Super 2s come ever so close in nailbiter vs Edenbridge
Old Gs 2s 15 Edenbridge 21
Match report courtesy of big bad Kenny Price!
The Super 2s hosted top of the league Edenbridge in what was anticipated to be a close and hard-fought encounter. A couple of changes to the back line saw Ben Randall playing as scrum half and Stewie Kidd playing at 10, and the return of Ricky Cottiss and Sam Snell who have been absent in recent weeks. In the build-up the Old Boys discussed the positives from previous performances and knew that fronting up this opponent and not over-committing at the breakdown was going to be critical to success.
Old Gravesendians were able to put their words into action very quickly in the early exchanges. Having received the kick off, early ground was made with the forwards retaining possession. Almost out of nowhere Stewie Kidd made a break beating a couple of defenders and was able to put his foot down on the gas down the wing to finish of an excellent individual try. Unfortunately he was unable to convert his effort. 5-0 to OGs.
This gave Edenbridge a much needed wake up that they were very much in a match they would have to fight for. The away team did begin to grow into the game and dominate possession for the next 10 minutes or so. However, the defensive work of every man in blue was making life difficult for their opposition to find any kind of breakthrough. The resilience was tested time and again and all Edenbridge could come away with was two penalties which they slotted away in front of the posts. 5-6 to the away side.
Penalties were becoming a thorn in the Old Boy’s side, particularly as the usual dominant scrum was not as effective as usual. In the first half, the scrum held its own but was failing to retain possession or even steal against the head. This made it difficult for the home team to kill any Edenbridge momentum through the strong runs made by their pack. Eventually this work paid off for Edenbridge as a nice move across the back line stretched the home defence and was finished well in the corner. 5-11 to Edenbridge at half time.
At half time Old Gravesendians knew they needed to revert back to how we opened the game with aggression and that was the key to winning the fixture. In the second half this was giving the Super 2s much needed territory and confidence. Penalties were being won and ground gained via the touchline. This was particularly due to great line-out work by Martin Langley, who was able to disrupt the Edenbridge own throw too. Eventually inside the opposition 22, Tom Hammerton was able to do what he does best and bulldoze his way through and score a try. This time Stewie Kidd was able to convert: 12-11.
In the second half, the Edenbridge scrum was dominating and this always kept the away side in the game. The 8 and 9 for Edenbridge were making very effective runs from the base which was causing Old Gravesendians problems all match. This work paid off when some errors by the blue defence meant an easy penalty in front of the posts was awarded and put Edenbridge back in front 12-14 with approximately 15 minutes remaining.
A quick response by the home team saw a series of moves being worked between the forwards and backs. The ball retention was good and support was always there which is a big improvement. The hard graft and determination to keep going resulted in forcing the opposition into making errors and gave a crucial penalty for the Old Boys to retake the lead 15-14 with approximately 10 minutes remaining.
All day long the home defence was solid. Edenbridge were made to fight for every inch and knew at each breakdown they’d have to work for it. However, right at the end of the game the scrum half for the travelling team found a chink in the armour and was able to skip through for a try in the corner, which was also converted. 15-21.
A lot of positives can still be taken from this performance. Every single man in blue and blue played to his maximum and left it all out there on the pitch. Edenbridge were a strong opposition but the Old Boys showed their togetherness and team spirit throughout. A shout out also to the Edenbridge lads who stayed at the club for so long afterwards – much respect for that! We look forward to visiting your ground in the New Year.
Man of the Match – Stewie Kidd