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1st XV - Match centre

Crowborough RFC
Full time
A Purnell, T McMahon
Sat 16 Sep 15:00 - League

Boro' Go home with just a single losing bonus point.......

After what was a difficult dis-jointed afternoon !

After an absence of several seasons Crowborough made a disappointing return to Crawley RFC coming away with just a losing bonus point. Fielding a much changed side from last weekend the men from Steel Cross started brightly. A break from Conor Hand and a chip ahead nearly coming off for the first score.
It was Crawley, much against the run of play, who scored first. The home scrum half Steve Wilson pounced on a loose ball and weaved his way past a couple of would be tacklers for a 45 metres solo effort. The conversion was missed.
The score put the visitors on the back foot and gave Crawley the impetus to attack. 'Borough were living off scraps but did make a nice break out wide only for the scoring chance to be thwarted, in part by good Crawley defence, but also in part by a very harsh refereeing decision. It was against a background of Crawley pressure and excellent Crowborough defence that the Steel Cross men levelled the score. Sloppy midfield handling by the hosts saw the ball spill into the path of the onrushing Gary Stevens who hacked the ball towards the Crawley line. Tom McMahon was quick to see the opportunity and won the foot race for the try.
20 minutes into the game Crowborough regained the advantage and drove deep into the Crawley half where the hosts conceded a silly penalty. From the ensuing kick to touch and then the lineout the men in red and white scored their second try. The ball was secured and very skillfully and powerfully mauled over the line for Alex Purnell to take the glory.
The rest of the first half saw both sides attack well but only to be held up by excellent defensive work or for attacks to break down thanks to poor handling and erratic decision making. The quality of the game wasn't helped by the regular intervention of the referee, with Crowborough on the wrong end on many of the penalty awards. Crawley could have led at half time but failed to convert a penalty kick at goal, likewise Crowborough squandered an overlap out wide. Half time 5-10.
The second half started in a similar vein with too many basic errors and too much whistle. Crawley came closest to scoring after concerted pressure on Crowborough's line. They got the ball over the line only for the referee to rule it had been held up. From the resulting attacking scrum Crawley were again thwarted with the ball being held up over the line. The third Crawley attempt saw a forward pass mean the try was ruled out. Eventually Crowborough were able to clear their line, much to the relief of the large visiting contingent. Buoyed by this Crowborough's pack started to make ground on their opposition enabling spritely Tom West to release his backs. Bertie Boast and Tom McMahon made some telling breaks only for supporting players to spill the ball at crucial moments. Crowborough also failed to turn long periods of pressure into points.
With about 18 minutes to go the referee took a nasty knock and for a while it looked as if the game would have to be abandoned. He recovered well and from the scrum awarded to Crawley they took the lead. To many on the side the scrum had wheeled too far but the referee thought differently. Crawley's Fraser Thompson, doing what all good players should do; play to the whistle picked the ball up and scampered over for the try. He added the extras taking the score to 12-10.
Crowborough went back on the offensive but sadly couldn't convert two kickable penalties and were also frustrated by the solid Crawley defensive wall when they tried to maul the ball over the line. Late on Damien Hayes who had put in an excellent shift for 'Borough saw yellow when he was very harshly deemed to have collapsed a maul, particularly as Crawley had appeared to commit the same offence three times previously. The game nearly swung Crowborough's way when except for an amazing last ditch tackle prevented Tom Watson breaking free. The game closed with Crawley running out victors 12-10 and 'Borough going home with just a losing bonus point.

Key moments

Try Alex Purnell scores for Crowborough RFC
Try Tom McMahon scores for Crowborough RFC


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80:00 +0:01 Player of the Match
Tom West is awarded player of the match for Crowborough RFC
73:06 Sub On
Michael Van Someren is substituted on for Crowborough RFC
73:05 Sub Off
James Kirkland is substituted off for Crowborough RFC
72:15 Yellow Card
Damien Hayes is yellow carded for Crowborough RFC
65:24 Missed Penalty
Connor Hand misses a penalty for Crowborough RFC
52:24 Missed Penalty
Connor Hand misses a penalty for Crowborough RFC
40:02 Sub On
Michael Harmon-Tatton is substituted on for Crowborough RFC
40:01 Sub Off
Harry Slatter is substituted off for Crowborough RFC
End of period 1
23:00 Missed Conversion
Connor Hand misses a conversion for Crowborough RFC
22:15 Try 0 - 10
Tom McMahon scores for Crowborough RFC
11:20 Missed Conversion
Connor Hand misses a conversion for Crowborough RFC
10:15 Try 0 - 5
Alex Purnell scores for Crowborough RFC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Crawley
  • Crowborough RFC
  • 0
  • Alex Purnell Try 10:15'
  • Tom McMahon Try 22:15'
  • Harry Slatter Sub Off 40:01'
  • Michael Harmon-Tatton Sub On 40:02'
  • Damien Hayes Yellow Card 72:15'
  • James Kirkland Sub Off 73:05'
  • Michael Van Someren Sub On 73:06'
  • Tom West Player of the Match 80:00 +0:01'

Team selection

Perry, Sam Perry, Sam
Orchard, Andy Orchard, Andy
McMahon, Tom McMahon, Tom
Stevens, Gary Stevens, Gary
Hand, Connor Hand, Connor
Boast, Bertie Boast, Bertie
West, Tom West, Tom
Jude-Trailor, Ollie Jude-Trailor, Ollie
Main, Callum Main, Callum
Purnell, Alex Purnell, Alex
Hayes, Damien Hayes, Damien
Slatter, Harry Slatter, Harry
Kirkland, James Kirkland, James
Horsfall-Turner, Rob Horsfall-Turner, Rob
Tasker, Richard Tasker, Richard

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