By Colin Whiteley
Thanet Wanderers 2s 71 – 7 Snowdown RFC
Wanderers Second XV opened their season with a comprehensive win against old rivals Snowdown RFC. The visitors arrived with just fourteen players and after half an hour’s play, when victory seemed assured, Thanet loaned them players to help make the contest more even.
This was the opening game of the season for the 2s and was played on a sunny, mild afternoon with Thanet kicking off with a stiff breeze behind them.
They quickly opened a five point lead when Matt Jacobs stole a line-out and Kurt Pearson nipped down the blindside for the season’s opening try. Henry Mirams made it 10-0 on fifteen minutes after a quickly taken tap penalty and three minutes later Winger Tom Stevens finished some pleasing handling under the posts for a 17-0 lead.
Three minutes later Jacobs shrugged off attempted tackles to touch down before Mirams ran from his own half to score under the posts. Sam Rolfe was on the end of more good handling before touching down under the posts and adding his fourth conversion of the afternoon. A good break from Number 8 Noah Dann sent Mirams away for his hat trick of tries before Tyler Chance ended the first half in style with a nicely finished try to make the score 50-0 at half time.
Stevens recorded his brace early in the second period before Dann capped a good afternoon’s work with a try two minutes later, both converted by Rolfe. Snowdown had battled valiantly all afternoon and were rewarded with a well deserved, converted try. Team manager Michael Whitehead closed the scoring with a try and conversion generously gifted to him by Sam Rolfe, who had already made seven conversions. Referee Simon Warren, who had himself enjoyed a good afternoon, had seen enough and brought an early close to the game with the score at 71-7.
The third XV was also in action and recorded a good win against Whitstable by 50-14.
Next Saturday there is no game for the first XV whilst the 2s and 3s and are at home to their Ashford counterparts, Kick off 3pm.
SQUAD: Andy Bourton. Kurt Pearson, Luke Browning, Tyler Cawood, Matt Jacobs, Kieran Wright, Steve Jones, Noah Dann, Leon Doody, Peter Macaulay ( C) Tom Stevens, Tyler Chance, Harry Carter, Henry Mirams, Sam Rolfe (SUBS) Mike Whitehead, Fran Gillespie.
Old Alleynians 63 – 5 Thanet Wanderers
Wanderers players’ trip to Dulwich was affected by the traffic chaos on Kent’s motorways and roads on the 1st of October that caused a late arrival. With several regular players missing in key positions, Thanet welcomed a debutant in Lewis Downer at Outside Centre.
Old Alleynians opened up a ten point lead after seventeen minutes but Wanderers made it 10-5 six minutes later after a fine break between Marius Thompson and Callum Doody saw open-side James Hamilton up in support to take the scoring pass. Wanderers defended well until a glut of four tries to the hosts, in the closing minutes of the half, meant a half time score of 32-5.
Old As scored five second half tries, with three conversions, to complete a rout by 63-5 with Thanet finishing with thirteen on the pitch due to injuries. Although, without some notable try saving tackles from Tom Walton and Harrison Leach amongst others, it could have been much worse. Forwards Coach Elliot Blackmore commended Old As for their performance in the game.
Wanderers couldn’t match them on the day but there were some great efforts in defence, particularly in the back row of Warren Riddell-Broomfield, James Hamilton and Connor Brown, who Blackmore said he had never seen play better.