Saturday 13th January 2018 LONDON 3SE Report by Alan Schofield.
Old Dunstonians are emerging this season as the surprise contenders for promotion – having been well beaten when they were the visitors to Burlington Field last September. Conversely, Folkestone are at the other end of the table -with the famous words often uttered by Private Fraser inevitably entering into the thoughts of their supporters. Today’s result did nothing to alleviate the feeling as Folkestone were soundly beaten by a better team by 10 tries to two.
The score says it all and we must look back to the season 2004-5 since Folkestone conceded such a mass of points, and more, against them in a league match. (That match was against a Tonbridge Juddians team who were en route to much higher divisions.)
The injury list gave opportunities to two Ben Proctor and Mason Colchester-Long to join the team as a forced re-shuffle minutes before kick-off, because of travelling difficulties, brought James Lunnun into the threequarters line and it was only 6 minutes before Old Dunstonians opened their account with an all too easy break through the centre field using a dummy pass and fast backing up gave them a try on the right wing. A second try soon followed after a long kick forward bounced awkwardly for the cover defence giving the fast-following D’s backs another right wing try. Both were unconverted but the signs were ominous. 10-0.
But a penalty kick to Folkestone was put into touch 12 metres out gave the visitors possession from the line out -followed by an eight-man moving maul as they forced their way forward against a resilient block of players – and the eight men became 10 men as Eustace and Palmieri joined in to and force the final metre for Callum Gibson to score the try. Seyhan Fell converted and the score was 10-7.
Folkestone conceded only one penalty against them in the first half, but this was slotted easily from a straight 30 metres extending D’s lead top 13-7, and then a blow to the team as James Mead was escorted off with bleeding knee injury. Jason Baker replaced him in another reshuffle.
Old Dunstonians showed they had both skill and speed, stretching Folkestone cover tackles over the full width of the field – and this they managed well. Unfortunately, The Stones could not manage the same level of attacking tactics when they had the ball – and a series of frustrating minor errors only served to feed their opponents opportunities
The testing period was over when D’s used fast passing, interlinking and speed to create two more tries on the right wing earning them the four try bonus point and a 25-7 half time score.
Only three minutes into the second half Seyhan Fell launched a 40-metre punt into the D’s 22 metre zone that was collected by D’s to start a superb piece of running and passing rugby at its best – and although The Stones covered well, they could not catch up with the fast, open play that resulted in the fifth try being scored under the posts. 32-7.
This try was significant, firstly as it took D’s into a winning lead, but it also gave them added confidence. In the remaining 30 minutes of the game the spectators were treated to an exhibition of flowing rugby from Old Dunstonians such that has rarely been seen in this league in this season. Folkestone covered and tackled gamely – James Archer and Mason Colchester-Long were given their chance, but even fresh faces could do nothing to help. Try after try followed – on the left wing, the right wing and in the centre. Although the line-outs and the scrums were shared evenly Folkestone had no answer to skills of Old Dunstonians. Five more tries were added to take their tally to 65-7.
But in the closing minutes a well taken penalty put The Stones in an attacking position 12 metres from the try line. A catch and drive from the line out saw an almost identical try to that in the first half being scored - with all the forwards in a massive final effort, heaving D’s back for Scott Stewart to touchdown. 65-12.
Folkestone have had their own glory days, as this one was for D’s, and no doubt they will come again. But on this day, there was little to celebrate. Little also for the small band of loyal Folkestone supporters – especially when they found that they had been invited to a lovely luncheon – but Alex Ruddock’s inexperience with technology failed to pick up the invitation and therefore the team of four cold and hungry supporters had to make do with nuts and crisps – until the D’s committee saw their plight and let them have the remains of the delicious cow pie. The day was also marred by Glenn Foreman’s navigation on the way there and Alex Ruddock’s circuitous directions on the return – taking 30 minutes longer than the recommended route suggested by the writer. It is possible that these members will be called to a disciplinary meeting of the Old Farts Committee next Thursday. I hope they will be.
Team: Alex Green, Steve Doughty, Bob Porter; David Jarvis, Callum Gibson; Colby Hayward, Liam Trinder, Scott Stewart; Callum Palmieri, Kyle Deakin; James Lunnun, John Eustace (Capt.), Ben Proctor, Seyhan Fell; James Mead.
Subs: James Archer, Mason Colchester-Long, Jason Baker.
Scorers: Callum Gibson 5; Seyhan Fell 2; Scott Stewart 5.