Beckenham come out on top !
After a Titantic battle at Steel Cross.
Match Report by Rick Howe.
Crowborough welcomed Beckenham to Steel Cross last Saturday, no doubt buoyed by their previous outings win over the runaway league leaders Medway and Champions elect.
Crowborough, although propping up the division, have shown much progress since the turn of the year, but are still a “work in progress” with particular attention needed in the defence and finishing areas.
Evidence that last week’s training sessions focused on the defence issue was instantly evident, as Boro closed down the space between the two lines, stemming momentum, and then double tackling with ferocious intent, so much so that Beckenham were stopped in their tracks, regularly coughing up possession.
The first opportunity to score came when, the referee, played advantage allowing Chris Yates to put in a raking cross field kick to Connor Hand on the wing only for the ball to run over the line, for a touch back. Chris Yates put the resultant penalty into touch thirty metres from the Becks line. From the lineout Boro broke up field and when the move was brought down five metres out, two pick and drives drew in the lurking defence before Ben Searle picked up, dummied, and then crashed over for the first try of the afternoon. Chris Yates converted 7-0
With twenty minutes of the game gone Boro were gaining confidence, and with Chris Yates sitting in the pocket, took a pass from Ben Searle, but his attempted drop goal was charged down straight back into Chris Yates’s arms, who evaded the first tackle before being brought down short of the line. Firstly Matt Botterman, attempted to drive over, followed by Damien Hayes but the Becks defence held firm until Ben Searle found Chris Yates again who with a delightful dummy strolled over for the second try which he converted. 14-0
With 6 minutes of the half to go, Boro’s concentration faltered for a moment. But that was all that Becks needed, as the excellent #10 targeted the 9/10 corridor, sliding through untouched to set up his backs, and with Boro forgetting their new alignment, allowed Becks to score out wide on the left. Their conversion missed, 14-5.
Beckenham were not finished yet, and with just second remaining in the half a missed tackle out wide presented the wing with a simple scoring opportunity which was successfully converted to take the score to 14-12 as the HalfTime whistle went.
The second half started with Becks going over for a third time following several strange scrummaging infringements, where Boro were penalised even though they had sent Beckenham rapidly backwards! From the penalty Becks won the lineout and with close support preventing Boro getting into disrupt the play, went over for the converted try. 14-19
Once more the #10 exploited the inside channel with the Boro back row still looking at the floor, and as the move progressed up-field, with play fluctuating from one side to the other, the Becks close support and effective running lines preventing Boro from setting up an adequate defensive line allowing Becks to record their fourth bonus point converted try. 14-26
With the end of the game in sight and with Boro now out of losing bonus point territory, the forwards put in one more final effort, driving the maul along the right touchline that Becks could do very little about, and as the white wash was crossed, it was Tom Kent who came up with the ball recording the vital bonus point score. The conversion was missed by Man of the match Chris Yates.19-26
Although the line-up may be different, Boro’s attitude and aptitude are light years from when these two side first met earlier in this current campaign, and their willingness to learn will surely hold them in good stead for the future, whatever transpires in the next four weeks.