Ah Ha! This is more like the Folkestone we all know and revere.
By Alex Ruddock
Park House have won the last two encounters but had their comeuppance against a team who were stronger, faster and more inventive than them.
FOLKESTONE 1stXV 33 PARK HOUSE 1stXV 12
Saturday 27th October 2018. London 3SE. Report from Alan Schofield.
Ah Ha! This is more like the Folkestone we all know and revere.
Having had a troublesome start to this season The Stones, at last, showed that they are capable of converting their skills into points, rather than scrums, line-outs or penalties. Park House have won the last two encounters but had their comeuppance against a team who were stronger, faster and more inventive than them.
The Park House Club had the misfortune to be severely vandalised by a hoard of ‘travellers’ (as we have to call them nowadays) in 55 ‘caravans’, a couple of months ago – where they suffered considerable damage to their clubhouse and pitches. The support and help of the many neighbouring Clubs was symptomatic of the spirit of the game – and this spirit prevailed in this match, fought out in a clean and enjoyable 90 minutes of rugby – refereed in a most competent manner by Mr. Jordan Davies.
With regular players back in the fold, after last week’s drubbing, but The Stones looked small in comparison to some of the pantagruelian forwards of the opposition. In addition, they had to face four players of 6’3” or more. And, coupled with all this there was a palpable kakorrhaphiophobia which was not surprising looking at their lowly league position. But all this was to nought as Seyhan Fell scored an early try after an inside break by John Eustace, the conversion was added and, hurray, Folkestone were in the lead! 7 – 0.
This was pegged back to 7 - 5 after the aforementioned Park House forwards forced a line out from the restart, seized the ball and rumbled over the line like an incoming wave rolling back the shingle on Hythe beach. But worry not – in spite of losing the early line-outs and scrums, The Stones were defending well and looking sharp in attack. Jack Cox broke loose with Adam Tolman in support. Then Callum Palmieri broke away, releasing Adam Tolman whose pass to Seyhan Fell was adjudged to have been forward as the ‘try’ was denied.
Play, for a time was, stultified mid-field, but there was excitement as firstly the home pack moved play forwards by 20 metres in a tremendous movement before Jordan Godden fought clear and Daniel Hillier was brought down on the try line – but injuring his quadricep muscle in the process. Kyle Deakin substituted. But Folkestone were now on top – two try attempts were denied as they attacked from the 5-metre line. The Stones had three scrums whilst in strong attack against a solid defence, but Park House didn’t spot or stop a quick play between Liam Trinder and Callum Palmieri with Seyhan Fell lurking in the background. A nifty pass and Seyhan Fell was over before Park House knew where the ball was. Too far out to convert but a half time lead of 12 – 5 possibly flattered Park House who had shown strength and resilience, but not being able to break through the effective tackling that the Folkestone back row of Scott Stewart, Jordan Godden and Liam Trinder imposed on them.
Park House could not have been pleased to see the man mountain of Mat Roots coming on the field for Bob Porter, immediately on the resumption and when Callum Palmieri forced them back to their 18-metre mark it was business as before. A penalty relieved the pressure for them but then Jack Cox darted down the right wing for 25 metres, the ball came infield for Adam Tolman to run clear with Seyhan Fell in support but – oh no! Yet another try denied – this time by a forward pass. Then Martin Murray found space on the blind side of a scrum, ran 20 metres and passed to Rob Godden in support, who was turned onto his back whilst over the try line.
It seemed, that Folkestone’s fitness was beginning to show, as it had been a fast-moving game. Callum Palmieri opened up play with John Eustace, going left and Adam Tolman outpaced the defence to put down under the posts, making the conversion easy for Seyhan Fell. 19 – 5.
Player’s inter-changing is now a common feature and Mat Roots came back on with Jeremy Cowell to give Martin Murray and Scott Stewart a well-deserved rest after a hard-working hour. Park House had a period of possession in centre field, but they never seemed to grasp the fact that it was no use running anywhere near John Eustace, as he was as a brick wall in defence.
But the Folkestone lines were opening up now and were testing a tiring opposition. Adam Tolman broke through with a torsional run of 50 metres – Callum Palmieri was at his side to take the pass, avoiding the last defender, to score the bonus point try, an easy conversion and a score now of 26 – 5 was looking far too much for Park House to combat. But they had a consolation when a crafty intercept from a perfectly good-looking short pass saw all Folkestone defence in attack, an open field and a 70-metre sprint to score 26 – 12.
But The Stones were the team to watch. John Eustace gave Thomo Murray a run, just brought down short and Jack Cox just knocked on after another direct run for the line. Callum Palmieri was everywhere with John Eustace and Adam Tolman executing training ground moves that stretched the opposition to the limit. The Folkestone forwards now gained ascendency over the big men and David Jarvis and the Godden brothers, Rob and Jordan were secure in line-outs.
The fifth try inevitably came soon. Callum Palmieri, again, opening up play from the base of the scrum threw a 15-metre pass to Adam Tolman – at full speed – who ran in under the posts to seal a comprehensive victory. 33 – 12.
The Club owe a debt of gratitude to Billy Bingham and Joe Feeney, who week after week give the players and spectators a rugby ground presented fit for the highest levels of rugby.
Therefore, let us hope that this win, albeit over a lowly placed team, sets up The Stones for a recovery. If this team can bond together, without the all too regular changes, then the position in the division can be assured. It may have been an hallucination, but a smile might have been seen flitting across the face of the team coach, Darren Molloy.
Team: Adam Tolman; Thomo Murray, Seyhan Fell (Capt.); John Eustace, Daniel Hillier; Jon Morton, Callum Palmieri; Martin Murray, Jack Cox, Bob Porter; David Jarvis, Rob Godden; Liam Trinder, Jordan Godden, Scott Stewart.
Subs: Mat Roots, Jeremie Cowell, Kyle Deakin.
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 5, 2, 5, 2, 2, 2; Adam Tolman 5, 5; Callum Palmieri 5.