Match Report by Rick Howe
Our Referee today was Mr Paul Shepperd.
The rain held off, but only until the kick off, and continued throughout the match adding to the gloom and was probably a contributing factor to the subdued performance of both side during the opening 40 minutes.
OA’s started the game in a more determined and attack minded manner, leaving the home side to demonstrate their stoic defensive qualities.
What ball ‘Boro did secure was often wasted with poorly directed kicks, and telegraphed moves, that saw the ball overturned far too often.
Both side had their chances, with OA’s first penalty attempt from 35 metres out, being pulled to the left of the posts after fifteen minutes, before ignoring a second simple opportunity, in favour of going for seven points, only to have their lineout ball turned over and the moment lost.
‘Boro also had their moments, the best of which came from Tom West who broke from inside his own 22, evading several attempted tackles before being brought down on the OA’s 22. With the support arriving fast possession was recycled only for the greasy ball to squirt out forward bringing a favourable move, and the half, to an anticlimactic end.0-0
The second half started as a mirror image of the first, with ‘Boro attacking from all areas of the field and OA’s putting in the telling defensive tackles that saw Alex Purnell the first of the walking wounded, side lined with a leg injury.
OA’s had two further kickable penalties within a period of five minutes and although the first went the same way as that in the first half the second bisected the posts 0-3.
‘Boro had their own penalty attempt, following a high tackle, converted by Ollie Clinch, before the game reverted back to long kicks tempting the defending side to attack out of defence.3-3
OA’s were the first to benefit from this tactic as a long kick into the ‘Boro22 was mis-fielded by Bertie Boast, and as the advancing OA pack stormed in, ‘Boro held onto the ball in the ruck. A quick tap penalty saw the ball quickly moved to the right where the wing snuck in to score what could have been the winning try. The kick was short. 3-8.
With the clock running down and ‘Boro piling on the pressure, their punchy forays towards the OA line were constantly repulsed. From a penalty Ali Main put the ball deep into the OA’s 22, with just 4 minutes of the game remaining.
From the lineout the ‘Boro maul drove towards the OA’s posts, and showing discipline and determination, moved the ball to the back. Tom West plucked the ball out of the ruck feeding Ali Main who dummied to his backs before exploiting the 10 channel to score between the posts for a Ollie Clinch converted try. 10-8
OA’s tried hard in the remaining two minutes to get within penalty range but Crowborough would not oblige, and when the official indicated final play Tom West dispatched the ball into touch.
This result keeps ‘Boro in fourth place just two points behind league leaders Haywards Heath and level on points with third placed Old Colfeians.
Crowborough’s next match is away to eighth placed Deal & Bettshanger on the 9th November with the slightly earlier Kick Off of 2:30pm.