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1st XV - Match centre

M Botterman (2), M Rosier, A Orchard, C Hand
C Hand (4)
Sat 30 Mar 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 3 South East Full time Attendance 185

Boro' Secure Promotion and the Championship !!!


After a slow start to the game, the Crow's came storming back in the second period to secure the London South East Three title.

Match Report by Rick Howe
Our Referee today was Michael Ellis.

Off the back of two consecutive defeats, a visit to promotion chasing third placed Folkestone, was perhaps not what the ‘Boro squad had in mind when trying to close out the season as League Champions.
From the opening whistle, and with Groocock, Purnell and Main all sidelined, it was clear that on this balmy sunny afternoon the contest was going to be far from a walk in the park.
With five minutes gone; five minutes of Folkestone pressure and five points conceded, the ‘Boro defence showed that there is still much to learn, as they again allowed too much space to develop between the lines and each other. The #11 who was to kick impeccably all afternoon added the two points. 7-0.
With momentum on their side Folkestone engineered a penalty which they put into touch on the ‘Boro 5 metre. From the lineout the #15 gratefully exploited the gaps as the score doubled 14-0 after just eight minutes.
It was essential that ‘Boro got the journey out of their system quickly if they were not to endure a humiliating defeat and a quiet trip home. Rallying his troops captain Matt Botterman drove the pack into the Stones 22, and as the maul developed into a ruck Botterman picked up to dive over and score for a Connor Hand converted try. 14-7
However within moments Folkestone had restored their 14 point margin , when from the kick off, the ball, not for the first time, was allowed to bounce gifting possession to the fast arriving #18 centre who released his backs. With the ‘Boro cover arriving quickly, another punt upfield was fielded by Bertie Boast who returned the kick back into the Stones half to the #14. The game of tennis continued, with the returned kick again being misfielded. From the maul the ball popped out to see the #14 ground the ball over the line for another seven pointer 21-7.
With the Stones gargantuan prop spending 10 minutes in the bin for a series of offences, ‘Boro used the opportunity to assert their man advantage to add seven points from another Matt Botterman/Connor Hand push over try bringing the score to a manageable 21-14 with 90 seconds of the half remaining before the coaches could address the tactical shortcomings.
However Folkestone had not read the script, and having once more exploited an ill disciplined defence, the Stones #7 rounded three defenders to score their bonus point try that was converted by the unerring #11 to bring the half time score to 28-14, with ‘Boro desperately needing the next score if they were to get anything from this match.
It was not to be. Folkestone were awarded a penalty early in the half that was inevitably slotted to put 17 points between the sides.31-14.
If there was ever a time for a side to show spirit and character then this was it. Tactically moving the ball wide simply was not working, so Bertie Boast showing vision, used his prodigious boot to put a pin point accurate kick deep into the Folkestone 22. The throw in was stolen and from the resulting maul it was Mark Rosier who claimed the try, which Connor Hand converted narrowing the gap to ten points 31-21.
Crowborough’s superior fitness started to tell as the big Stones forwards began to blow and ‘Boro piled on the pressure. From a central field ruck Andy Orchard picked up the loose ball and seeing the way open set off for the try line 40 metres away, but chased by several backs who cut off the direct 40 metre route, he was forced towards the corner 50 metres away making it with inches to spare but crucially two yards from the touchline. Connor Hand had not missed until this point and he was not to disappoint again sliding the ball over the ball to bring ‘Boro within 3 points and now having secured the two bonus points to take the Championship. 31-28
However it would be a hollow and completely unsatisfactory way to achieve the championship on the back of three losses, so it was left for the best try of the day to put the visitors ahead. Fittingly it was to be a full team try, from Tom Kent’s initial 30 metre break that set up the ruck on the home sides 10 metre line. Quick ball to Tom West allowed Bertie Boast to release his backs with space to exploit. A miss pass from Gary Stevens to Connor Hand on the wing gave him the space to accelerate to tackle bursting speed, and with just his opposite number to beat crashed over for the try that put the Sussex side in the lead. With all kicks from both sides bisecting the uprights who would bet against the next one extending the ‘Boro lead to four points. Agonisingly it was not to be and the score remained at 31-33 with eight minutes remaining.
Now was the time for game management , and it was not a time to be playing where a home penalty could snatch victory. Earlier in the season in similar situations ‘Boro would attempt to run the ball out of trouble, but with everything riding on the outcome, Bertie Boast repeatedly put the ball down the field making the home side attack from their own half. With moments to go, Folkestone dug deep for one last effort and entering the ‘Boro half the referee spotted an infringement and awarded a Stones penalty some 35 metres out. Kick it and they win, miss it and ‘Boro are Champions. The ball sailed wide and moments later the whistle brought the game to an exciting end. 31-33
With one more round to play this weekend, mathematically Folkestone could gain a promotion place, through superior points difference, with a bonus point win over forth placed Vigo away, assuming an unlikely but not impossible Beccahmians loss to Bromley. Crowborough sign off their campaign at home to Old Williamsonians, and with the game being preceded by the presidents lunch, a large crowd is anticipated.
Crowborough Crows, ‘Boros third string rounded off a great season with a narrow loss on the AGP pitch at Horsham in the Sussex Cup Vase Final Level 12, against Bognor 3’s 31-28 in what was a thoroughly entertaining and hard fought match.

