Back to Winning Ways !
By Ian Geering
After a very wet afternoon at Park House, Borough came away with 52 points ......and stopped Park House scoring a single point.
Match Report by Rick Howe.
In the corresponding fixture last season, Crowborough came way second best, and for the first ten minutes yesterday, history looked horribly as though it may repeat itself.
However once the initial sparring had been completed with both sets of forwards taking their sides close to their opponents try lines, it was ‘Boro that got the score board ticking over, with a Connor Hand penalty for pulling down the maul. 0-3
From the restart some quick offloading and support play saw ‘Boro awarded a scrum ten metres out. As the power came on the Park pack back-peddled, allowing Matt Botterman at #8 to pick up and charge the final two metres to score under the sticks. Connor Hand converted to take the score to 0-10
Park House came back, and although their ambition had real merit their handling let them down. From one such attack, the tenacious ‘Boro defence dislodged the ball. Josh Groocock scooped it up and broke down the left touchline. As the cover came across Lloyd Smith arrived with Bertie Boast on his shoulder. Lloyd Smith latched onto the offload, and with a subtle show of the ball to Bertie Boast, wrong footed the defence allowing a clear path to the try line. Connor Hand duly obliged again to take the score to 0-17.
With half time approaching Park once more pilled on the pressure and as they went over the line Mark Rosier got under the ball to keep a clean sheet as the whistle went for half time. This was a crucial save at a crucial time as Park were building momentum that could have stemmed the ‘Boro initiative.
Indeed as the second half started Park tried to continue where they had left off , but fine ‘Boro tackling particularly by the standout Harry Slatter and Callum Main, kept the home side at bay. At this point Matt Botterman sustained a serious leg injury, forcing a change of pitch while the ambulance was called.
With the luxury of being able to call Tom Kent from the bench Crowborough once more went on the attack and from a scrum ten metres out Tom Kent crossed the line but the referee was not happy and had the scrum reset. Not to be outdone Kent repeated the move this time to the officials satisfaction and Connor Hand , who was not to miss a kick all afternoon duly added the extra points. 0-24
Park House refused to lie down and continued to pile on the pressure, but their handing once more let them down with the line begging, coughing up possession to Lloyd Smith who sprinted out of defence with Tom West in support. On the halfway line Lloyd Smith released Tom West who bounded the remaining 50 metres to record the bonus point try that Connor Hand converted. 0-31
Although many of the ‘Boro scores were opportune and well taken, none was more bizarre than the next try. As Connor Hand kicked to relieve more Park pressure the ball scooted along the ground deep into the Park 22. Unfortunately the #15 slipped and mis-fielded the kick. With Lloyd Smith and Gary Stevens following up the now bobbling ball, Gary Stevens tapped the ball over the line before simply falling on it to record the score. 0-38
Gary Stevens featured in the next score when he and Bertie Boast chased Boast’s long raking kick ahead, and as Gary Stevens toe poked the ball ahead Boast picked it up on the fly to record the score. 0-45
It was poetic justice that the final score went to Harry Marchesi as a just reward for having some bad luck with the bounce of the ball during the afternoons and his first Senior Try for the Club, with man of the match Connor Hand recording his eight successful kick of the day. 0-52
This bonus point victory puts Crowborough, once more 7 points ahead at the top of the table, although with fixtures against Folkestone and Lewes still to be played before the Christmas break, and with several sides pilling on the pressure from below, Crowborough cannot afford to lose focus.