A bad day at the office ......
By Ian Geering
But despite the performance , Boro remain top of the League
Match Report by Rick Howe:
This was the first meeting between these two sides in more than a decade, and presented Crowborough with the opportunity to put clear daylight between the top two sides and the chasing pack.
However third placed Beccehamians would have a significant influence over that in the next 80 minutes, leaving the league as wide open as ever, as the first half of the season draws to a close, with half the sides still in with a shout.
Crowborough started lively enough, probing for weaknesses in the visitors defence, but finding very few. Fielding arguably their largest ever pack ‘Boro were nevertheless dwarfed by the gargantuan eight from South London, and only some heroic efforts from the ‘Boro back row kept the try line from being crossed in the initial forays. Surely it would be only a matter of time before the big boys would tire and provide the gaps for the ‘Boro backs to exploit?
However, the visitors ploughed on, with their backs probing the centre of the ‘Boro defence, going into the tackle and off-loading to fast arriving support. Seven phases of play saw this tactic pay off, with the right wing finishing off a great move applauded by both sets of supporters. The try went unconverted 0-5
From the restart, Beccs once more put pressure on the narrow ‘Boro defence which did not help themselves by leaving too much space between the lines for the opposition to exploit at speed. With Callum Main putting in another decent stint at the office hitting almost anything that moved, a spilt ball was fielded by Josh Groocock and fed to Sam Kisbee.
Missing out Gary Stevens the ball found Bertie Boast out wide on the right, who backed himself to go outside his opposite number and evade the fast arriving full back cover and cross over between the sticks allowing a simple conversion for Sam Kisbee. 7-5
With neither side dominating the exchanges, a certain belligerence developed between the sides, and as the collisions became more hostile so the odd outbreak of hand-bags occurred. With ‘Boro taking their eye off the prize for several minutes, Beccs firstly secured a penalty to go ahead before scoring an unconverted forwards try. 7-13
With Will Creasy having to leave the field, on 28 minutes, with a wrist injury, the game started to turn a little acrimonious with the visitors cheering and applauding every decision in their favour, but the referee eventually lost patience with this and Beccs continuous abuse the off-side line, having no option but to award ‘Boro a penalty try.14-13
Beccs pulled back six points from two more, of an ever increasing ‘Boro penalty count, to go back into the lead at Half Time. 14-19
That penalty count continued unabated into the second half with Gary Stevens, already under the radar from the first half, getting pinged and directed to the sin bin for ten minutes. With the extra man advantage Beccs engineered a converted try, before once more Beccs transgressed by kicking the ball out of #9 Tom West hands at the back of the ‘Boro scrum, conceding yet another penalty try to the home side. 21-26.
With ‘Boro seemingly chasing a bonus point loss most of the afternoon, rather than the winning score, it was the visitors who demonstrated that they wanted it more than the home side and with a late penalty secured the win taking ‘Boro out of bonus point territory.21-29
This loss cuts ‘Boro’s advantage at the top of the League to just four points, and although this humbling will be no bad thing if it concentrates the mind for the next few encounters, it is essential that they treat each game the same, and address the penalty count which ultimately contributed to the outcome of this match.
Next week is Cup Weekend allowing ‘Boro to nurse the wounds before their next outing away to Park House 1/12/18.
Our Referee today was Mr Stephen Lewis