This was Folkestones 4th win on the trot can they continue at Crowborough next week?
By Alex Ruddock
Despite the weather of the past week all the pitches had been clearly marked out by the faithful ground staff.
FOLKESTONE 1stXV 22 LEWES 1stXV 5
Saturday 1st December 2018. London 3SE. Report from Alex Ruddock.
In wet conditions with a gusty cross wind and nearly constant drizzle the pitch looked immaculate before the game! Despite the weather of the past week all the pitches had been clearly marked out by the faithful ground staff. (The same could not be said of the 1stXV pitch at the end of a torrid game of rugby!) Hopefully by the Hastings and Bexhill game in a fortnight it will have been back to its best after more work from volunteers Bill Bingham, Alan Schofield, Joe Feeney and Colin Lane.
The game was lit up by not only the floodlights but the by the three well taken Folkestone tries by Callum Palmieri and Adam Tolman, benefitting from the excellent scrummaging by the front eight forwards. It all started with a determined attack from Lewes (several places higher and with 6 points more.) However, the attacks were stymied by some good defensive tackling by the home side, this allowed play to work upfield until Callum Palmieri put in a good touch kick into the Lewes 22 metre area. From Lewes’s lineout play went across the pitch until they were penalised for holding onto the ball. From twenty metres out Seyhan Fell struck cleanly for three points. 3-0 (14min.)
From the restart Lewes again attacked determinedly and again the Folkestone tackling was up to the challenge with Jordan Godden, Liam Trinder, Scott Stewart and Callum Palmieri all bringing their men down and backed up by locks Rob Godden and Mason Colchester-Long. Eventually Lewes made ground and found touch five metres out from Folkestone’s try line. The ball was passed wide into centre field and Lewes infringed at the breakdown, allowing a touch kick from Callum Palmieri to find a good touch upfield. From the lineout Folkestone were then penalised and Lewes found touch 10 metres from the Folkestone line. They won their throw and ran the ball across the pitch, in the breakdown losing the ball. The ensuing scrum Folkestone won by the sterling effort from Bob Porter, Jack Shorter and Mat Roots in the front row and the aforementioned back five, this was resolved in Jordan Godden making a break off the back of the scrum and sprinting 60 metres driving through despairing Lewes tackles and off loading to the ever present Callum Palmieri who rounded the remain defenders to score under the posts. 8-0. Seyhan Fell duly obliged with the conversion. 10-0 (28min.)
Lewes again attacked, and again Folkestone’s defence was up to repelling each foray but each time managed to give away a penalty for one reason or another. The last ten minutes of the half saw Lewes opting for scrums instead of trying for goal. This did mean that the Referee eventually warned Folkestone that the next infringement would carry a yellow card, unluckily for Scott Stewart, he broke his bind and got penalised and a ten minute rest. As it was Folkestone withstood the pressure in the final five minutes with 14 men. One wonders if this is when Lewes lost the game, several of the penalties were kickable, but they continued to opt for the scrums. Half Time 10-0 and the wind and rain still persisted.
Five minutes into the half after winning yet another penalty Lewes ran the ball and then kicked to the opposite corner, having seen Folkestone (still 14 players) stretched to defend and the Lewes winger duly caught the ball and ran round close to the posts. 10-5 (46min.) In-explicably the easy conversion was missed!
This saw the return of Scott Stewart back on to make up the numbers.
The Folkestone side now attacked and won a penalty, Callum Palmieri found a good touch gaining 40 metres. Before the lineout took place, on the hour, Folkestone substituted Mason Colchester-Long for Colby Hayward and Jack Shorter with Adam Bloomfield. Folkestone won the lineout and with some of the best handling of the game through Jon Morton, John Eustace and Kyle Deakin, Seyhan Fell received the ball on his wing and sprinted up the wing to give an inside pass to full back Adam Tolman who kicks on and wins the sprint to touch down wide out. 15-5 (66mins.) Then Seyhan Fell saw his conversion kick from the touchline bounce back off the upright, (this seems to be a common feature recently!)
At this point the Referee told each Captain to have words with their team about the number of penalties being given and to keep the tackles low.
Folkestone continued to run the ball with some good passing movements, one of which, after 71minutes ended with Seyhan Fell diving for the try line and losing the ball forward before touching down! However shortly afterwards Scott Stewart broke off the back of the scrum and linked with scrum half Callum Palmieri with Jon Morton dummying the opposition to pass out to Adam Tolman in support who drove over to score a second try. Seyhan Fell slotted the extra two points. 22-5 (76min.)
In the dying moments Lewes again infringed at the breakdown so Callum Palmieri found touch on the halfway (thinking time was up!) but Liam Trinder took the lineout ball cleanly and Callum Palmieri found touch to end the game. Final Score. 22-5.
This was a hard-fought game against Lewes with Folkestone front eight on good scrummaging form and defending well while the backs also defended well and were able to break through the Lewes defence.
After a good performance at hooker Jack Shorter was named Man of the Match.
Next week away to Crowborough. KO 14:00
Team: Adam Tolman; Seyhan Fell (Capt.), Kyle Deakin, John Eustace, Thomo Murray; Mat Roots, Jack Shorter, Bob Porter; Mason Colchester-Long, Rob Godden; Liam Trinder, Jordan Godden, Scott Stewart.
Subs: Adam Bloomfield, Harry Paton, Colby Hayward.
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 3, 2, 2; Callum Palmieri 5; Adam Tolman 5,5.