National League 2 South
Maybe beating Rams put unnecessary thoughts of triumph earned without planning into Albanian heads this week. If so these were rudely dispelled by a competent, controlled TJ performance which the men of Kent will be justly proud of.
The win against the erstwhile League leaders was achieved, in large measure, by a titanic defensive effort across the board. This week the hosts showed OAs just what it feels like to be on the wrong end of such a display. Juddians made few mistakes and capitalised in workmanlike manner on those of the visitors indicating, in no uncertain manner, that defence very often is the best form of attack.
Nevertheless the first quarter was equal. Charlie Hughes ended a barrelling break with a neat pass for Adam West to score. Dan Watt converted. TJ scrum half Charlie Edwards stepped off his right foot to burst through near the OA posts for Will Robinson’s improving kick.
So far the home pack was in the ascendancy at the scrum whereas the visiting lineout held the bragging rights at this time. But even now the hosts seemed a fraction more urgent.
OA errors led to penalties and Robinson’s goal attempt, a monstrous flapper, was yet good enough to clear the bar.
Then Lloyd Anderson deftly picked up a probing grubber on his right wing to glide untouched to the posts. Watt had no trouble with the kick.
Will Colderick crashed over from a lineout drive following the concession of another penalty and the conversion left TJ handily placed with a three point lead at the break.
A’s kicked right and deep at the restart and managed to charge down a defenders clearing effort, gaining great position in the home 22. It mattered not for the opportunity was wasted and the hosts got back to midfield. Worse was to come when a hurried pass was intercepted and Chapman crossed the line giving the simplest of kicks to Robinson and a ten point lead to his side.
Almost as a sidebar Watt and Robinson exchanged penalties before the last meaningful score of the match when Anderson broke clear and Hughes had the energy to support him. Watt’s attempted conversion missed narrowly.
Even at the death, to their credit, Albanians showed fight and there was a clear chance to salvage the afternoon with an attacking lineout ten metres from the home line. As happened too often today, this part of the plan went awry and A’s returned with a single league point to their name.
Old Redcliffians pay their first visit to Woollams next Saturday. Kickoff 15.00hrs.
Team – Hughes, Townsend, Chamnaoui, Napier, Illston, Munday, Stevens, West, Gliksten, Watson, Bridger, Watt, Holdsworth, Anderson, Ricci
Subs – Martinez, Bond, Hamilton, Smith, Thompson
Tries – West, Anderson, Hughes
Conversions – Watt x2
Penalties – Watt
There are no previous fixtures between these teams.