Bromley RFC VS Cranbrook RFC
BROMLEY TRIUMPH IN THRILLER
A big day at the club on Saturday with three home games, Jono on the barbeque and a kids party to boot. In the main match the visitors were Cranbrook who, in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, had given Bromley a torrid afternoon and they were grateful to come away with a narrow victory. So the home side were fully aware of the physical challenge they would be up against. From the kick off Bromley dominated the early exchanges and kept Cranbrook in their half. Ten minutes in and the away side were penalised for not rolling away from a ruck and Griffiths coolly slotted the three points. This sparked Cranbrook into life and they laid siege to the home side’s try line. Bromley defended valiantly but coughed up a couple of penalties and a Cranbrook forward rumbled over from one of these and with the extras added they were 7-3 ahead. The contest now became fierce with both sides tackling their hearts out and space for attacking play was very limited. In one of the many exchanges Bromley’s influential back row Wilson was left crumpled on the floor and had to, reluctantly, leave the field with a nasty looking leg injury. He was replaced by Mike Smith who rose to the occasion and played a terrific game.
Thirty minutes in and Bromley were awarded another penalty quite a long way out but the composed Griffiths took his time and knocked it over. One point separating the teams. In the last ten minutes of the half Cranbrook intensified their efforts and threw everything at Bromley who defended for their lives and after what seemed an age turned the ball over. However the relieving kick was mishit and picked up by Cranbrook in midfield. They immediately ran it back and after several phases of play managed to release their winger to score a unconverted try in the corner. Soon after the whistle for half time went and Cranbrook were 12-6 ahead and Bromley had work to do.
Whatever was said at half time certainly galvanised the black and ambers as they started the second half like a runaway train and for ten minutes overran Cranbrook. Two minutes in and Bromley were encamped on the away sides twenty two. George Scott fired out a quick pass and Hawkins entered the line at pace and skilfully released Powell who burst over the line for a great score which was not converted and we were back to a one point game. Bromley now had the bit between their teeth and three minutes later another good backs move set up centre Laws on a good angled line. He had plenty of work to do but rode and crashed through tackles to score a tremendous individual effort and with the conversion it was 18-12. There were further reshuffles in the Bromley team with Carroll and Alex Griffiths coming on. This did not seem to upset the balance of the team at all and on sixty five minutes Laws turned over a ball in midfield and steamed towards the line. Ten metres from the line it all seemed to go into slow motion as he started looking over his shoulder but with the crowd screaming at him to keep going he saw sense and plunged over the line and with the excellent conversion Bromley were thirteen points ahead. This game was far from done and Cranbrook redoubled their efforts and severely tested Bromley all over the park wit their lightning quick pick and goes a constant nuisance. Having said that Bromley to were very determined not to surrender their hard fought lead and on seventy one minutes sealed the deal and secured the bonus point when George Scott took a quick penalty and squirmed over the line and with the conversion Bromley had thirty two points on the board.
To Cranbrook’s great credit they returned to the attack and put Bromley under enormous pressure for the last five or six minutes but the lads repelled everything until the last play of the game when the away side slipped across the try line for a well deserved converted try. Final score 32-19 to Bromley. This was quite one of the best games seen at Barnet Wood Road for quite a long time. Two well drilled, very fit and organised sides giving their all for their clubs and producing a high quality and unbelievably competitive game of rugby. The eighteen players for Bromley and the coach should be very proud of their efforts but they will know that the job is not done yet with other extremely challenging games to come.
That said the clubhouse was buzzing after the matches finished with satisfied, if sore, players enjoying the moment. In the other two games the young second team produced an excellent performance to beat a good Park House side 45-29 with Monk grabbing two tries earning man of the match which he probably regretted later in the evening. An interesting mix of vets and youngsters made up the third team and they had a great battle with a very good Colfeians third team losing 45-22. Tremendous to get three very competitive teams out again and it is a great credit to those behind the scenes who make this happen with good communication and finding opposition to play. Next week the firsts make the short trip to Dunstonians for what is sure to be a titanic local derby. The seconds also are only down the road at Beccehamians who gave them a bit of a pasting last time out. Hopefully, it will be a bit closer this time. The thirds are not too far away at Dartford Valley.