FOLKESTONE 1stXV 71 OLD WILLIAMSONIANS 1stXV 0
Saturday 19th October 2019. London 3SE. By:- R.G. Bargey.
FOLKESTONE PLAY THEIR RUGBY SIMILAR TO THE JAPANESE (OR IS IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?)
Folkestone play their rugby in similar fashion to the wonderfully entertaining Japanese team in the Rugby World Cup (or is it the other way around?). Whatever – it is a credit to the team that they are fit, sprightly and innovative - too much, on this day, for their opponents Old Wills from the Rochester area – who are without a win so far this season.
Eleven tries for the home side and a nought showing on the scoreboard for Old Wills was tough on the visitors who were weakened by events but when Folkestone are playing like this, they are irrepressible.
After some early testing of the Wills defence by John Eustace. Adam Tolman’s kick through found Callum Palmieri, picking up a loose ball, and combining with Tolman to create a long pass for Freddy Faiers on the wing - too quick and strong for a retreating defence to score a try. Old Wills kicked off only for Seyhan Fell to pluck the ball from the air then ran and ran until he touched down over the try line. Two astounding conversions of these tries by Seyhan Fell from the touchline area saw the score at 14 – 0 after only 8 minutes.
Wills came back strongly and attacked the Folkestone line with determination – but whereas Folkestone had already shown their prowess in attack they now showed their defence was secure, even against some heavyweight forwards – Liam Trinder, Alex Price and Jeremie Cowell protected the edges whilst Tom Snare, Dave Ballard and Connor Leather drove from the centre. For some time, Old Wills looked dangerous - helped also by a couple of penalties they eventually made the line but could not touch the ball to the ground.
The Stones broke through again after John Eustace in a running three-quarter movement delayed a pass, catching out the defence, and then released Adam Tolman who was able to run clear and straight for a converted try under the posts 21 – 0 after 21 minutes.
The match now showed a clear pattern. Folkestone backs were superior in every position and the whole team was absolutely solid in defence giving Old Wills little opportunity to play their own game and this was coupled with their propensity for mala prohibita. It didn’t look good for them.
Callum Palmieri scored the bonus point try when, with John Eustace and Adam Tolman ran rings around the defence and then the three-quarters created a double over-lap for Seyhan Fell who ran in the sixth try. Unusually, Seyhan Fell failed to convert either of these tries from far out – both attempts hitting the upright. 31 – 0.
The second half saw Dave Archer replace the hard-working Dave Ballard who had picked up a shoulder injury, but Old Wills came back with a new determination, keeping possession but they had to reckon with the massive tackling of Tom Snare and Liam Trinder. A long penalty kick by Old Wills was aimed for the Folkestone 5 metre zone but failed to find touch – 20 seconds later they were defending their own 5 metre line as Folkestone kicked and ran the length of the field. A clearance kick only found Thomo Murray who released Adam Tolman, then Callum Palmieri, and then Tom Snare crashing through with John Eustace on his left hand to power over to give Seyhan Fell an easy conversion. 38 – 0.
If the match hadn’t already dismantled for OId Wills - they were totally undone when a short stab kick by Seyhan Fell was picked up by Adam Tolman who, ball in hand, beat the defenders in a sprint for the line. 43 – 0. Tolman then took a well-earned rest with James Mead replacing him.
Colby Hayward started the next onslaught with a 15 metre drive, four players hanging onto his shirt tails and from the resulting maul Lewis Howland, Eustace and Palmieri combined before Alex Price went on the blind side, putting in a superbly timed grubber kick for Freddy Faiers to snap up and complete the try scoring move. Another Fell touchline conversion saw 50 – 0 registered on the scoreboard.
Kieran Smith came on for Colby Hayward who, as always, had given 100+% and Old Wills, who had played well in patches, were well and truly beaten dejected and dismembered. They picked up a Yellow Card, they had a man off with a head injury assessment and they had no substitutes.
Three more tries were run in by a rampant Folkestone XV before the final whistle. Callum Palmieri was given an easy run in after Thomo Murray had broken through on the right wing – then Thomo scored himself, directly from the kick-off with a run so fast that no-one had the energy or the inclination to prevent. Lewis Howland broke from a scrum and a long pass found Freddy Faiers who was too quick for a depleted and tired defence. Seyhan Fell converted the last three tries to equal Folkestone highest score of the season 71 – 0 – a comprehensive victory that took them to the top of the table.
Notes:- Following the decision of a local tabloid press to disallow by-lines for our match reporting team and our photographic department,( run so admirably by Lisa Godden) – the Head of Communications at FRFC has decided to sack our journeyman reporter, Alan Schofield (N.U.J retired.), and replace him with a series of untrained hacks – the first of whose reports appear today. Apologies to our 15½ readers.
Team: Adam Tolman; Freddie Faiers, Seyhan Fell (Capt.), John Eustace, Thomo Murray; Callum Palmieri, Lewis Howland; Tom Snare, Connor Leather, Dave Ballard; Colby Hayward, Rob Godden; Alex Price, Jeremie Cowell, Liam Trinder.
Substitutes: James Archer, Kieran Smith, James Mead.
Scorers: Faiers 5, 5, 5; Fell 2, 2, 2, 5, 2, 2, 5, 2, 2, 2; Tolman 5, 5: Palmieri 5,5; Eustace 5; Murray 5.
Scoring:- Try, Faiers 5 – 0 (5) Conv. Fell 7 – 0 (6) ; Try, Fell 12 – 0 (7). Conv, Fell 14 – 0 (8). Try, Tolman 19 – 0 (21). Conv. Fell 21 – 0 (22). Try, Palmieri 26 – 0 (32). Try, Fell. 31 – 0 (36). Try, Eustace 36 – 0 (46) Con, Fell 38 – 0 (47). Try, Tolman. 43 – 0 (49) Try Faiers 48 – 0 (57)Conv. Fell 50 – 0 (58). Try, Palmeiri 55 – 0 (59). Conv Fell 57 – 0 (60). Try, Murray 62 – 0 (61). Conv. Fell. 64 – 0 (62) Try, Faiers 69 – 0 (71). Conv. Fell 71 – 0 (72)