After another strong performance on their travel's into North Kent.
Match report this week by Graham Callard .On a beautiful sunny day in Kent this was a result that saw Crowborough go to the top of the table. It was a win founded on excellent forward play and resilient and resolute defence. The opening quarter was pretty even with Vigo looking marginally the better side. It was them who could have opened the scoring after Crowborough conceded a penalty in a very kickable position but sadly for the men in black it sailed wide. As the game progressed Crowborough took control with their big and agile forwards driving their opponents backwards. Man of the match Josh Groocock made his mark with a great run breaking away from Vigo;s defensive line taking the ball within 15 metres of the hosts line. The move broke down as Crowborough were penalised for having supporting runners in blocking positions.
The game lacked finesse at times with brutal tackling from both sides and a propensity to keep the ball tight or worse kick away good ball. Whilst Crowborough continued to look much the better side as the game developed it was Vigo who nearly got the opening try. It was only a last ditch tackle by Tom West on Vigo’s Luke Vint that prevented the score. Vint intercepted then carried the ball a good 60 metres before West snagged him from behind. That good defensive work was then undone as Crowborough’s discipline slipped. Back chat to the referee lost them 20 metres and Vigo were back in control.
When Crowborough didn’t have the ball they defended very well and were quick to counter-attack when the ball was turned over. Andy Orchard made good ground from one such break finding Richard Taylor in support. Vigo were now on the back foot. It was 21 minutes gone when Harry Slatter broke free, finding Nick Hill, (who was no early, due to the injury to Ash Moor) who then shifted it onto Tom West.
Vigo conceded a penalty which Crowborough took quickly with Callum Main crashing over for the first score. Just 4 minutes later the visitors extended their lead as the forwards inter-passed superbly before releasing centre Adam King for an excellent score under the posts. Connor Hands added the conversion. 12-0.
Vigo lost a couple of players to injury but didn’t lie down. Their ferocious tackling kept Crowborough at bay and when they had the ball they looked lively. Only good ‘Borough defence and poor decision making by the hosts kept them scoreless at the break.
The second half started much the same with Crowborough looking the stronger both in attack and defence. Vigo continued to waste their chances whereas ‘Borough built on theirs . Alex Purnell extended the lead after a series of dynamic pick and drives. Vigo’s defence had finally cracked. 17-0. This was quickly followed by a mazy run by Richard Taylor taking the ball deep into the home half. It was not long before the excellent Matt Botterman crashed over for the bonus point try following yet more powerful drives by the Steel Cross pack. 22-0.
Vigo were still working hard but couldn’t get behind the ‘Borough defence led by Callum Main. Yet again our forward dominance was putting Vigo under pressure. The scrum now becoming a good source of ball. Great support play allowed Josh Groocock to power over for his second of the day on 67 minutes. With the extras added by Connor Hand it was now 29-0
Vigo would simply not lie down and got a well deserved try on 74 minutes when Elliot Stickings crashed over wide out. For once Crowborough were split apart by an excellent break by Vint causing ‘Borough to infringe. The quickly taken tap found the wing clear and around under the posts. Immediately from the kick off Vigo were back under pressure and it wasn’t long before Tom West was rewarded for his tireless work as he went over to restore the 29-0 gap. Vigo didn’t know when they were beaten and got in the last word on the stroke of full time. Tom Whitehead was on hand to receive a well placed pop pass to smash over for a second consolation try. Final score 36-14
Crowborough cannot be complacent now as they host Sussex rivals Hastings & Bexhill at Steel Cross tomorrow. Kick off 15:00