Boro' are not over the line yet !
By Ian Geering
With Promotion now secured, They need just one point, from the remaining two games to secure the Championship......
Any neutrals present would have thought the visitors were heading the table and the home team heading for relegation. The large and vociferous crowd saw Park House start strongly playing some good rugby. As has been the case in previous encounters their outside half Richard Russ orchestrated the play with deft touches and good vision. It was Crowborough who opened the scoring however after a Park House attack broke down in Crowborough territory. The quick thinking Bertie Boast
picked the ball up and made a scintillating break before off-loading to the fast charging Andy Orchard
who galloped over from 25 metres out. Sam Kisbee
add the extras. 7 – 0.
About 15 minutes into the game Park House were rewarded with a try after some excellent inter-passing between backs and forwards. The ball eventually found its way into the hands of Patrick Shiel who for a big man put on a splendid turn of pace to score wide out. The conversion went wide of the posts. 7 – 5.
Park House now took control of the game and put the hosts on the back foot. Resolute defending kept the visitors at bay but eventually it cracked allowing Laurence Morgan to score taking the visitors into the lead. 7- 10.
It was now Crowborough’s turn to ramp up the pressure and they started to look more like the table topping side that they are. Forwards and backs linked seamlessly allowing Bertie Boast
to give Connor Hand
the space to score wide out and to restore the lead at 12-10, this being the half time score.
The second half saw Park House again start the stronger only for Crowborough to open the scoring. A concerted period of pressure was broken up when the excellent Matt Botterman stole the ball and thundered 75 metres down field before off-loading to Sam Kisbee
. Only a tremendous last ditch tackle prevented the try. From the subsequent passage of play Crowborough refused a kick at a goal instead opting for the scrum. The proficient home eight powered over the line for Matt Botterman to touch down to extend the lead. Sam Kisbee
added the conversion. 19- 10.
Park House were simply not going to lie down. Backs and forwards linked well and wing Jack Knight went on a mazy run to take the visitors to within metres of the try line. Good defending and a slice of luck allowed the home side to clear the ball. Yet again out of Park House pressure came the bonus point try for Crowborough. It was Matt Botterman at the heart of things stealing the ball and making another rampaging run down field. This time the off-load found Tom West
who sped over for the try and what at the time looked a title winning lead of 26-10.
It could be argued that the Steel Cross men with plenty of time still to go thought the game was won and let down their guard. Park House now staring at the distinct possibility of relegation turned the heat up and piled into Crowborough with skill and determination. The half back pairing of Russ and Iain McElhone led by example from the front with accurate passing and sniping runs. The pressure was enough for Crowborough’s defence to become sloppy allowing McElhone to score under the posts for a well deserved try. Not only did Crowborough’s defence become sloppy so did their skill levels. Hard won ball was wasted by careless and inaccurate back play. It was no surprise that Park House scored next with Richard Russ weaving through the home defence for a try which he converted.
The final ignominy came when Ollie Jude Trailor saw yellow for a needless indiscretion. Park House saw the opportunity and took it. When a awarded a penalty they had no hesitation to take it giving them the lead and ultimately the victory. Final score 26-27.
Borough's Man of the Match was Will Creasy who seem to be involved in everything that was good about borough's performance this afternoon.
The result fends off relegation for Park House and despite the loss the losing bonus point and try bonus point guarantees Crowborough promotion to London 2 South East next season. They travel to Folkestone next week who are still in with an outside chance of promotion. Crowborough 3s take on Bognor 3s in the Sussex Regional Cup final at Horsham. Good luck to them.