Another visit to the Bromley area saw a renascent Folkestone XV now with a spring in their feet and a belief in themselves having won eight of their last nine matches
By Alex Ruddock
England beat France at Twickenham last week, but the first ever match that France played in England was against Park House in 1893, the Club having been established ten years earlier in 1883.
PARK HOUSE 1stXV 26 FOLKESTONE 1stXV 33.
Saturday 17th February 2019. LONDON 3SE. Report by Alan Schofield.
Another visit to the Bromley area saw a renascent Folkestone XV now with a spring in their feet and a belief in themselves having won eight of their last nine matches and hauling themselves from the bottom of the table to third place in the division, in front of five other teams all within a point of each other vying for the coveted bronze medal position.
England beat France at Twickenham last week, but the first ever match that France played in England was against Park House in 1893, the Club having been established ten years earlier in 1883– which was before Steve Hughes was born! Park House won that game, but they lost this one as The Stones consolidated their position, but the home side gained 2 bonus points for a tremendous effort in the second half.
Seven minutes elapsed before Folkestone held possession and in that time Park House had scored a converted try having beaten The Stones back to their try line before breaking through close to the posts. But Seyhan Fell reduced this early setback with a straight penalty from 35 metres as Park House committed early offences. 7 – 3.
Jon Morton has a quick ability to see opportunities for tactical kicking, and when he kicked just over the opposition’s head’s he was able to catch the ball and sprint for the line, with John Eustace in support, but confusion and disruption just prevented a touchdown. But there was no confusion when Jon Morton kicked ahead into the arms of Seyhan Fell, backing up, and Adam Tolman – forever in support – was on hand to take the pass and score the try with little opposition. Seyhan Fell converted and The Stones took the lead. 7 – 10.
Some well executed tactical kicking was preventing Park from getting a foothold in Folkestone’s half – Callum Palmieri’s box kicks, well followed up, were gaining ground and when a recovery was dropped Jon Morton picked it up, Adam Tolman on receipt, threw an outrageous dummy taking him into the 22 metre zone, passed to Jordan Godden who crashed over – only to be denied by a Park hand underneath the ball. But there was no doubt after Folkestone had kicked and worked the ball the to a scrum on the Park House 5 metre line - Callum Palmieri took a clean ball and slipped it left to Adam Tolman who ran through easily for his second try. 7 – 15.
Colby Hayward was having an excellent game in the line out and in the fray of the mauls, whilst Bob Porter tackled like a terrier – all helping to give The Stones a clear edge in the game, made more when Seyhan Fell increased the lead with a penalty in front of posts. 7 – 18. Park were finding it difficult to pass the half way line, not helped by a number of handling errors.
The Godden brothers, Jordan and Rob combined in making 30 metres, with the final pass finding Seyhan Fell who just put a toe on the touchline as he dived in to score. John Eustace released Mark Ip-Lloyd who went fast, only to be brought down very close to the line. Scott Stewart and Connor Leather were prominent, not only in tackling hard, but always ready to run at the opposition. Pedro Girini, with his new shaven hair style, was a block to anybody that came his way and did a good job in the scrums against a heavier opposition.
Half time came with The Stones well on top and with a score line that easily could have been in the high twenties, and no-one could have foreseen the events of the second half. 7-18.
John Eustace and Jordan Godden started well with crashing runs through the centre, but lost possession allowing Park House to retain the ball and force play into the 22-metre zone. A couple of penalties pegged Folkestone back to the line and the ensuing pressure play using the big Park House forwards brought success with a try and a conversion. 14 – 18.
This try seemed to inspire Park House and they took the initiative of game away from the favourites with excellent rugby, the backs and the forwards together – Folkestone were starved of possession for 12 minutes culminating in a massive home team effort on the left wing and crashing over with 10 men in an unstoppable wave. This try was converted and the home team took the lead. 21 – 18.
David Ballard replaced the very hard-working Colby Hayward and it was a relief for Folkestone when Seyhan Fell slotted an easy penalty from the 22-metre line to level the scores. 21 – 21. Scott Stewart released John Eustace who gave Mark Ip-Lloyd another fast run down the left wing – being brought down with a high tackle, as Folkestone shook off the difficult period. Jordan Godden and John Eustace were prominent in a series of centre-field charges as Park House retreated. An infringement ten metres out gave Folkestone a scrum, a quick ball to John Eustace and a crashing try from close range. Seyhan Fell converted and the lead was regained 21 – 28 – made worse for Park House when the referee handed a yellow card to Park House for blatant off-side, although it had no effect on the try being scored.
Harry Paton now replaced Bob Porter who had had a tremendous game, rarely with ball in hand, but a constant stopping block to any move in his vicinity. A brief period of possession saw Park House beginning to fight their way back, but they were undone and flabbergasted by an astounding run of individual brilliance by Adam Tolman. Taking a pass on the half way line he ran and dodged, side-stepped and wove through half the opposition to run clear and score his hat-trick, Seyhan Fell missing the conversion but The Stones were now in the clear, and winning 21 – 33.
Park House did show some resolve and encamped in the Folkstone 22 metre zone for a while, but the game was lost for them. Liam Trinder emerged from a maul alone, with the ball and was only hauled down after a 35-metre run. Kieran Smith was given a game as the talented Callum Palmeiri was rested and his weight was needed as Park mounted a late and mighty effort with their big forwards and succeeded in breaking the Folkestone defence in the last 10 seconds of the game, resulting in gaining them two bonus points, the try being their fourth and keeping the score to the seven points margin. 26 – 33.
The result, with others reduced the chasing pack in the league from five to two but, with a game in hand, Folkestone are in sight of second place, a situation that is pondersome at the least. A rest week next week is then followed by another away game – this time at the ridiculously far-away Pulborough which is as near to Somerset as it is to Folkestone.
Team: Bob Porter, Connor Leather, Pedro Girini-Casares; Rob Godden, Colby Hayward; Liam Trinder, Jordan Godden, Scott Stewart; Callum Palmieri, Jon Morton; Mark Ip-Lloyd, John Eustace, Kyle Deakin, Seyhan Fell; Adam Tolman.
Subs: Harry Paton, David Ballard, Kieran Smith.
Scoring: Seyhan Fell 3, 2, 3, 3, 2; Adam Tolman 5, 5, 5; John Eustace 5.