Bromley get bonus point win .....
Despite a great effort from the young Crowbrough side.
Match report by Rick Howe.
Crowborough travelled to fellow strugglers Bromley last Saturday, secure in the knowledge that only a bonus point win would do if relegation was to be avoided for another week.
Although it was a big ask, Crowborough started off confidently showing determination and character, taking the game to their naturally nervous opponents, who also needed a bonus point win to keep their hopes of survival in London League SE 2 alive.
Bromley were first on the score sheet with a well struck penalty, followed by a simple unconverted try when quick ruck ball was switched from open to blind, exploiting the absence of any effective Boro cover. 8-0
Chris Yates then kicked two penalties to keep the visitors in the match with half time approaching.8-6
As Bromley kicked long into the Boro 22, the attempted counter attack, without the presence of any retiring support was always going to be risky. And so it turned out, as the Bromley attack arrived in force, turning over possession that the mercurial centre then exploited, evading three attempted tackles before grounding the ball under the posts for a half time score 15-6.
The second half saw ‘Boro’s Yates and Matt Botterman finish off two excellent team tries in quick succession, with Yates converting one to put Crowborough in the lead. 15-18
The sides continued to trade scores, with neither able to draw clear of the other and put the game out of reach. First Bromley scored out wide but failed to convert, ( 20-18) before Matt Botterman finished off a brave move when ‘Boro,, eschewing the chance of three points went for the corner. From the lineout and drive Matt Botterman recorded his second and Boro’s third try as Chris Yates converted to put Boro back in front 20-25 and just minutes to go.
With Bromley once more on the attack they gave away a penalty on the Boro 22. With time running down and presumably in an attempt to catch the opposition napping, the quick tap was agonisingly knocked on and inevitably Boro’s attack was turned into defence as Bromley won the scrum and span the ball wide to score bringing the teams level at 25-25 with the kick to come, and injury time already being played. As the ball sored into the wind it was blown against the post, tumbling down onto the bar before agonisingly toppling over to take the score to 27-25.
The Crowborough kick off landed on the 10 metres line close to the touch and when Bromley transgressed it was left to Yates to attempt a long range kick to win the game. However fairly-tale endings are for books, and as the kick drifted wide in the gale force wind the referee brought the game to an end 27-25. Crowborough were so close to their bonus point win, and although a draw may have seemed a fairer result, they came away with nothing except the certainty of relegation to London League SE 3 next season.
Intriguingly, this bonus point win by Bromley (32 pts), combined with Deal’s ( 33pts) surprise victory over Heathfield (34 pts), now puts those three sides, plus Old Alleynians ( 33 pts), in contention for the remaining relegation spot, and with just two games to play it is probably too close to call !