Another Difficult Day at Steel Cross
Although a Second Half fight back came just a little to late, as the boys run out of time.
Both sides met at Steel Cross with a record this season of played two lost two. ‘Boro with several injuries from their opening games matched by an equal number of unavailability’s , started this match in lively fashion and were soon on the score sheet with a well struck Chris Yates penalty. 3-0
Bertie Boast used the quick ball supplied by the impressive Ben Searle to good effect, both making breaks and distributing quick cut out passes enabling ‘Boro to put pressure on the Deal line that was well defended. Unfortunately that initial pressure and support play inexplicable fizzled out, for all but 25 minutes of this contest.
Crowborough allowed Deal to slowly ease themselves into the match putting pressure on the ‘Boro backs whose defensive line up was sorely tested. Held up just short of the ‘Boro line, the subsequent scrum saw the ‘Boro pack back-peddle against a stronger and more adept visiting pack, with the Deal #8 easily picking up unchallenged to crash over the line for a converted try. 3-7 HT
Crowborough came under further pressure from the start of the second half where their other area of set play, (an ineffective lineout which severely limited Bertie Boast’s territorial kicking options), was seriously exposed, with several lineouts providing excellent attacking ball to their opponents. From one such win, Deal duly worked the ball out wide for a fortuitous unconverted try, courtesy of their #4 lurking on the wing with an apparent leg injury. 3-12
From an initial burst of energy at the start of the first half, the home side, on what is perhaps the best running pitch in the county, became positively pedestrian, and with an apparent lack of confidence, allowed their visitors to attack almost at will, subsequently taking the score to 3-21 with another converted try. At this point Crowborough were apparently down and out, and with less than 10 minutes of the game left.
However the ‘Boro XV, cognisant of their gross underperformance in the previous 70 minutes, and with the vociferous encouragement of coach Dan Moore, set out to make amends with Ben Searle providing quick ball and Tom Kent charging onto the pass to feed Charlie Bulow, who with 10 metres to run, powered through to take the Yates converted try to 10-21.
Seeing that the quick ball could pay dividends Ben Searle again cajoled his backs to that extra effort that resulted in Chris Yates coming into the line to off-load to Gary Stevens to score under the posts which Yates converted to take the score to a tantalising losing bonus point 17-21 with 3 minutes of the match to go.
With confidence of the home side belatedly returning, ‘Boro and their supporters had the belief that the decisive score was within their grasp, but the official in the centre had other thoughts and blew for full time.17-21
In the final analysis, Crowborough lost this match with a lack of control at the set pieces; a lack of urgency at the breakdown and an inexplicably fragile and variable defence . The side will rightly be furious with their performance this week, and with the margin of the three losses narrowing, it is to be hoped that this young new side will gel quickly, creating that camaraderie and trust in one another’s ability, which is so essential to a winning side, and in doing so record their first win. Their game next week, will be another difficult encounter, away to Hove RFC, which kicks off at 3:00pm.
Our Referee today was Gareth Edwards - KSRFUR
Match Report written by Rick Howe