Folkestone fail to win but claim a losing bonus point.
By Alex Ruddock
Arriving with threatening heavy cloud over the South Downs and a challenging wind off the Downs, no wonder there is a Gliding Club next door!!
PULBOROUGH 1stXV 19 FOLKESTONE 1stXV 13
Saturday 2nd March 2019. LONDON 3 SE. Report from ALEX RUDDOCK.
An extended coach trip to Pulborough RFC along the M20, M26, M25, M23, A264, A24 and A283 to Storrington produced long delays and 50mph limits. Arriving with threatening heavy cloud over the South Downs and a challenging wind off the Downs (no wonder there is a Gliding Club next door!!) the wind was diagonally across the pitch with Folkestone starting with the wind at their backs.
Folkestone kicked off with Pulborough catching cleaning and running the ball back with their heavy forwards making good ground and eventually after only four minutes had scored a converted try, some poor tackling by Folkestone failed to stop the onslaught. 7-0.
Folkestone restarted and play kept in midfield by some better tackling by Folkestone and gained a penalty for offside, Callum Palmieri finds touch for a Folkestone lineout on the hosts 22 metre line.
More forward play takes place with neither side gaining an upper hand, Pulborough find touch to relieve their line. Folkestone line out, adjudged not straight, Pulborough scrum they win and get their backs moving dangerously but good tackling by Scott Stewart, Callum Palmieri, Jon Morton, and Liam Trinder keep play in midfield. Scott Stewart breaks off at the back of the scrum and links with Palmieri, Rob Godden takes the ball on with Bob Porter, Jack Shorter and Pedro Girini-Casares in support. Jon Morton passes to Kyle Deakin who kicks ahead, their fullback mistimes the catch, Seyhan Fell following up taps the ball on, gathers and scores half way out. Converted by Seyhan Fell. 7-7.
Folkestone penalized holding onto the ball in the tackle, Pulborough find touch. Pulborough win lineout but knock on. Folkestone ball, Scott Stewart off the back of scrum to Palmieri who chips over for Mark Ip-Lloyd to run onto but the ball bounces into touch just as he gets there. Pulborough line out ten metres out from their try line, win the ball, kick to touch. Folkestone win lineout Colby Hayward cannot quite hold onto the ball, Callum Palmieri out to Kyle Deakin who tries to kick over, knocked on by Pulborough. Pulborough hold on in the tackle, Folkestone penalty Seyhan Fell converts. 7-10.
Back to the midfield area, tackles by both sides stop any breakaways, several poor long passes out result in several knock-ons by both sides. Mark Ip-Lloyd has a chance but gets forced into touch. On the stroke of half time Folkestone lost the ball in the tackle and Pulborough seize their chance and force over for an unconverted try. 12-10.
Against the elements in the second half Folkestone collected the Pulborough kick off and made ground up field and a high tackle gave Seyhan Fell a chance to kick a penalty, it went just wide. Pulborough made ground down field and with some poor defence by Folkestone managed to allow Pulborough to score a try by driving over by their forwards, converted. 19-10. Again, Pulborough put pressure on Folkestone from the restart, mainly as a result of Folkestone continuing to try long passes in the backs by missing players out but not being able to hold onto the ball when receiving the ball. Pulborough give away another penalty which Seyhan Fell converts. 19-13. Colby Hayward has come off and Alex Price goes on, Bob Porter off Mat Roots on. More knock-ons by both sides as they both try to gain extra points, Pulborough looking for a fourth try and Folkestone to close the gap and try to get the lead. It all becomes a bit frantic. Daniel Hillier comes off and Will O’Donnell on.
Adam Tolman fields a kick deep in his half and makes ground before the referee calls him back for a scrum on Folkestone’s 22 metre line. Another penalty to Folkestone, taken quickly but again a hurried poor pass is knocked on. Something both sides are suffering from! However Mat Roots has had several runs making ten metres or so each time, the hosts having difficulty in bringing him down quickly. Kyle Deakin and Seyhan Fell in the centre make some good tackles backed up by the ever-present Rob Godden, Liam Trinder and Scott Stewart.
Kieran Smith off and Colby Hayward back on. Adam Tolman waltzes straight through a couple of tackles and passes to Palmieri but a penalty given for a high tackle on Callum Palmieri. Yet again poor passing results in yet another knock-on by Folkestone, in a position where a try could have been possible. However, Folkestone’s defence held up in the last ten minutes or so, to deny Pulborough a bonus point.
One thing that has been generally steady were the scrums, where first of all Bob Porter, Jack Shorter and Pedro Girini-Casares along with Kieran Smith and Rob Godden were holding their own against a heavier pack and when Mat Roots and Alex Price came on the scrum was just has solid. With Scott Stewart breaking off at the back and feeding Callum Palmieri.
Team: Adam Tolman; Daniel Hillier, Kyle Deakin, Seyhan Fell (Capt.), Mark Ip-Lloyd; Bob Porter, Jack Shorter, Pedro Girini-Casares; Rob Godden, Kieran Smith; Colby Hayward, Liam Trinder, Scott Stewart.
Subs: Mat Roots, Alex Price, Will O’Donnell.
Scorer: Seyhan Fell 5, 2, 3, 3.