Bexley 12 - 15 Faversham
Faversham hold out Bexley to end the season on a high note.
First-half tries for David Tabor and Rhys Mcdermott helped put Faversham into the lead before a desperate second-half defensive effort held Bexley at bay for the Castaways to finish the season with a win. Led out by veteran full-back Tim Woolf, celebrating his 200th cap, Faversham knew a victory could see them reach 6th place finish but losing could drop them to 9th in the Shepherd Neame Kent 2 league.
Bexley dominated the opening phases of the game, taking on the opposing defensive line with brute force, opting to crash the ball off the shoulder of their fly-half to make strong inroads. In the excitement of making ground the players seemed to lose their composure, squandering large overlaps out wide in favour of further crash balls into the heart of the defence.
Faversham were eventually able to relieve the pressure, securing consecutive penalties, first to clear their lines and later to put points on the board through the boot of Henry Bowsher. They struggled to make further territorial gains from finding touch, however, as the towering Bexley openside flanker picked apart the line-out set piece.
This line-out advantage proved crucial in Bexley's first score, the ball finding the same imposing jumper then setting a maul quickly to drive over from the 22 meter line. With pride damaged, Faversham hit back quickly. Following a series of hard hitting runs down the middle of the field, Jack Meadows picked up off the back of a ruck catching the retreating defence unaware. A deft offload to David Tabor who scored under the posts put Faversham back into the lead, albeit only for a couple of minutes.
Bexley countered, securing the ball off Faversham's line-out again and drove on. Their second try coming off the base of the ruck to return the favour. Once again, Faversham immediately countered from the kick-off, showing ferocity at the breakdown to overturn the ball in the Bexley 22. Despite the try-line looming they held the nerve to play through the phases. Patience eventually giving way to points as Rhys Mcdermott dummied a pass then barreled through to score.
With momentum on their side, Faversham came out of the half-time break determined to put more points on the board and close the game out. They came close on several occassions, with strong carries from Stacey Woolf and Eddie Stott coming agonisingly close to the try line. This time patience was found lacking as Faversham tried to rush a further score, knocking on when trying to move forwards.
As the game progressed the defensive holes closed up, leaving no space for either team to break through. Only three point lead, Faversham faced a onslaught on their try line. A desperate try-line defensive effort ensued from the Castaways, scrambling across to close any gaps and with several try-saving tackles coming in from all players. A Bexley knock-on signalled the final whistle to the relief of the Faversham side.
The win moves the Castaways up to 6th placed finish in the league and with several new squad members coming through the ranks it leaves them feeling positive for the next season.
Faversham play an intra-club game, 'Captain's vs President's' next Saturday to mark the end of season.
Score: Bexley 12 - 15 Faversham
Team: R.Chipperton, J.Meadows, S.Woolf, S.Oatley, R.Mcdermott, M.Magri, K.Fiddler, N.Kingdon, D.Tabor, H.Bowsher, D.Martins, P.Bulteel, P.Michael-Cooper, J.Williams, T.Woolf, E.Stott, B.Egleton, P.Ehmann