Folkestone XV 38 Whitstable XV 7.
Thursday 29th August 2019. Pre-Season Friendly. Report by Steve Hughes.
Folkestone Coach Darren Molloy selected 27 potential First Team players for this “trial” match against Whitstable last Thursday, under the floodlights.
There were three sessions instead of the usual two and on show were the usual suspects, plus a number of players who had been “under the radar” for some years, including James Mead, Jack Brooks, Callum Gibson, Tom Snare, Dan Woolford and Lewis Howland. Also, on show were newcomers Austin Hogben, Stephen Callis and Harry Smith.
Folkestone dominated the first session with the opposition unable to find any rhythm and suffered from territorial advantage AND possession. Folkestone played some sparkling rugby with forwards and backs combining to score three tries to the visitors one.
Captain Seyhan Fell scored (and converted) the first try after a penalty took them up into the corner of the opposition red zone to see the ball fly along the line with Seyhan fell joining in from the full back position to touch down. 7-0.
New hooker Austin Hogben looked good in the loose together with Scott Stewart and Liam Trinder. Thomo Murray added another score when Whitstable lost their own lineout and Scott Stewart a move for Thomo Murray to score in the corner, Seyhan Fell converted the extra points. 14-0.
Whitstable hit back after squeezing the home side back onto their own line and a quick ball to the blindside saw them score a converted try in the corner. 14-7.
Liam Trinder then scored a cheeky try by taking a quick tap and go on the halfway line and weaved his way through the opposition to score under the posts, which Seyhan Fell duly converted. Half time: 21-7.
The second session remained scoreless with Whitstable getting their act together and keeping Folkestone in their own half for long periods of time. But they were unable to get through the defensive wall that the home side put up. Some scintillating rugby however from both sides and a pleasure to watch.
It was interesting to see the varied combinations that the Coach tried and both newcomers Harry Smith and Stephen Callis showed pace on the wings. The best try came from a move that involved James Mead, Connor Leather, back to Mead again to send Lewis Howland over for a try, which Dan Woolford converted. 28-7.
Jack Brooks then added a further try slicing straight through the centre, which went unconverted. 33-7. Another score saw Stephen Callis cross after the ball flew across the back line at speed, again unconverted. Full time: 38-7.
Whitstable are in a League below Folkestone but certainly gave the home side something to think about and provided adequate opposition to challenge Darren Malloy’s selection for the opening match of the season against Uckfield on Saturday 14th. September when there will also be a pre-match meal for any returning Ex-Players, all wives and girlfriends are welcome as well as the normal Elder Brethren of the Club.
Starting Team: Seyhan Fell (Capt.); Harry Smith, Kyle Deakin, John Eustace, Thomo Murray; Jon Morton, Callum Palmieri; Tom Snare, Austin Hogben, Mat Roots; Rob Godden, Callum Gibson; Jeremie Cowell, Liam Trinder, Scott Stewart.
Subs 2nd session: Stephen Callis, James Mead, Jack Brooks, Dan Hillier, Dan Woolford, Lewis Howland, James Archer, Connor Leather, Bob Porter, Harry Smith, Billy Monk, Jake Ellis.
Team 3rd session: Stephen, Callis; James Mead, John Eustace, Jack Brooks, Dan Hillier; Jon Morton, Lewis Howland; Tom Snare, Connor Leather, Bob Porter; Harry Smith, Jeremie Cowell, Scott Stewart, Liam Trinder.
Subs 3rd Session: Dan Woolford, James Archer, Jake Ellis, Billy Monk, Callum Gibson.
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 5, 2, 2, 2; Thomo Murray 5; Liam Trinder 5; Lewis Howland 5; Dan Woolford 2; Jack Brooks 5; Stephen Callis 5.