CS on the ramage as Gravesend suffer
by Adrian Houstoun
There have been some first class performances from CS this season but this display against a seemingly doomed but incredibly spirited Gravesend team reached new heights. A splendid and well attended reunion and ladies lunch preceded the match during which the visiting officials mentioned that they now had a policy of blooding some youngsters in an attempt to build a side for the future. It has to be said that the youngsters were part of a team that never gave up and particularly in the second half showed the sort of spirit that should certainly help their club back too winning ways.
CS were looking for a bonus point win, which the team duly delivered and thereby increased their lead at the top of the table to 9 points. However the table shows that CS has won two more matches than second placed Medway, a considerable advantage in splitting the two clubs should they finish equal on points.
The victory over Gravesend was built on the foundations of a quick, pacey and successful start to the match at a sun kissed Dukes Meadows, with four tries in the first quarter; a total of nine in the first half and fourteen overall with nine different scorers plus one penalty try.
CS kicked off and almost immediately won a penalty which was used to take play into the corner, from which much pressure was applied. Although fly half Liam cleary nearly scored, it was only following an ensuing line out that hooker Josh Forrester scored the first try of the afternoon, Houstoun Kicked the first of his seven conversions 7-0 after 5 minutes. The next ten minutes saw a brace for left wing Pumolo Banda followed by one for prop James Buncle. The penalty try, CS’s first such try of the season, preceded scores from replacement Matt Gibson, with virtually his first touch of the ball after replacing injured open side flanker Robbie Boswell, 40 – 0 after half an hour. Next to score was second row Ben Davies who was the grateful beneficiary of an effective break by Buncle; Centre Paddy O’Halloran then scored the first of his brace by following a break by Houstoun, and receiving the expected scoring pass. The first half therefore ended 57 – 0.
Gravesend started the second half just as their coach had hoped. Almost immediately they benefitted from a 5 metre scrum from which they caught CS napping and scored their first try of the match 57 – 5. However it did not herald a fight back as Matt Gibson soon scored his second for CS followed by centre Ryan Martin getting the first of his two second half tries. Chris East and Liam Cleary completed the scoring 88 – 5.
Next week CS are away to Thurrock.