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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 25 Mar 15:00 - London & SE Division - Shepherd Neame Kent 2 Full time

Faversham 17 - 20 Whitstable

Dubious try edges Whitstable ahead in hard fought local derby

Despite an impressive come-back to overturn a 12 point deficit the Castaways were unlucky losers in the close fought local derby. First-half errors from the Castaways gave Whitstable a strong starting position but a gradual fight back saw them work their way back into contention.

In what has become a running theme for the season, Faversham once again started poorly, conceding two early tries. The first coming from a poor clearance kick, landing barely beyond their own 22 into the hands of a an oncoming attacker. The pressing defensive line failed to push fast enough, leaving space for Whitstable to cross for their first try. Having withheld a further onslaught on the defensive line Faversham had seemed to escape without further damage, only for a desperate grubber kick to find a lucky bounce and sit up for a fortunate oncoming attacker to fall over the try line.

A third try for Whitstable, capitalising on a quickly taken penalty to catch a napping defense, seemed to spark Faversham into life. Impressive carries from Eddie Stott and Rhys Mcdermott brought the Castaways back into the game and close to the opposition 22 for the first time. With the forward pack now firing the pressure eventually converted into points as Mcdermott bounced off two defenders to crash over the line for Faversham's first try. A spectacular crunching try-saving tackle from Tim Woolf further motivated the Castaways going into the half-time break.

The second half was a stop-start affair with tit-for-tat turn-overs and frequent penalties meaning possession changed at almost every breakdown. Alex Mullany deserves an honorable mention for his instant impact off the bench, carrying aggressively and bullying the defensive line backwards. The standout moment of the half came from Billy Egleton however, showing a turn of pace to beat the opposing winger on the outside and cover the remaining 50 meters to the try line without challenge, putting Faversham into the lead for the first time.

A counter-attack was inevitable but Faversham held out successive assaults on their try line, with the visitors camped in their 22 for the best part of 15 minutes. With the Castaways down to 14 players Whitstable opted to go wide to find space. Hugging the touch line, the attacker appeared to be bundled into touch before crossing the try line, only for a sympathetic touch-judge to keep his flag down and the referee to award the try, edging Whitstable in front once more.

A final attacking push from the Castaways eventually fell short as the referee judged them to have infringed at the scrum, leaving the home side agonisingly short of victory.

Faversham next play away to Greenwich on April 1st.

Score: Faversham 17 - 20 Whitstable

Team: S.Woolf, R.McDermott, E.Stott, F.Iron, S.Oatley, N.Kingdon, K.Fiddler, L.Garnham, D.Tabor, J.Hodges, J.Cheeseman-Brazier, B.Egleton, P.Cooper, J.Williams, T.Woolf, A.Mullany, D.Flynn, H.Bowsher

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Old Gravesendians 24 107
2. Royal Bank of Scotland 24 101
3. Whitstable 24 94
4. Foots Cray 24 93
5. Lordswood 24 77
6. Orpington 24 53
7. Faversham 24 51

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