Having travelled through the back roads and isolated villages of Kent and Sussex with Ruddock’s Rural Tours
By Alex Ruddock
From the start there seemed to be no urgency from the Folkestone team and it was the worst game I’ve seen them play since Christmas !
Lewes 1stXV 14 Folkestone 1stXV 26
Saturday 23rd March 2019. London 3 SE Report by Steve Hughes
Having travelled through the back roads and isolated villages of Kent and Sussex with Ruddock’s Rural Tours we finally emerged in Lewes to be treated to an enjoyable but boisterous lunch by the host side.
Folkestone had an entirely new front row in David Ballard, Tom Davey and Martin Murray and were without Seyhan Fell who was away playing in an international match for Cyprus. Josh White made his debut on the wing and 17 year old Freddie Faiers took over the other wing from Thomo Murray at half time.
From the start there seemed to be no urgency from the Folkestone team and it was the worst game I’ve seen them play since Christmas - despite the fact that they scored four tries to gain the bonus point.
Very little happened in the first ten minutes except that Folkestone had the territorial advantage and kept Lewes in their own half. On the hosts first visit into Folkestone territory they scored!!!!
They were awarded a penalty and gained a line out on the visitors 5 metre line. The ball went out to the centre and came back to the left wing where there was an overlap and scored a converted try 7 - 0.
Folkestone won a loose maul and Callum Palmieri fed Adam Tolman who broke through and when challenged passed back to Callum Palmieri who scored but missed the conversion. 7 - 5.
Adam Tolman was again in the action, breaking though to feed Rob Godden who crashed over for Callum Palmieri to convert. 7 - 12.
Another score went begging when John Eustace decided to take on the full back instead of putting Josh White clear with the line at his mercy.
Folkestone just seemed to be going through the motions instead of the urgency and aggression that we have come to expect from them in the last three months and when Lewes scored and converted a pushover try to make it 14 - 12 things looked uncomfortable. The back row of Scott Stewart, Liam Trinder and Jordan Godden were always in the thick of the defending along with Callum Palmieri. Good forays forward were mounted by Rob Godden, Scott Stewart, John Eustace and Kyle Deakin did improve the momentum with Josh White making ground several times down his wing.
Then Jordan Godden received a yellow card (38min.) and shortly after, while under pressure from Lewes, half time arrived to give some respite at 14-12.
There were some strong words at half time by Coach Darren Molloy and Captain Liam Trinder. Thomo Murray was taken off and Freddie Faiers was brought onto the right wing.
Things were definitely improving and when Jon Morton fed Adam Tolman who sliced through the defence to score a try, converted by Callum Palmieri, the small group of Folkestone supporters could breathe easier. 14 – 19. Callum Palmieri was taken off and Kieran Smith came on as lock, with Jordan Godden going to scrumhalf and Colby Hayward moving to blindside flank. At the same time James Archer replaced Martin Murray at prop. In one attack down the left flank by Josh White, a lineout was won and a judicious cross kick found the lurking Freddie Faiers out on the right, who as he went over the try line, was half tackled by the Lewes fullback which unfortunately resulted in the ball being lost forward.
Adam Tolman was the sparkle in this match and added another to his tally which Jon Morton converted to give the visitors a comfortable lead of 14-26 which they kept until the end of the game. Obviously the three yellow cards (18, 35 and 58mins) during the game for Lewes did not help their cause.
Maybe the two and a half hour bus journey to Lewes was the cause of the lack of initial urgency but they finally came through in the second half. There would have been wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth if they had failed to beat the team who are unfortunately at the bottom of the League Table. However, next week they play Crowborough who are TOP of the league so they need to be on top form in front of the large crowd expected for the last VP’s lunch of the season.
Team: Adam Tolman; Thomo Murray, Kyle Deakin, John Eustace, Josh White; Jon Morton, Callum Palmieri; Martin Murray, Tom Davey, David Ballard; Rob Godden, Colby Hayward; Liam Trinder (Capt.), Jordan Godden, Scott Stewart.
Scorers: Callum Palmieri 5, 2, 2; Rob Godden 5; Adam Tolman 5, 5; Jon Morton 2.