By Matthew Hickmott
Thanet Wanderers Colts 24 V Beccahamians 8.
The second round of the Kent league and our Thanet Wanderers Colts had their first game at home against Beccahamians. Thanet had won their opening game and the visitors had too running in forty plus points, setting up a great encounter between the two sides.
Thanet again had a lot of players out but with a big squad full of quality still managed to have another exciting team ready to go. The Rec looked splendid in the autumnal sun and we were lucky to have another decent crowd watching the lads, which always gives them that extra element to raise their game for.
The game kicked off with Thanet receiving and it became instantly apart Beccahamians were a large size team but this provided a challenge that our local lads were ready to take on. Instantly into the action were Finley Hickmott and Isaac Divine, our flankers. Both putting in big hits and scrapping for the ball in the rucks.
Thanet welcomed back scrum half Sam Stevenson and he was in fine form all game, putting pressure on his opposing number and dictating play. The new centre pairing of Toby Hunt and Ollie Jordan Smith were having great influence on the game. Hunt making big territory gaining runs and Jordan Smith was showing some great handling touches and his adept kicking. We gained a penalty in the second minute, but being at a difficult angle it just missed going over from a good kick by Charlie Panteli.
Both second rowers, Flynn Shingles and Oskar Wallace were excelling in the line out and putting a big shift in. Thanet put huge pressure on the Beccahamians line for a good 15 minutes, Hugo Evans, Ben Couldridge, Fred O’Halloran and captain Max Anderson all trying hard to break their defence, but credit to the big opposition they held strong.
A massive highlight throughout the game was although Beccahamians were a large side, Thanet dominated them in the scrum. All eight doing a great job but the front three set the tone. On the 18th minute, from a scrum on their five, the ball was picked by Stevenson and he ran in for the opening try, which Panteli converted. Thanet 7-0 up.
A little ill discipline crept in and the referee for the day picked up on this. On the 21st minute we were punished for this as the opposition elected to kick one and bought the score back to 7-3. Wanderers jumped back into life and put the pressure on again which paid off on the 24th minute when quick passing wide and a great wandering run from winger Joe Sykes saw him off load to support runner Anderson, who ran in the try. Beccahamians never gave in and in a rare trip into the home sides half, exploited some missed tackles to also run in a try and reduce the lead.
At half time the score was 12-8 to Wanderers. All the boys were pleased with their performance but perhaps wanted to improve the score line knowing we had probably left a few points out on the field. Into the second half Thanet all replacements were on with Vinnie Perkins, Will Mahoney, Zach Ralph and Joseph Near.
Perkins and Mahoney had some great runs on the wing putting pressure on the opponents. Thanet were still working very hard as a team and Harrison Quittenden at full back was having a faultless game, catching, carrying and kicking.
Joseph Near was again having a good game, making tackles, retaining the ball and having the confidence to take on the away team. Ralph again looked strong on the pitch until he took a knock that put him out of the game. In the 17th minute Thanet attacked quickly and great thinking by Panteli as he nudged the ball through the on coming defence for Jordan Smith to chase and expose the blind side and he scored.
The last score of the day came on the 24th minute when brilliant quick passing to the left released Alfie Pearce, still with a lot to do, but he was determined to get on the score sheet and after avoiding the oncoming tackles he did just that and Panteli converted it.
The final score was Thanet Wanderers 24 Beccahamians 8. An excellent performance from the Wanderers boys. We always say we look for a good performance and the result will take care of itself and this was certainly the case today.
All the squad played well and showed a real togetherness as a team. With the Colts we have bought two sides that have come together which is never easy but they showed real ‘team spirit’ which was most pleasing. All giving everything for eachother to give a very positive performance.
We had a few very good candidates for the ‘Please Sir’ Man of the match with Flynn Shingles, Sam Stevenson, Hugo Evans and Harrison Quittenden all putting in big displays. But this week it has gone to Ben Couldridge. He was not only formidable in the scrum, but tackled and carried without fear and caused carnage when running the hard line. Well done Ben.
Thanet Wanderers Colts:
Max Anderson (C), Fred O’Halloran, Ben Couldridge, Vinnie Perkins, Finn Hickmott, Isaac Divine, Hugo Evans, Zach Ralph, Ollie Jordan Smith, Toby Hunt, Alfie Pearce, Harrison Quittenden, Joe Sykes, Joseph Near, Will Mahoney, Sam Stevenson, Flynn Shingles, Oskar Wallace, Charlie Panteli.