Graves: Next month will be make-or-break for us
"I've never know the league be as tight as it is this season."
Whitstable made it 11 wins in a row on Saturday with a 33-5 win at Askeans but player-coach Mal Graves says he wouldn’t be surprised if the Shepherd Neame Kent 2 promotion race goes to the wire.
Long-time leaders Old Gravesendians boast a 100% record and look to have the title wrapped up but only three points separate second-placed Whitstable from the two teams below them and they still have to play both. The Blues travel to fourthplaced Royal Bank of Scotland on Saturday, March 4 and the following week host thirdplaced Foots Cray. Throw in a re-arranged home game with Lordswood – the last team to beat Whitstable – on March 18 and it’s easy to see why Graves thinks his team still have a lot of work to do.
He said: “I’ve never know the league be as tight as it is this season. We’ve lost twice and drawn one but we’re still having to slug it out. “It shows how hard teams are fighting to get out of this division and how good the standard is at the top. March is going to be a make-or-break month for us.”
Whitstable’s latest win – their seventh on the road – was earned with the minimum of fuss. Josh Booty scored two of their five tries, with the others coming from Marck Olive, Sam Holness and coach Graves, who celebrated his 40th birthday earlier in the month. Andrew Huey kicked four conversions while prop Joey Taggart impressed on his return after injury but Graves admitted there was room for improvement in their performance ahead of Saturday’s home game with bottom club Erith (2.30pm).
Graves added: “We were a bit rusty, which was understandable but it was a decent performance on a big pitch. We just need to keep concentrating on doing the basics right.”
The postponed Lordswood game – which orginally went down as a home walkover to Whitstable – has been re-arranged after the RFU accepted the Medway club’s explanation that players were unable to travel on the day due to the snow that fell that weekend.
Match report - credit to KM Group