Second win of season for Wanderers in difficult conditions at Folkestone

Thanet Wanderers

By Colin Whiteley


Mike Morris returned as Wanderers tight-head with Danny Clement at loose-head, Lenny Brown was at six in place of of the injured Warren Broomfield and Noah Dann played at open-side. Nick Herbert was back at outside-centre and resumed as stand in captain.

Folkestone kicked off as steady rain fell and were quickly on the attack down Thanet’s right. Tom Steven’s big tackle delayed the attack before Tom Walton’s clearance took play to Wanderers’ ten metre line. After six minutes, Peter Macaulay’s well-judged little chip through was chased down by Andrew Dolan who won the race to touch down before Walton’s conversion gave Thanet a 7-0 lead.

Connor Brown was flourishing in the mud and five minutes later his footballing skills took Thanet close. A penalty led to a line-out drive and it was no surprise when hooker Neil Wakefield emerged from that as the scorer. There was no conversion but a 12-0 lead after ten minutes calmed a few Thanet nerves.

An early yellow card for the hosts was now matched by one for Thanet’s Lenny Brown from the referee, Paul Shepherd, who kept a firm hand on an increasingly niggly match.

Walton was kicking well from hand for Wanderers and his welcome willingness to put his boot through the ball in defence made useful gains. With half time near, Thanet mounted a series of drives following a line out and it was Jack Startin who was driven over for the try. Walton made a well judged conversion and Thanet went into the break 19-0 up.

Tempers flared again seven minutes into the second half and it was Wanderers other Brown, Connor, who now saw yellow as did a Folkestone player. Macaulay came off 15 minutes into the half, with Herbert moving to ten and Henry Mirams on from the bench. Conditions deteriorated and much of the play was concentrated around the middle of the pitch with good defence shown by both teams.

A penalty from Folkestone set them 30 metres out but Wanderers stole the line-out and then knocked on in the gathering gloom. The conditions were telling! Mike Whitehead and Reagan Doody joined from the bench and Scrum-Half Harrison Leach was injured and had to leave the field causing another reorganisation.

The hosts redoubled efforts to get a score and in the last of five minutes of added time were rewarded with an unconverted try after a forwards’ drive.

The weather conditions removed any hope that this would be an entertaining fixture which was already unlikely with both sides struggling for points in the nether regions of Counties One Kent League.

Wanderers defence responded well to the challenge posed by Folkestone backs in the second half  with good shifts from Louis Marshall and Tom Stevens on the wings. The lock forward pairing of Andy Letts and Jack Startin is working well and it was Jack who was the coaches’ choice as man of the match. He was involved throughout, in attack and defence, and scored a well earned try.

Next weekend the team is on the road again travelling to Crowborough, who, like Wanderers, have not started the season well. Kick Off is at 2.30pm, please support Wanderers as they battle to move up the table.

SQUAD: Danny Clement, Neil Wakefield, Mike Morris, Jack Startin, Andy Letts, Lenny Brown, Noah Dann, Connor Brown, Harrison Leach, Peter Macaulay, Louis Marshall, Tom Walton, Nick Herbert ( C), Tom Stevens, Andrew Dolan, SUBS Mike Whitehead, Reagan Doody, Henry Mirams.