Wanderers slip to heaviest defeat of season so far in West Wickham

Danny Clement looks for a way through

By Colin Whiteley

Beccehamian RFC 69 – 3 Thanet Wanderers RUFC

Beccehamian were supported by a good sized sporting crowd who had enjoyed a splendid President’s Lunch and whose numbers were bolstered by three fine gentlemen from the Chelsea Pensioners.

Wanderers team was further depleted when Neil Wakefield and Cameron Pond, from the original selection, were declared unfit. Tom Walton played at full back with Harrison Leach at scrum half.

It was clear from the kick off that Beccehamian were ready for an open game of rugby. Despite a couple of early successes for Wanderers at set scrums, good handling took the hosts over after three minutes for a converted try and a converted penalty minutes later opened a 10-0 lead.  Good work from Wanderer’s pack led to a converted penalty from Wanderers’ ten, Marius Thompson but Beccehamian responded with a penalty and an unconverted try to lead 18-3 after half an hour. Thompson withdrew with a recurrence of a shoulder injury:

Wanderers defensive line

Ollie Greene-Taylor joined a reshuffled back line. Kurt Pearson replaced Mike Whitehead in the front row. Two more tries, with one converted,  followed for the hosts with some quality off-loads and passing to open a 30-3 lead  and gain a try bonus point. Two penalties for Thanet gave them good field position but a forward pass with the line close meant no change to the score as the first half ended.

Noah Dann came on in the back- row replacing Lennie Brown for the second half. Beccehamian went further ahead with a converted try three minutes in. Walton’s fine kick took Thanet to 30 metres out but the home defence was sound. Warren Riddell-Broomfield made a try saving tackle that epitomised his unflagging commitment.  Whitehead returned as Danny Clement withdrew with a dead leg. An excellent long pass resulted in Beccehamians sixth try and the seventh followed five minutes later to make the score 49-3.

Warren Riddell-Broomfield and Noah Dann at a breakdown

Clement returned replacing Pearson who was sidelined with a hand injury. A penalty raised the hosts half century before Dann was shown yellow for a high tackle and a further try made the score 57-3. Skipper Nick Herbert was adjudged to have made a high tackle which took Wanderers down to thirteen men as the game moved in to the final ten minutes.

Winger Andrew Dolan ran well but was brought down just short of the line and Beccehamian added a further try before showing admirable commitment to protect their line as Wanderers pressed in the closing minutes. Walton became the latest injury worry for Thanet as he limped off with an ankle injury before the hosts added to Wanderers’ misery with a tenth try to make the final score 69-3.

Gully Goodall travelled to fill the tighthead berth for Thanet and had an outstanding game which made him this week’s man of the match. There were too few bright spots for Head Coach Mike Pond who acknowledged the excellent performance of Beccehamian who well deserved their win.

Harrison Leach tries to break

On Saturday Charlton Park are the visitors to St Peters.   Kent RFU President, Doug Hursey, who is also the Park’s CEO, will attend. The game will be preceded by a lunch to say thank you to fifty guests from the NHS after their efforts over the years and particularly during the pandemic.

Please be there to watch the game, which will be preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of, Wanderers legend, Dr Roddy Macaulay who died on Thursday and to join us at lunch to say your thank you to the NHS.


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