Another Day, in this topsy turvy season !
By Ian Geering
And another day of the score line and result not favouring our boys !!
Our Referee today was Paul Shepperd.
Match Report by Rick Howe.
Crowborough’s emphatic defeat of Folkestone just three short weeks ago, although too late to make a significant difference to the outcome of their season, seemed to kick start a revival in attitude at the Sussex club with an injury time loss last week to 3rd placed Old Williamsonians, and a 76th minute controversial and agonising defeat in their final rearranged match yesterday, against second placed Thanet Wanderers.
Crowborough stunned the home side with a quick try through Seb Reed, within two minutes, with the forwards providing quick ball and Sam Kisbee fizzing out a long lateral pass to Bertie Boast who drew his man before off-loading to Seb Reed to score in the corner. Sam Kisbee converting his first attempt of the afternoon. 0-7
In what was to be a roller coaster of a match, the home side narrowed the deficit with a well worked unconverted try some five minutes later. 5-7.
The Thanet Wanderers captain had to leave the field and clearly a talisman, his absence was going to be felt by the home side for the balance of the afternoon.
Thanet Wanderers continued to press the visitors and only a brilliant last second try saving tackle by Bertie Boast kept the visitors ahead. This spurred the visitors to once more go on the offensive and a quick lateral pass from Sam Kisbee to Seb Reed almost caught the defence napping with only a finger tip tap tackle prevented another score.
Shortly after, a Boro’ forward drive to the edge of the Thanet 22, saw Sam Kisbee break to the right feeding Tom Boddy who drew the cover once more before passing inside for Bertie Boast to score under the posts for a Sam Kisbee converted 7 points. 5-14
An all too familiar problem then ensued, as Boro pulled ahead, their concentration wavered, as four missed half hearted tackles allowed the visibly flagging home side a reprieve with a seven pointer of their own under the posts. 12-14
This fight back had momentum and Thanet took the lead for the first time when a fine acute running line penetrated the, Boro defence before being halted 3 metres out. However Thanet won the ruck and the flanker popped over for the try that was converted. 19-14
This did not faze the visitors, who were now learning not to panic but to go through the phases and build up an attack. Following a Connor Hand attack down the left flank, that had a try written all over it until an unnecessary pass created a ruck, which the impressive ,Boro pack won driving the blowing home side over the line for an Alex Purnell try that Sam Kisbee converted to bring the half to an end at a finely balanced 19-21.
It may have been too much to expect a second half as exciting as the first, and indeed it dragged as both sides attacks were nullified with bone crunching tackles but no further scores deep into the final quarter, with, Boro managing to keep the home side playing in their own half.
A home score in the corner was matched by a two metre Mark Rosier try that took the score to a tantalising 24-26 with ,Boro securing the valuable four try bonus point that gave Crowborough 56 points securing 6th place in the league ahead of Lewes in 5th.
HOWEVER, when centre Bertie Boast got locked into a ruck , mixing it with the professionals of the dark arts, there would only be one winner, as the referee blew up for handling in the ruck, and showing young Bertie Boast, a yellow that would see Boro’ play the remaining five minutes with 14 men.
Boro needed to manage the final minutes and to deny ball to the home side who smelt blood. However in a travesty of justice Thanet Wanderers were awarded a controversial try following a clear knock on and a grounding that was a foot short of the line , a decision that had supporters of both sides looking perplexed. The two extra points were added, and as the ,Boro 14 were still reeling , there was time for one more play. Unfortunately that play was Thanet’s, when the #10, having passed or kicked all afternoon decided on the last play to dummy and run , splitting the defence and heartbreakingly scoring under the posts , a score that took Crowborough out of even losing bonus point territory, after having led and controlled the match for 75 minutes. 38-26.
This result see’s Borough finish the season as the best Sussex Side in the League in addition pleased to say that Borough also scored more Bonus points than any other team in the league, some 16 points in total. The team will now re-group over the summer and look forward to a new season in London South East Three.