Key moments

Try Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
Try Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
Try Mark Rosier scores for Crowborough
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
Try Andy Orchard scores for Crowborough
Conversion Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
Try Connor Hand scores for Crowborough

Videos and photos


View 0 new events
77:14 Sub Off
Bertie Boast is substituted off for Crowborough
77:14 Sub On
James Hart is substituted on for Crowborough
73:23 Missed Conversion
Connor Hand misses a conversion for Crowborough
72:17 Try 0 - 33
Connor Hand scores for Crowborough
72:10 Try Assist
Gary Stevens makes an assist for Crowborough
68:18 Sub On
George Jones is substituted on for Crowborough
68:18 Sub Off
Andy Orchard is substituted off for Crowborough
60:57 Conversion 0 - 28
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
59:45 Try 0 - 26
Andy Orchard scores for Crowborough
53:56 Conversion 0 - 21
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
52:34 Try 0 - 19
Mark Rosier scores for Crowborough
End of period 1
38:32 Conversion 0 - 14
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
37:13 Try 0 - 12
Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
36:12 Yellow Card
Mark Rosier is yellow carded for Crowborough
15:33 Conversion 0 - 7
Connor Hand kicks a conversion for Crowborough
14:38 Try 0 - 5
Matthew Botterman scores for Crowborough
12:16 Sub On
Tom Kent is substituted on for Crowborough
12:16 Sub Off
Andy Orchard is substituted off for Crowborough
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Folkestone
  • Crowborough
  • 0
  • Tom Kent Sub On 12:16'
  • Andy Orchard Sub Off 12:16'
  • Matthew Botterman Try 14:38'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 15:33'
  • Mark Rosier Yellow Card 36:12'
  • Matthew Botterman Try 37:13'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 38:32'
  • Mark Rosier Try 52:34'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 53:56'
  • Andy Orchard Try 59:45'
  • Connor Hand Conversion 60:57'
  • Andy Orchard Sub Off 68:18'
  • George Jones Sub On 68:18'
  • Gary Stevens Try Assist 72:10'
  • Connor Hand Try 72:17'
  • Bertie Boast Sub Off 77:14'
  • James Hart Sub On 77:14'

Team selection

Taylor, Richard Taylor, Richard
Smith, Lloyd Smith, Lloyd
King, Adam King, Adam
Stevens, Gary Stevens, Gary
Hand, Connor Hand, Connor
Boast, Bertie Boast, Bertie
West, Tom West, Tom
Botterman, Matthew Botterman, Matthew
Jude-Trailor, Ollie Jude-Trailor, Ollie
Orchard, Andy Orchard, Andy
Creasy, William Creasy, William
Slatter, Harry Slatter, Harry
Tasker, Richard Tasker, Richard
Edwards, Sam Edwards, Sam
Rosier, Mark Rosier, Mark

League round up

Other London 3 South East results

Hastings & Bexhill

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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