By Colin Whiteley
Bromley RFC 47 – 18 Thanet Wanderers RUFC
There were eight changes to the Wanderers side that lost heavily last week to Beccehamian. It was good to see Noah Dann back in his new position of hooker with Mike Morris at loose-head.
Chris Gregory debuted in the second row and Louis Marshall moved from the backline to the back-row. Leon Doody made his debut at scrum-half which allowed Tom Walton to move to Ten. Lewis Downer was in the centre and Ollie Greene-Taylor on the wing. Owen Read and Oskar Wallace had their first taste of first team rugby off the bench. Congratulations to the coaches and selectors who spent so many hours assembling the side that had no practice time together but lacked nothing in collective courage and determination.
Wanderers made an enterprising start with Tom Stevens and Henry Mirams prominent in the backs and Morris carrying strongly. An early penalty from near the Bromley ten metre line was well slotted by Tom Walton and two minutes later he doubled the lead to 6-0 following a Bromley high-tackle. Two more opportunities sailed close from distance before the hosts settled and took a 7-6 lead with a nice try that was well converted. Bromley’s six was shown a yellow card after twenty minutes for a high tackle and Gully Goodall was very active in leading a series of attacks that followed. Wanderers ramped up the pressure before Noah Dann backed himself and scored a well earned try to put Wanderers ahead again 11-7. Bromley used the ball well in hand and ran in two tries before half-time when they led 19-11.
Centre Lewis Downer took a break as the second half started with prop Danny Clement reprising his centre role. Five minutes into the half, Bromley were awarded a penalty try following Andy Letts’ early tackle on an opponent who didn’t have the ball and a yellow card followed. Owen Read made his debut in a re-jigged backline as Full-Back Andy Dolan went off with a knock. Bromley pulled further ahead following a good cross-kick for 33-11. Winger Ollie Greene-Taylor was now also withdrawn after sustaining injury.
Oskar Wallace made his debut at six with fifteen minutes remaining and Tom Stevens took a break as Downer returned. Wanderers’ pack applied strong pressure to Bromley’s right flank and it was again Dann who touched down to cap a fine performance with his second try. Walton’s brilliant conversion made it 33-18 but there was to be no dream ending as the hosts firmly closed the door with two more converted tries to win 47-18.
Wanderers’ Captain, Sam Taylor and Brett Scott both have a wealth of experience in the back row and it was invaluable in this match. Tom Walton led the backline with assurance and Veterans Danny Clement and Andy Letts continue, week after week, to offer their knowledge and playing ability to the Wanderers cause. Chris Gregory’s performance on his first team debut was an eye-opener and it was great to see Leon Doody make the first team. Every Wanderer gave their best for the shirt; the travelling support could not ask for more.
After two long trips away, Wanderers will be glad of a home fixture next Saturday against fellow strugglers, Cranbrook. (Kick-Off 3PM). The game will be preceded by a past players lunch from 12 PM for a 12.30 sit down. Contact Kelly on 07368 969558 or Clive on 07753 441512 to reserve your place.
The Ladies of the two teams will play a league match prior to the game with a planned 1PM kick off.