This fixture, which should never be, has resulted in a home win in all the six fixtures played between the two.
By Alex Ruddock
Folkestone kept the tradition alive in a pulsating performance that had the large crowd applauding and cheering in appreciation.
FOLKESTONE 1stXV 47 PULBOROUGH 1stXV 12
Saturday 3rd November 2018. London 3 South East Report from Alan Schofield.
Wow! Folkestone hit form with a vengeance
This fixture, which should never be, has resulted in a home win in all the six fixtures played between the two. And Folkestone kept the tradition alive in a pulsating performance that had the large crowd applauding and cheering in appreciation.
To ask amateur teams to travel over 205 miles for a fixture is silly. Not once, but three times, are Folkestone – and their opponents – forced to travel long distances in this farcical arrangement of the leagues in this area. Pulborough is as near to Somerset as it is to Folkestone. Clubs cannot afford the high cost of travel that can run up £450 for an away fixture, and it is unreasonable to impose this fixture list, without financial assistance.
But leaving aside today’s philippic and concentrating on the game there seemed to be a new gusto with The Stones - even after the first minutes as the ball was passed speedily and accurately to peg Pulborough (2nd in the Division) right back to their 10-metre line. A scrum was won, Callum Palmieri to Jon Morton and Adam Tolman broke straight through to touch down after just 4 minutes. Seyhan Fell converted from under the posts. 7-0. And a very similar try happened just three minutes later when Dave Jarvis won a line-out ball, Callum Palmieri jinked and ran 15 metres before a beautifully timed pass to Adam Tolman – again touching down between the posts. With an easy conversion for Seyhan Fell the score was 14 – 0 and barely 10 minutes had elapsed.
Folkestone were looking as good and confident as they have been seen for two seasons – in defence they were solid as a rock with the back row of Scott Stewart, Jordan Godden and Liam Trinder showing there was no way through that area. But in attack, rarely have we seen such flowing passing movements executed with speed and precision. It was a delight to watch. And then – a setback! Pulborough, with some initiative, saw these passes being flung around and intercepted in their own half to score in the 15th minute. 14 – 7.
Jon Morton, broke through on his own with Dan Hillier coming in fast to support and Pulborough just managed to force him into touch inches short of the line. Then Dan Hillier made a brilliant catch from a clearance kick and started a fast attack that stretched the Pulborough defence to the limit. A Seyhan Fell penalty hit the upright and again Pulborough desperately cleared. Rob Godden and Dave Jarvis were immense at the line-outs, secure on their own ball and making it difficult for Pulborough to gain advantage from their ball. A misfortune for The Stones came when Liam Trinder stretched to intercept a pass, but the ball just scraped his fingertips – and he was yellow carded!
Dave Jarvis went close to scoring, and then, Jack Cox, with Jon Morton and Adam Tolman made a 60 metres running return from a long kick. Jordan Godden had a run that took Folkestone close. From a scrum, Callum Palmieri released John Eustace and Jon Morton was on hand to sprint fast and wide to score a well-constructed and well-deserved try. Seyhan Fell added two more points and The Stone had a half time lead of 21 – 7 against one of top teams in the division!
It was to get worse for Pulborough as the Folkestone forwards got the momentum to overwhelm their opposites in a scrum, but the ensuing Seyhan Fell penalty again hit an upright. Then Pulborough failed to find touch with a long kick – but they did find John Eustace, who in a lovely move feinted left and ran right, interpassing with Adam Tolman, and then straightened to run under the posts for the bonus point try. Seyhan Fell converted. 28 – 7.
The mighty Mat Roots came on to relieve the ever-reliable Bob Porter and that did not register well with the already tiring Pulborough pack after having to cope with unabated pressure put on them by the Folkestone forwards.
Callum Palmieri, at scrum half, has developed from the junior teams and is now a considerable asset to the first team. His long and accurate passes are a delight to watch, and his tactics behind the scrum are many and varied, causing all sorts of problems for his opposite number. And in defence, he is fearless as he is effective.
From an attacking scrum 15 metres out, he scored an outstanding try by running to the right towards his backs, and then quickly stopping to change direction to the left of the scrum. He wrong footed the whole of the defence except the right winger – but a quick movement evaded him easily and Callum Palmieri’s name appeared on the score sheet with the large crowd cheering in appreciation of an individual try of quality. 33 – 7.
Another try came within 5 minutes as Pulborough knocked on in their red zone, not a mistake that Folkestone were going to let go as the scrum overwhelmed the opposition and Jack Cox flung himself through a mass of players to put his name on the scorecard 40 – 7. Then, whilst the crowd was pondering whether Pulborough had anything left, they were showed a move – the length of the field, that involved at least 10 players running and passing and scoring to put them into double figures 40 – 12.
A series of disruptions to the team, in the final 15 minutes caused a pause in the unremitting pressure that The Stones were displaying. Kyle Deakin, after an exceptional linking game, had an accidental clash of heads with his opposite number that finished the game prematurely for both players. Jack Cox was yellow carded, Dan Hillier had a leg injury. Mark Ip-Lloyd and Bob Porter relieved Dan Hillier and Martin Murray. Jordan Godden went to scrum-half as Callum Palmieri took up Jon Morton’s slot at No 10.
The effect that Adam Tolman has on this team is immense. He is the lynchpin of many of Folkestone’s attacking plays and in conjunction with Seyhan Fell and Callum Palmieri signals danger for the opposition every time he has the ball. His third try, in the last minute of the game was superb – after Seyhan Fell had made 40 metres – he was there to collect the ball and finish off under the posts for a brilliant hat-trick of tries, another converted by Seyhan Fell and the score-line of 47 – 12, points that took Folkestone into credit on points difference, in the league table.
Next Saturday is a rest day, and, if this team can stick together and play like this, they will be a worry for every other side in the division – even after a horrible start to the season.
Team: Adam Tolman; Seyhan Fell (Capt.), Kyle Deakin, 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, Mark Ip-Lloyd.
Scorers: Adam Tolman 5, 5, 5; Seyhan Fell 2, 2 ,2, 2, 2, 2; Jon Morton 5; John Eustace 5; Callum Palmieri 5; Jack Cox 5.