Back On Schedule ........
After last weeks poor performance at Crawley
Match Report by Rick Howe.
Crowborough returned to winning ways after last weeks’ aberration at Crawley, with an emphatic performance over Sheppey that shows much promise for the future.
Crowboroughs’ fragile squad was further tested earlier in the week, with several unavailability’s due to other unavoidable commitments and injuries, giving debut opportunities to Teo Reed and Henry Nichol.
Sheppey have had a torrid start to this season’s campaign, shipping 100 points in their first two matches, and with that in mind Crowborough kicked off in confident mood, intent on securing a second win of the season and adding to their opponents’ misery.
It was not so much that they achieved their primary goal within the first fifteen minutes, but in the manner that the win was secured. After the previous weeks defeat the ‘Boro coaching team addressed those clear failings at training , so that when the ‘Boro’s pack secured quick ball it was used to good effect by the back division. Slick passing ,quick handling, and strong support running lines was the order of the day, and time and time again the Sheppey backs were put under increasing pressure, so much so that within fifteen minutes the line had been crossed four times, with Henry Nicol (2),Tom McMahon, and Sam Kisbee rounding off several collectively solid performances and securing the bonus point.
Crowborough, did not have it all their own way as Sheppey created many attacking threats through their large mobile pack, and only solid ‘Boro defence, led by Callum Main and Alex Purnell ensured that these forays were thwarted. When their backs did receive ball the ‘Boro back line were quickly up, cutting down the space between the lines and effectively stubbing out any real threat.
Before half time, Tom West and Charlie Bulow added further scores, the latter pouncing on a loose Sheppey pass, scooping up the ball one handed before evading the last line of defence, scoreing under the posts. Sam Kisbee added the extra points, but there was still time for Sheppey to keep Crowborough focused, with a well taken lineout and drive to take the half time score to 45-5.
From the kick off Damien Hayes, alone on the left wing took the ball and flung a long pass to Sam Perry, who found McMahon in support, with men outside. However a chip through was charged down only for the ball to bounce back to McMahon, who at full pace cut through the defence and made 40 metres before off-loading to Nicol for his debut hat trick, with Kisbee converting. 52-5
Sheppey could be forgiven if they had given up the ghost at this point, but they continued to contest every play, and kept Crowborough busy with much needed tackling practice, threatening the ‘Boro line on several occasions.
However, in attempting to restore some pride to the score line, the inevitable gaps appeared, allowing a further two ‘Boro tries to be conceded when several players contested a foot race to touch down a speculative kick, and then a well taken blind side try for West’s second 64-5.
Much to their credit Sheppey hung in there and got the reward they deserved with a try by their right wing deep in the corner to take the final score to 64-10.