A massive hard fought win for Folkestone away at Bromley
By Alex Ruddock
This was an all-round effort of defensive and attacking rugby against a team who were themselves trying the same tactics
BROMLEY 1stXV 14 FOLKESTONE 1stXV 30
Saturday 5th. January 2019. LONDON 3 SOUTH EAST. Report from ALAN SCHOFIELD.
20 Points for Captain Seyhan Fell as The Stones win well
After many seasons, and many matches between the two Clubs that have ended with only one score between them, Bromley broke the mould with a convincing win against an inchoated Folkestone team last September – but it is surprising, nay extra-ordinary, to see them now in the nether areas of the division.
Folkestone supporters will long remember the events of the same fixture last season, that have oft been mentioned, when a series of four tendentious decisions in the eleventh minute of a four-minute stoppage time denied the team victory, and eventually put Folkestone into the relegation belt. Bromley, although they were in no way criticised for these events, now suffered a revenge defeat to balance the books. But, in truth, the result, this day, was fair - whereas it might have been to the contrary on the previous occasion.
This was an all-round effort of defensive and attacking rugby against a team who were themselves trying the same tactics and, as The Duke of Wellington said during the Battle of Waterloo – ‘‘This is a hard pounding gentleman, let us see who can pound the hardest.’’ Well, the answer was Folkestone! Nothing more exemplified this than the first ten minutes when the two teams fought out possession and territory between the two 22 metre zones until Seyhan Fell
slotted one of four penalties awarded to Folkestone during the early stages. 0 – 3.
Bromley immediately fought back and pressed the Folkestone try line for two minutes of continuous play – stretching every man that Folkestone had to the limit of defence before an off-side penalty gave them a break that Jordan Godden
, Kyle Deakin
, Adam Tolman
contrived to put Bromley back into their own 22 metre zone – forcing them now to defend desperately against fast running and fast passing moves to the right and left wings. Then Jordan Godden
stole a line out ball on the 10-metre line, and went for the try line with brother Rob Godden
- who powered his way over against a determined defence. Seyhan Fell
easily converted and Folkestone were up 0 – 10.
Again, Bromley worked their way downhill with kicking and running rugby, penning Folkestone in their defensive zone – but Bromley could not break the Folkestone line. Alex Price
, Jordan Godden
, Scott Stewart
and Liam Trinder
all worked over-time in this, but the power of Mat Roots
held the mauls that Bromley set up. The ‘old men’ of the side – Adam Bloomfield
and Bob Porter
were usually in the middle of everything scragging and spoiling – and sweating for the team!
A good recovery tactic by Callum Palmieri
was used to good effect to relieve pressure and to dismay the opposition when high overhead kicks were employed with John Eustace
and Jon Morton
seizing the catcher, and gaining 25 metres of ground in the process. Thomo Murray
stopped a very dangerous looking foray by the fast Bromley backs, with an over-lap, when he achieved a superb low and move-stopping tackle – and this was the way it was, with Folkestone, good and solid in defence and dangerous in attack – against a team not quite equal, but very near to being so.
Bromley came back again on the stroke of half-time when an oblique kick caught The Stones cover defence a bit short, whilst the Bromley forwards piled in to seize the ground gained, and the possession – this time being able to find a chink in the carapace of the defence and score a converted try – BUT - there is a slope on the Bromley ground that usually favours the side playing with it – and therefore a 7 - 10
lead at half time for The Stones was, the minds of the cognoscenti on the touch-line probably worth more.
The second half saw Bromley back-pedalling as Callum Palmieri
’s well-judged high kicking gained ground as John Eustace
snuffed out any attempted response. Adam Bloomfield
had worked himself to the limit as he took a well-deserved break – Connor Leather
coming into the middle of the scrum. The Stones then broke loose with some bewildering rugby. Adam Tolman
shot through the middle passing the ball out to the right as he was tackled – taken on by Kyle Deakin
and Jon Morton
– and then reversed the move with fast passing through the line, a strong run by John Eustace
and then by Callum Palmieri
before the ball was swung out to the left wing, finding Seyhan Fell
to run through what remained of the defence, unluckily his 35 metre conversion attempt from the touch line faded under the cross bar. And this, after only 5 minutes playing downhill 7 – 15.
But this try was quickly followed by a retaliation as Bromley kicked a superb 40 metre penalty to find touch 5 metres out, and in very similar fashion to their first try, took the ensuing line out - and a succession of mauls saw them force their way over for a try under the posts – easy to convert, 14 – 15.
The restart saw John Eustace
on a 30 metre straight run down the middle, then being blatantly held down after being tackled – the resultant penalty being comfortably put over by Seyhan Fell
. 14 – 18.
And before Bromley could recover, they were again subjected to a stunning move started by Kyle Deakin
with Adam Tolman
and John Eustace
splitting the defence and Seyhan Fell
, ever in attendance, took a final pass from Tolman to run over for Folkestone third try, converting it himself. 14 – 25.
and Mat Roots
were substituted. They could not have given more to the team – ever in the fray and enjoying every moment! Kieran Smith
and Folkestone’s new Argentinian acquisition Pedro Casares came on to the dismay of a tiring Bromley XV. Pedro Casares is on holiday in England and it is nice that he can continue his rugby career with Folkestone – albeit briefly.
Long kicks from Jon Morton
and Kyle Deakin
pegged Bromley back again whilst Jordan Godden
was ever ready to take quick penalties. Kyle Deakin
, again, with Adam Tolman
stretched Bromley to the limit, but the final pass was knocked on as The Stones strived for their fourth and bonus point try. Callum Palmieri
made a half break, Jon Morton
was brought down in full flight for the line – three men hauled John Eustace
down as attack after attack flowed in. Bob Porter
was replaced by a now rested Mat Roots
– and he, like every other team member, could not have given more, or played better.
Bromley were prone to concede penalties that kept them penned in their own 22 metre zone and it was a testament to their resilience against confident opposition that they managed to hold the score-line. A brief visit to the Folkestone half was soon resisted and a penalty kick to the far-right wing corner had them again sucking in the air as Folkestone gathered themselves for a final effort for the bonus point.
The line out was taken, Liam Trinder
secured the ball, the moving maul followed – slow but sure progress was made as the maul trundled towards the line with Connor Leather
holding it tightly. There was a metre of space between the maul and the touch line. Leather saw it and charged! Three men collared him but he forced the ball down for the five-point try. Final Score: 14 - 30.
The game ended. Folkestone were the worthy winners, (they had pounded the hardest!) – and were rewarded when they saw they had moved ever upwards in the league to fifth place. Next Saturday the team take more Bromley opposition in Old Dunstonians at Burlington Fields (2 p.m. K.O.)
Team: Mat Roots
, Adam Bloomfield
, Bob Porter
; Rob Godden
, Alex Price
; Liam Trinder
, Jordan Godden
, Scott Stewart
; Callum Palmieri
, Jon Morton
; Thomo Murray
, Kyle Deakin
, John Eustace
, Seyhan Fell
(Captain); Adam Tolman
Pedro Casares (Debut), Connor Leather
, Kieran Smith
Scorers: Seyhan Fell
3, 2, 5, 3, 5, 2; Rob Godden
5; Connor Leather