Bromley have to settle for a draw
Late Old Alleynians try to draw level
This was a crucial game for both sides as the winner would probably avoid relegation, with the loser facing an uphill battle to stay in this league. With minutes remaining, Bromley were in a winning position but were pegged back by a late Old Alleynians try to force a draw. In the early stages, it looked as if Old Alleynians would run away with it as their pacy back line exposed frailties out wide but Bromley played with great spirit throughout and were unlucky not to come away with the spoils.
Unsurprisingly, much of the first half was tense and frenetic, with so much at stake. The first Bromley chance came early on when Chris Copper, who was always causing trouble for the opposition, charged down a clearance kick but the bounce of the ball didn’t go Bromley’s way. Nor did it minutes later when Bromley looked to have an Old Alleynians attack covered but a loose ball bounced off a Bromley player and flanker Max Rust pounced on it to score the first try, which Josh Winduss converted. Old Alleynians were now looking the more enterprising and it was a little bit against the run of play when Steve Pillow opened Bromley’s account with a penalty after 15 minutes to make it 7-3. This got Bromley back in the game and a clever switch by George Skinner and a little kick ahead which he followed up himself to apparently score was not allowed at the referee was unsighted. However, Bromley stayed on the offensive and Harry Bowditch crossed for a try from a 5m scrum and Steve Pillow converted to make it 7-10. Bromley were now playing some decent rugby, the scrum and lineout were going well, the back row of Matthew Hart, Nathan Reddick and Ben Smith were foraging for everything and they were containing the threat of the Old Alleynians threequarters. However, they succumbed after 35 minutes when a good break by the left wing Alasdair Henderson set up a try for Josh Winduss which he converted himself to regain the lead. With half time approaching, Steve Pillow closed the gap with a penalty to make the half time score 14-13.
Whilst Bromley were very much in touch at the beginning of the second half they were undone, not for the first time this season, by failing to clear their lines. A poor kick out of defence allowed Old Alleynians to counter attack and the ever-threatening Alasdair Henderson scored a try out wide, well converted by Josh Winduss. Bromley rallied superbly and were soon back on the front foot. David Banfield had a charge or two and deserved his try from a tapped penalty, which George Skinner converted to make it 21-20. Old Alleynians went down to 14 as Max Rust was yellow carded for handling on the ground and Bromley piled on the pressure, going through phase after phase. Whilst Old Alleynians defended well, a George Skinner penalty nudged Bromley in front. A terrific break by Chris Copper then split the Old Alleynians defence and Harry Bowditch was just hauled down short of the line. Bromley kept the momentum going and another George Skinner penalty extended the lead to 21-26. Old Alleynians responded immediately and some good approach work saw scrum half Tom Unwin go over for a try in the corner. Josh Winduss had kicked a couple of similar kicks but was unable to do so this occasion and the scores were tied at 26-26. The draw would suit Old Alleynians much more than Bromley and whilst Bromley tried hard to work their way upfield, they were contained by the home side as the clock wound down.
This result leaves Bromley teetering on the edge of the relegation trapdoor and only a series of unlikely events next week can save them from dropping out of this league. On Saturday, Bromley face second placed Old Colfeians at Barnet Wood Road, who will be looking to secure a play off place against Camberley from London 2 South West. Kick off is at 3pm and will be preceded by the official opening of the new changing rooms.
George Scott, Kieran Leeper, Steve Pillow, Sean Beckett, Chris Copper, George Skinner, Harry Bowditch, Chris Bristow, David Banfield, Jake Moore, Aidan Devane, Jon Wright, Nathan Reddick, Matthew Hart, Ben Smith.
Tommy Scott, Tom Standfield, Callum Hughton.