Thanet were quickly on the board after Henry Mirams found Peter Macaulay in support to close out his first league try of the season.
Zac Ward made a good conversion and on seven minutes, from a penalty, he set a good attacking position on Ashford’s twenty-two. The driving maul has worked well for Thanet recently and now again Clement was at the heart of the action that drove over the line for try number two and a 12-0 lead. Ashford caught Wanderers napping minutes later and the home scrum half ran in to score under the posts to make it 12-7.
This quickly became 15-7 as Ward stroked over a penalty and then used another couple of penalties to set an attacking lineout fifteen metres out. Sharp handling saw the ball reach outside centre Lewis Hewitt who carved a nice line to get in behind the defence and finish under the posts. Ward made it 22-7.
On the half hour more good handling finally gave right wing Mirams an opportunity and his determination saw him battle his way to the line for Thanet’s bonus point try. Ashford finished the half well and Brett Scott led a good defence with a series of tackles that helped maintain the 27-7 scoreline at half time.
Early in the second period Clement claimed his double. A text book lineout move ended with him speeding along the right wing for his third try in the last couple of matches. A super conversion from wide right by Zac Ward extended Wanderers lead to 34-7 before Ashford scored their second try. Their pack was strong at the scrum throughout the match and with a busy scrum half it was no surprise when careless Thanet marking was punished with an unconverted try again from Ashford’s nine.
Prolific scorer left winger Charlie Knight saw half a chance and produced a signature try for Thanet’s sixth. Wanderers exerted consistent pressure that eventually breached the defence and it was Andy Letts Wanderers’ talismanic lock forward who powered over. On the stroke of injury time Copp crowned another good performance as he danced through the opposition for the eighth try and Ward’s conversion brought up the fifty points.
After the match head coach Tom Carlier thanked his side for the entertainment provided in this match and throughout a successful season. There were stand out performances from James Langridge at scrum half and from Captain Dave Lemon but it was fellow backrower Matt Short who has made great strides since joining the first XV who made another outstanding contribution today that earned him the man of the match award.
On Easter Saturday 15th April, Wanderers are holding an Open, Six a side Touch Rugby Tournament with registration for the junior competition at 9.30am and for the senior at noon. Squads of up to 12 are welcome.
ASHFORD RFC 12 – 51 THANET WANDERERS RUFC