A tough day even before they left Steel Cross !
With the late arrival of the team coach.......adding to the Crow's problems.
This was one of the must win fixtures at this, the halfway point of the season, but the visitors were in for a major disappointment against the home side who were equal on points at the start of the day.
The seeds of this defeat were sown even before Crowborough left Steel Cross, with a spate of withdrawals, needing a call up for replacements who gamely volunteered to play out of position, knowingly having little positional or game time experience, a situation further exacerbated by a bus journey that was an hour late in arriving giving scant warm up or practice time.
Crowborough kicked off deep into Folkestone territory, but within 58 seconds were once more back at the centre spot getting ready to restart the game, already seven points down from a converted try set up by the Stones #10 who carried the ball back, and in cutting inside, wrong footed the ‘Boro back row to feed his fast arriving centre who touched down to the left of the post.7-0
Five minutes later ‘Boro’s indiscipline stretched the home sides’ advantage to 10 points. The Crowborough pack seemed to have the edge at this point but ‘Boro’s unfamiliar back line had real difficulty breaking the gain line, with few decoys or runners coming from depth and at pace, which made it a relatively simple matter for the Folkestone defence to close down the space giving little room for the ‘Boro backs to manoeuvre.
When the Folkestone pack won possession their backs had several plans, which they executed well, and with ‘Boro lining up narrowly it was too tempting a target not to develop the overlap with dummy runners, which they did with aplomb, and with the ‘Boro defence looking sluggish, took the score to 17 -0 with just 15 mins gone.
However with the ‘Boro pack holding it’s own, it seemed reasonable to test the theory of ten man rugby, and from a penalty kick deep into touch in the Stones 22, a maul from the lineout was illegally pulled down by the Stones #8 who was shown yellow. With a man down ‘Boro elected to go for the scrum and as the drive came on keeping the remaining back row honest, Matt Botterman, proving that class is timeless, peeled off the base to crash over for the score that was well converted by Chris Yates
, for a ten point game. 17-7
Crowborough took encouragement from this score and through their pack took the ball twice into the Stones 22 before poor discipline once more let the home side off the hook bringing the half to an end at 17-7.
was brought on at half time to bolster the pack, knowing that the next score would be crucial for the visitors, one way or another. When Gary Stevens
was sin binned soon after the restart, an already fragile back line was to see a renewed assault and the score that would settle the eventual outcome of the game was not too long in coming, when a neatly engineered overlap gave the winger a simple run in to help his team to 24-7.
The fourth but unconverted bonus point try came with five minutes to go, immediately followed by a try for Tom West
a reward for his tireless energy, when he at last managed to slip inside the back row cover to sprint twenty metres for the try that Chris Yates
was unable to convert. 29-12
With seconds on the clock and ‘Boro well beaten Stones crossed for a fifth unconverted try to take the final score to 34-12 that now puts five points between the two sides.