Becc's do the double over Boro'
By Ian Geering
After a 3 week lay-off, Boro' looked rusty, throughout , Which was a real disappointment to the travelling Crowborough Faithful !
The question was, would a 20 day lay-off since their last competitive game against Old Dunstonians, prove too much? The answer was to be a fairly emphatic “yes” , and with a further 13 days before their next game, the final run in to the seasons’ finale on 6th April, with three other sides, mathematically in with a shout, is set to be nail biting.
To be blunt, Beccahamians were the better side and deserved their win. Were they 18 points the better side, probably not? Did the ‘Boro performance flatter the home side, probably, but they deservedly won, and are the only side to have done the double over the league leaders, who seemed sluggish and rusty from their long layoff.
Beccs fielded 10 changes from their line up at Steel Cross in November , outlining their real strength in depth, something that will be needed should they secure promotion, much of which will depend upon the result of their next match against rivals Vigo who also sit on 55 points, but now in third place by virtue of points difference.
This game was to be a litany of disappointment for the visitors, although they were on the score sheet within seconds of the start of the match with a stunning try from Matt Botterman, who led his side by example from start to finish.
From the kick off the Beccs full back cleared back up field onto the ‘Boro 10 metre line where Botterman waited. Taking the ball on the full and showing a turn of speed normally reserved for wingers, he bullied his way through a couple of ineffective tackles before finding the way free to gallop over the line for a Connor Hand
converted try. So much for being rusty!!! 0-7
Within three minutes the score was levelled, as Beccs regrouped and with their gargantuan pack rumbled up the field to score out wide on the left for the try that was well converted. This was the start of what was to be a difficult day at the office. 7-7
Beccahamians having weathered the initial ‘Boro storm, started to creep up the field through their pack controlling the ball and denying ‘Boro even a glimpse. As they approached the line their impressive captain David Watkins secured the ball and drove over the line for a converted try, but not before Bertie Boast
had been sin binned for a deliberate knock on. 14-7
With another unconverted try, suspiciously appearing to be knocked on, taking the score to 19-7, Crowborough put in one more effort before half time, and from a scrum on the Beccs 22, and with the ball won but clearly still in the scrum, #9 Tom West
was cynically tackled without the ball from an offside position, and charitably, with the official on the wrong side of the scrum, the offence disappointingly went unseen and unpunished. HT 19-7
From the restart with Beccs playing down the hill and with the wind marginally in their favour, something which ‘Boro had failed to exploit in the first half, Beccs went further ahead with a converted try 26-7 through hooker Harry Copley who charged through a porous defence to place the ball at the base of the post.
With ‘Boro attacking into the Beccs 22, a strikingly similar offence to Bertie Boasts’s was dismissed, before Connor Hand
latched onto the chip across to score a well taken try out wide on the right, but sadly he was unable to add the extra two points 26-12.
Josh Groocock had to leave the field at this point with what appears to be a season ending torn ham string, being replaced by Will Creasey, leaving Groocock to add his generous vocals to the proceedings.
Beccs kept the score sheet ticking over with two converted tries in quick succession exploiting some serious defensive deficiencies that failed to close down the space between the two back divisions, and in doing so allowed Beccs to attack seemingly at will, with some exquisite support play; offloading and displays of real pace. However the second try had an element of farce when the Beccs left wing faced with just Connor Hand
to beat, chipped ahead, but unable to round the bulk if front of him, ran into Hand falling to the ground as if poleaxed, before then magically rising like the phoenix, to remonstrate loudly to the official for obstruction, which was, after a moments reflection, granted, thus providing the platform for the score. 40-12
Nothing could be taken away from Beccs next score which was simply pure class, with support from every direction, sublime handling and clinical finishing under the posts for their final converted try.47-12
Stung and embarrassed at letting the opposition dictate the game, and falling for some well-practiced obstructive positioning that opened scoring corridors, ‘Boro set about to restore pride and bring some credibility back to the score line, and in doing so perhaps rescue something from the game.
With less than ten minutes remaining but the game already lost, ‘Boro showed character when they pulled back a score through Will Creasy who finished off a fine forward drive for a Connor Hand
converted try bringing the possibility of fourth try bonus point a bit closer. 47-19
That came moments later when Gary Stevens
burst through the centre to score out wide for another unconverted but bonus point try. Unfortunately this was too little too late, but not before Matt Botterman had a final say. Playing a real captains role, Botterman took the ball on his own 10 metre line, and with twenty-nine pairs of eyes watching, he outsprinted the cover defence and his own supporting players to score an unconverted try out in the corner bringing the final score to 47-29, and ‘Boro ruing their third quarter performance.
Crowborough on 67 head the League by 12 points, with Beccahamians now in second with 55 and Vigo third on points difference also with 55. A fast improving Folkestone on 52, could take advantage of the Vigo Vs Beccahamians encounter in a couple of weeks when one side will lose out. As far as Crowborough are concerned they just need 3 points from the final 3 games, but must just concentrate on what they can influence and leave the speculation to others, but it is still all to play for.