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1st XV - Match centre

Hastings & Bexhill
Crowborough
Tries
C Hand, M Botterman (2), J Groocock
Conversions
C Hand (2)
Sat 26 Jan 14:00 - London & SE Division - London 3 South East Full time Attendance 120

Borough Bag all 5 Points in injury time win....

By

And this was after being behind at the break.

Match Report by by Rick Howe.

The Referee today was Mr Paul Shepperd

Crowborough travelled down to the coast last weekend after a two week lay-off, anxious to remedy the one point loss in their last outing against Vigo, and get back to winning ways.
Perhaps it was that very anxiousness, or the fierce biting wind that was to have a dampening effect on the first half of this game, but that would be to ignore the dogged determination of the home side, battling to get off the bottom of the table.
Whatever the reason, Crowborough started in their customary manner, with Connor Hand making a couple of Larkhamesque breaks, but was hauled to the ground before he could off-load. The ‘Boro pack were firing on all cylinders, securing quick ball for the backs, but a series of unsympathetic bullet like passes and dropped catches, stemmed the initial momentum and soon the pack turned to route one, with driving mauls up the centre of the field.
Moving into the second quarter of the match, ‘Boro cruised into the Hastings 22, and pilling on the pressure, drove the defenders over their line only for the ball to be held up. From the ensuing scrum the ‘Boro eight, controlled the shove, and keeping the Hastings back row honest, allowed Matt Botterman to pick up and cross the line for the first score of the afternoon. In these windy conditions the kick was missed. 0-5.
At this point Boro’ were on top and well in control, as it was over 30 minutes before Hastings entered the boro’ 22.
Hastings then had a 50 metre penalty attempt which although wind assisted was pulled marginally wide. With ‘Boro pinned in their own 22, and with the wind making any kicked clearance practically impossible, they gamely drove the ball down field with pick and drives and off-loads. Inevitably the ball was spilled and punted back innocuously once more into the ‘Boro 22.
In what was to be a series of mad moments, Harry Marchesi’s well taken high ball, was followed in quick succession by an unnecessary support call, a fortuitous punt through over the ‘Boro line, a risky pick up rather than simple touch down, finishing with a bundle into touch, and Hastings just five metres from the line without even handling the ball.
From the lineout Hastings set up the maul and with the defence short on the left side the prop span off the edge and went over the line for an unconverted try after 35 minutes. 5-5
With the half coming to an end a final penalty to Hastings was slotted by the impressive Hastings #10 to take the half time score to 8-5. HT
With the wind turning to gale force and in favour of the visitors, Connor Hand needed no second invitation to use it to gain ground. With ‘Boro winning their own lineouts and dominating the scrums Hastings had little option but to risk the ire of the official by either collapsing the mauls or hanging on the offside line to prevent quick delivery.
With ten minutes of the half gone and with ‘Boro once more in the Hastings 22 , Hastings again transgressed, and ‘Boro opted for the scrum. As the shove came on Man of the Match, Matt Botterman picked at the back of the scrum to blast through the 9/10 channel and under the posts for a Connor Hand converted try. 8-12
With Hastings seemingly unable to legally contain the ‘Boro pack, it was inevitable that someone would catch the officials eye and after a blatant off-side the #6 was duly despatched for ten minutes, punished by yet another forwards try scored by Josh Groocock and converted by Connor Hand 8-19.
Although ahead, Crowborough were still unable to put together any meaningful flowing moves, until Bertie Boast, showing signs of what he is potentially capable of, picked up a loose ball and slung out an exquisite flat pass to Harry Marchesi who came bursting into the line. Drawing his man he popped a well weighted lob to debutant Angus Weir, whose electric pace and mazy running style took him to within four metres of the line. Showing great maturity, rather than trying to blast through the cover he held up the pass just long enough for Harry Marchesi to arrive, but as he went over the official indicated a forward pass to deny the bonus point try.
From the scrum, ‘Boro once more gained possession, but as Matt Botterman scrambled over the line he was incredibly robbed of the ball, and it seemed that time was running out on ‘Boro securing the bonus point try.
However it was to be yet another penalty awarded to ‘Boro on the five metre line that allowed Connor Hand to score out wide in the dying seconds to take the win and bonus point with a 11-24 scoreline.
That Crowborough were deserved winners was not in dispute, indeed they could have had two or three more scores to outline their dominance, however they are “still a work in progress” with decision making and support high on the list.
However the biggest mystery of the game was why are Hastings and Bexhill propping up the League? They are an impressive outfit with several talented players, quick backs and robust defence and deserve to continue to grace the London Leagues.

CRFC XV vs Hastings & Bexhill - Away 26th Jan.2019
61 photos

Matthew Botterman

Player of the Match

Matthew Botterman

Key moments

23:45
Try Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
50:23
Try Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
51:45
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
62:45
Try Joshua Groocock scores for Crowborough
63:56
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
79:33
Try Connor Hand scores for Crowborough

Videos and photos

Highlights

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80:00 +0:01 Player of the Match
Matthew Botterman is awarded player of the match for Crowborough
80:00 Missed Conversion
Connor Hand misses a conversion for Crowborough
79:33 Try 0 - 24
Connor Hand scores for Crowborough
63:56 Conversion 0 - 19
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
62:45 Try 0 - 17
Joshua Groocock scores for Crowborough
57:12 Sub Off
Adam King is substituted off for Crowborough
57:12 Sub On
Richard Taylor is substituted on for Crowborough
55:15 Sub Off
Mark Rosier is substituted off for Crowborough
55:15 Sub On
Tom Kent is substituted on for Crowborough
51:45 Conversion 0 - 12
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
50:23 Try 0 - 10
Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
40:14 Sub Off
Sam Edwards is substituted off for Crowborough
40:14 Sub On
Alex Purnell is substituted on for Crowborough
End of period 1
24:40 Missed Conversion
Connor Hand misses a conversion for Crowborough
23:45 Try 0 - 5
Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Hastings & Bexhill
  • Crowborough
  • 0
  • Matthew Botterman Try 23:45'
  • Sam Edwards Sub Off 40:14'
  • Alex Purnell Sub On 40:14'
  • Matthew Botterman Try 50:23'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 51:45'
  • Mark Rosier Sub Off 55:15'
  • Tom Kent Sub On 55:15'
  • Adam King Sub Off 57:12'
  • Richard Taylor Sub On 57:12'
  • Joshua Groocock Try 62:45'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 63:56'
  • Connor Hand Try 79:33'

Team selection

Marchesi, Harry Marchesi, Harry
Boast, Bertie Boast, Bertie
King, Adam King, Adam
Stevens, Gary Stevens, Gary
Weir, Angus Weir, Angus
Hand, Connor Hand, Connor
West, Tom West, Tom
Botterman, Matthew Botterman, Matthew
Main, Callum Main, Callum
Groocock, Joshua Groocock, Joshua
Hill, Nick Hill, Nick
Slatter, Harry Slatter, Harry
Tasker, Richard Tasker, Richard
Edwards, Sam Edwards, Sam
Rosier, Mark Rosier, Mark

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Crowborough 20 79
2. Beccehamian 20 68
3. Folkestone 20 64
4. Pulborough 20 60
5. Vigo 20 60
6. Old Dunstonians 21 54
7. Park House 20 48

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