By Colin Whiteley
THANET WANDERERS 2s 43 – 15 SOUTHWARK RFC 2s
The game was played at the Blackheath RFC complex which not only provided a quality pitch and facilities but is also conveniently situated. Thank you to the Southwark ‘Rebels’ for arranging the change of venue.
The hosts kicked off with a strong breeze blowing across the large pitch. Opening exchanges were fairly even before, on 12 minutes, Mike Morris used his strength to power over for Thanet’s opening try which Harrison Leach converted. Three minutes later a series of sharp offloads took Thanet close before Warren Riddell Broomfield made the touchdown after a good drive to the line.
Southwark were quick to respond with a try following uncertain Thanet defending at a line-out and then another four minutes later after stripping the ball from a Wanderers’ carry. Neither was converted leaving Thanet with a narrow 12-10 lead.
On thirty minutes Thanet went close but were penalised in the final build up before again patiently building for Number 8 Will Craven to claim a well-earned try 3 minutes later. There was no further score before half-time when Wanderers led 17-10.
Thanet called for a fast start from their side to the second half and prop forward Danny Clement, who was playing in the centre, was clearly listening. In the first minute he burst through the line before handing on to Cameron Beck to add his gloss to the score. Leach converted. Southwark again responded and camped near Thanet’s line before completing a well worked try.
There was no conversion but the Rebels had narrowed the gap to 24-15. Leach looked sharp all afternoon and he created space with a lovely show and go, to score the fifth try, which he then converted.
Minutes later Clement again broke the home defensive line before powering over for a fine individual try and another conversion from Leach opened up a good gap at 38-15.The open spaces of the pitch were now testing the stamina of both sides and there was no further score until 5 minutes from full time when open-side wing forward Kurt Pearson’s burst of speed put him clear through the defensive line to put the seal on a fine performance from Wanderers
There was no addition to the 43-15 scoreline and Wanderers progressed to play Dartfordians second XV, at home, in the semi-final on March 19.
This was a fine performance in the Wanderers style from the seconds that pleased Seniors’ Forwards Coach Elliott Blackmore and Team manager Michael Whitehead. The blend of all age groups saw three Veterans in the starting XV and, in the closing stages of the game, Thanet’s front five had an average age of 19.5 years. Number Eight, Will Craven, gave an impressive display and he was the choice as Thanet’s man of the match.
This coming Saturday, all three of Thanet’s teams will travel to Ashford to take on their counterparts. Kick Off at 2.30pm
SQUAD;– Luke Browning, Jay Sanford, Michael Morris, Matt Jacobs, Regan Doody, Warren R-Broomfield. Kurt Pearson, Will Craven, Harrison Leach, Peter Macaulay, Tom Stevens, Danny Clement, Cameron Beck, Leon Doody, Neil Roby SUBS- Jack Lintern, Ed Plori, Finlay Lycett, Bill Ingrams.