Bromley RFC VS Charlton Park RFC

Bromley RFC VS Charlton Park RFC



Bromley RFC69Win
Charlton Park RFC14Loss
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Bromley RFC VS Charlton Park RFC


Bromley had two games on Saturday with the firsts at home to Charlton Park and the thirds picking up what looked like a difficult away friendly against Dorking. First team fixtures between Charlton Park and Bromley in this league have been hard fought physical encounters and the first twenty minutes or so of this game suggested it would be no different. For the first time in my memory, Bromley were able to field an unchanged starting pack but there were reshuffles in the backs with Alex Griffiths taking over from his brother Johnny at number ten, Merchandani and Pillow occupying the wing slots and another completely different bench of Freddie Bender, Steve Griffiths and young Ed Milne. Bromley were soon into their stride and they surged down the right hand side of the pitch and then switched left leading to a break by centre Rice. The move petered out but Park were penalised for offside. This was dispatched into the corner. The home forwards conjured up a smart play from the throw in and Banfield took no prisoners as he crashed over. Five minutes later Charlton Park were again under pressure in their twenty two. Scrum to Bromley which was cleanly won and scrum half George Scott darted this was and that and forced his way over and with the conversion by Alex Griffiths, the score after nine minutes was 12-0.

At this stage, the home team looked very comfortable but Park had other ideas and began to make inroads with their tricky fast running backs and some powerful carries by their big forwards. This took them into the Bromley twenty two where they stayed for a few minutes and despite great defence by Bromley their big number eight eventually crashed over to the right of the posts on eighteen minutes leaving the score, with the conversion, at 12-7. There was an immediate reaction from Bromley and five minutes later from a penalty Hawkins planted the ball fifteen metres out. From the lineout, there was a brilliant flowing attack with Ansell to the fore. Park penalised again five metres out. Another clever play and prop Miles, who had a storming game, was unstoppable from short range. Park remained under pressure and ten minutes later one of their clearances was picked up by George Hawkins who linked nicely with Griffiths to create a hole for second row Bobbie Brown, another who played excellently, to go through and he did not need a second invitation as he came at speed evading or powering past four would be tacklers to score a super try.

Closing in on half time Bromley conjured up another slick penalty move with the ball passing through a number of hands ending up with number eight Beckett who made scoring look easy when he had plenty of work to do. He was a reassuring and skilful presence all game. With only one of these three tries being converted this left the half time score at 29-7 and the bonus point already secured. You feared a little bit for the away side as Bromley now had the slope in their favour and an exciting brand of fifteen man rugby was emerging.

Bromley’s bench was emptied in the second half with senior Griffiths coming on in the front row, Bender into the backs and Milne coming on at scrum half for the injured junior Griffiths and George Scott moved to the ten position. Milne took over the kicking duties which he did with aplomb. Bromley killed the game straight from the kick off as they poured forward at alarming speed and Brown again surged over the line. Conversion good – 36-7. A few minutes later following another sustained attack with some lovely interchanging and Merchandani was in for the score. Straight from the kick off Hawkins was carving his way through and Bender was the beneficiary scoring a lovely try again converted. Five minutes later they were over again and I have absolutely no idea who scored that one as there where a flurry of bodies. So approaching the hour mark Bromley were over the hill and out of sight at 55-7.

At this stage, Charlton Park could have given up the ghost but to their credit, they began to throw the ball about and their tricky backs began to pose problems and Bromley had a period of defending to do. On sixty four minutes there was another break out by the away side which lead to a very nice try being scored which was well converted. However, Bromley were not done yet and seventy three minutes in they conjured up a lovely flowing movement down the right hand side with Bender and Rice linking up to open the space for Bender to run in. Just as he was about to dot down he was taken out by a no arms tackle and a penalty try was awarded. A few minutes and Edmunds, who had a storming game at flanker cantered over for another converted try leaving the final score at 69-14.

It was great to welcome Charlton Park to Barnet Wood Road and get the game on at the third time of asking and we wish them well for the remainder of the season. This was an excellent all round performance by Bromley with all eighteen players contributing hugely. Spirit in the group is high and more younger players are being added into the mix which bodes well. Penalty count was down – hallelujah. Like last week they probably missed a few try scoring opportunities through ignoring overlaps and throwing wild offloads when going to ground may have proved more rewarding. However, that is nitpicking. By general consensus, Banfield’s attempt at a fifty twenty two was not a thing of beauty being more like a ten four and should not be inflicted on his teammates ever again.

Getting back to the third team. They decided to make their trip to Dorking a day out travelling by coach. They had to get their heads around an early kick off at 1.15. When they arrived they discovered their opposition out on the pitch training. After watching this for a couple of minutes they thought their best course of action was to retire to the changing rooms for contemplation. Not to worry the boys were up to the task and raced (not sure that is the right word) into a 26-5 lead. However, reality broke out and Dorking came back hard in the second half but Bromley dug in and won the day approximately 26-17.

Next week Bromley firsts have a tough away trip to Heathfield and Waldron. The seconds are supposed to be playing Cranbrook twos at home but there are some concerns about this fixture and the threes are at home to Dartford Valley.