Bromley RFC VS Ashford RFC

Bromley RFC VS Ashford RFC



Bromley RFC24Win
Ashford RFC19Loss
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Bromley RFC VS Ashford RFC


On Saturday Bromley senior sides had what looked like on paper three very difficult games against quality opponents and so it proved. The first team were at home to Ashford and games between these two sides have traditionally been very hard fought encounters and this game was no different. The away side turned up with a big physical side and were obviously intent on disrupting the style of play that Bromley wanted to impose on the game. The away side were quickly into their stride releasing big strong runners all over the pitch and the home team were having trouble containing them not helped by not being able to retain the ball for any length of time and missing a few first up tackles. Ashford turned the screw and on eleven minutes they kicked a penalty to go 0-3 ahead. Bromley, who had been spluttering, began to show signs of life with the front row of Banfield, Holland and Miles giving their large opposite numbers a difficult time resulting in more ball for the rest of the team to get on the front foot.

On seventeen minutes Bromley were awarded a lineout about forty metres out which the excellent Brown managed to scramble back to skipper George Scott, the backs worked a move resulting in Laws crashing through the middle of the pitch and he set off towards the posts but with defenders closing in he slipped the ball to Rice and he needed no second invitation to score close to the posts with fly half Rushton converting. Very good try if slightly against the run of play but Ashford were not phased and were quickly putting the pressure on again. Two minutes later Bromley coughed up another penalty which was dispatched into the top left hand corner. This was comfortably taken at the lineout and a surging maul set off towards the try line. Bromley had to bring in reinforcements to halt it but the ball was then sent rapidly wide and the full back cantered in for a well constructed score and with the conversion they were ahead 7-10.

The next fifteen minutes were fiercely contested with Bromley starting to get their game together and increasingly posing their opposite numbers questions. On thirty four minutes Bromley took a quick lineout which caught the away side a little off guard and Hawkins came into the line and created a gap for Laws to explode through and there was no stopping him this time – try – and with the conversion Bromley retook the lead. With half time approaching a four point advantage did not look enough and Bromley upped the ante and put Ashford under heavy pressure. A kick through caused all sorts of mayhem for the away side leaving them with a drop out from under the posts. This did not have a lot of distance on it and it was picked up by Tommy Scott who interlinked with James Powell leaving him with two players to beat. He made it look easy as he ghosted past them and dotted down in the corner. Rushton hit a magnificent conversion and Bromley had an eleven point buffer at the break but having to play up the slope in the second half would that be enough.

The home team had a lot to think about as Ashford were asking questions of them all over the pitch causing Bromley to rush their plays on a number of occasions when calmness under pressure was the order of the day.

The second half could not have started any worse for Bromley as they gave away two penalties in the first six minutes which the excellent Ashford kicker knocked over and very quickly it was 21-16. At this stage, Bromley brought on the experienced Johnny Griffiths but then lost the equally experienced Banfield. His absence initially upset the balance of the scrum and the lineout but after fifteen difficult minutes, these two areas settled down. Ashford were scenting victory and their intensity went up but Bromley were now very up for the challenge and tackles rained in. The home team were finding it hard to get out of their own half but equally, Ashford were thwarted all over the pitch by steely defence. More woe for Bromley on sixty one minutes when after a monumental effort to repulse a heavy duty attack Bromley’s number eight Beckett had to take one for the team and retire for ten minutes giving Ashford a prime attacking position but they could not make it count.

With just a five point advantage Bromley knew they had to get some sort of score on the board to give themselves a cushion. Slowly they began to get themselves up the field with the aid of a few penalties and then a yellow card for one of the opposition who made a comment after the referee had spoken to both captains about discipline. Why players do it is beyond me as it just results in them being penalised – there has been enough written about it. Anyway from the resultant penalty, Griffiths knocked the ball over and Bromley had their two score buffer. Eleven minutes to go and the challenge was there for the away team. They were up for it and threw everything at Bromley. However, they became too frantic and Bromley’s experienced heads managed them through to the end to record an extremely hard earned victory 24-16.

Credit must go to Ashford who challenged Bromley all over the pitch and on another day might have won. For Bromley, it was a tough day at the office but all seventeen who played worked their socks off to get the win. Two of the younger players who are getting game time and played very well, Rushton and McCracken, will have learnt from this experience. The back five were immense in their defensive efforts and Rice and Laws in the centres were outstanding in defence and attack. It was a terrific contest played in the best of spirit.

The second fifteen made the short journey to Colfeians for a top of the table clash against their seconds. This was another pulsating encounter with Bromley shading it 24-19. To perform this well in a big match is encouraging but also remarkable as the second team has only played one other game since the 13th January in this league – go figure. Meanwhile, the third team were off on their travels again to contest a heavy duty local derby against Beckenham. This was also yet another nail biter with the score changing hands several times but the boys dug deep to record a famous victory 29-26. This apparently was a double header so double bubble on the points front.

Three games, three wins but every match was in the balance and a terrific advert for local rugby from all six teams. The good news just keeps on coming as on Sunday the Colts entertained Dartfordians and recorded a 55-8 win which is a great credit to the boys, the coaches and the management who have all worked very hard to improve the standard of the team and become a very competitive side. Not aware of any games next weekend but maybe something will be arranged.