Pulborough 1stXV 19 Folkestone 1stXV 20
Saturday 12th October 2019, London 3SE. [b]Report by KEVIN GODDEN.
Folkestone travelled away to Pulborough; in a rearranged match, due to wedding commitments for some of the Folkestone players later in the season.
Pulborough kicked off down the slope on what was a surprisingly calm day. No wind but a strong drizzle rain, that made watching the game a wet affair. It is hoped the players appreciated the small band of supporters who made the two hour journey!
Overall a good game; with some good rugby played both sides despite the wet conditions. Pulborough played the most consistent rugby; but Folkestone played good defensive and attacking rugby when it mattered, throughout the game.
A scrappy first 2 minutes from the start; with Pulborough scoring the opening try in the third minute! The try was not converted by the Pulborough number 2; who has an excellent kick; something Folkestone did not pick up at all during the game, and on most occasions were back tracking when the number 2 made clearing and attacking positional kicks. 7-0.
Folkestone although playing good defensive rugby repeatedly gave advantage away with inaccurate clearing kicks; allowing Pulborough to keep Folkestone pegged in their own half.
This led to two penalties in the 17th and 23rd minutes. 11-0. Interestingly Pulborough before these penalties turned down a kick at goal in front of the posts and opted for a lineout, although the tee had come on to the pitch.
However the good Folkestone defence held Pulborough back; which probably explained why they took the two later kicks for points. The game settled down to both sides battling it out; with the game flowing back and forth with no team gaining any real control in the game.
It wasn't until the 41st minute, when after some good pressure by Folkestone an offside penalty was given in front of the Pulborough posts. The penalty was converted by Seyhan Fell, and Folkestone went in at half time with the score. 11-3.
The 2nd half started off pretty much as the 1st half ended; with neither team making much of any ground gained. On 50 minutes Pulborough had a player yellow carded for a high tackle, Folkestone did not really take advantage of the man advantage until the 57th minute; when substitute Freddie Faiers, (on for Dan Hillier) had just came onto the pitch and after some loose play and a good bit of fly hacking scooped up the bobbling ball, that had been missed by the Pulborough defence and ran over for a try under the posts. The try was converted by Captain Seyhan Fell. 11-10.
Pulborough however quickly came back and with some excellent phase play by their forwards going over for their second try on 59 minutes, the conversion was missed. 16-10. So no advantage, was gained, from the Pulborough yellow card.
Folkestone settled down to their own excellent forward play and kept ownership of the ball, and on 65 minutes they scored their second try, with an excellently timed run by Robert Godden catching the ball passed from the ruck, and battered his way through the Pulborough defence for a try. Fell converted the try, Folkestone now in the lead for the first time. 16-17.
Substitute time (Dave Ballard off and Tom Snare on, Kieran Smith on and Jeremie Cowell off) and with time ticking away as both sides continued to battle back and forth looking for the elusive score. Pulborough looked to be targeting the replacements Smith and Archer; but Smith was not phased playing with a 'they shall not pass' attitude.
Pulborough were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes for not rolling away, this was converted by Pulborough, back in front 19-17.
Tense moments for both sides, with Folkestone managing to get a penalty for Pulborough holding on in the tackle from the kick off.
Fell stepped forward, and with no apparent nerves converted the angled 35 metre kick. Folkestone in front with 75 minutes on the clock. 19-20.
Soon after the kick Folkestone were down to 14 when Liam Trinder was yellow carded for a high tackle. So important time of game with Folkestone down a man; but the defence continued to do what they had done for the whole game
Game almost over and home supporters crying out for Folkestone coming in at the side of the ruck; but technically the ball was out as all of the Pulborough forwards in the ruck were on the floor. The ball was knocked on however but this had broken up the Pulborough attack. The resultant scrum was put under pressure by Folkestone, and although the ball came out for Pulborough, Folkestone forced a knock-on.
So with time in the red Folkestone held their scrum, getting the ball to the back of the scrum, for Callum Palmieri to pick up and kick into touch. Folkestone win 19-20, another close game.
Team:Adam Tolman; Thomo Murray, Seyhan Fell, John Eustace, Dan Hillier; Dan Woolford, Callum Palmieri; James Archer, Connor Leather, Dave Ballard; Rob Godden, Colby Hayward; Jeremie Cowell, Alex Price, Liam Trinder.
Substitutes: Tom Snare, Kieran Smith, Freddie Faiers.
Scorers: Seyhan Fell 3, 2, 2, 3; Freddie Faiers 5; Rob Godden 5.