Thanet Wanderers Veterans win Spitfire Gold County Shield

Thanet Wanderers Veterans in action Photo Mark Large

By Peter Macaulay

The mighty Thanet Wanderers Veterans won the Spitfire Gold County Shield on Sunday at Maidstone RFC, completing an impressive 33-7 win against Tunbridge Wells.

Wanderers’ first try came from the evergreen Stuart Plumridge who was on hand to crash over. Paul Moat also showed his strength bursting through to score on the left-hand side after slick passing. Not long after, a rampaging run from Chris Gregory, straight through the heart of the Tunbridge Wells defence. set up an attack. After the ensuing ruck, deft hands, particularly from Simon ‘Engelbert’ Harris, put Elliot Stokes into space down the right wing. Thanet’s very own Flying Pig used all his years of experience to make the right-hand corner for a cracking try.

Photo Mark Large

Chris Gregory powered over after close quarter drives from the Forwards, who provided a great platform for the backs to attack from. Chris Williamson, James Whowell and Andy Bourton all had their hands full in the front row and showed their grit under pressure. In particular, Chris Dengate’s steadying presence solidified the scrum, which like most of the shirts and waistbands on the pitch looked under significant pressure. Chris Marson and Paul Dickinson’s relentless tackling and turnovers provided repeated opportunities to turn defence into attack, with Tom Longdon’s probing kicks repeatedly putting the opponents on the back foot.

Photo Mark Large

Tunbridge Wells were held up no less than four times over the Thanet try-line through outstanding teamwork and the Thanet Veterans physicality. This took its toll on the opponents’ morale, and Kev Etheridge and Tom Harvey repeatedly carried strongly into and over tiring Wells’ bodies.

Perhaps the game’ s best try came from Man of the Match, Tim Williams, who broke down the right-hand side from in his 22 and after outpacing all but one of the defenders, he passed inside before deft hands carried the ball to Jonty Stevens who scored under the posts.

Winners Photo Mark Large

William Wallace deservedly lifted the Spitfire Gold Shield to great applause. Peter Macaulay, the duty manager for the old folks day out said: “It was a harder win than the score suggests and I’m very proud of their commitment and how they came together to make another great Wanderers day!”