Bromley RFC VS East Grinstead RFC

Bromley RFC VS East Grinstead RFC



Bromley RFC36Win
East Grinstead RFC15Loss
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Bromley RFC VS East Grinstead RFC


Last weekend saw Bromley involved in two cup competitions with the firsts hosting East Grinstead in the Papa Johns Community Cup regional quarter final (plate I think) and the second team contesting the final of the Kent County Shield against Dover Twos. East Grinstead were a bit of an unknown quantity but they had beaten Dover away in a previous round so would be serious opponents. The Bromley team, who beat Upminster last week, again showed numerous changes due to the unavailability of quite a number of senior players but they did welcome back seasoned campaigners in the pack namely Banfield, Beckett and Haisell. A number of younger players were given the opportunity to gain further experience of playing at this level and they all acquitted themselves very well and joining this youthful throng was coach Joe Simpson who dusted off his boots to reprise his fly half duties.

The first ten minutes or so were nip and tuck with both teams playing frantically and mistakes were aplenty. On thirteen minutes East Grinstead eased ahead with a penalty. Five minutes later Bromley won a clean scrum ball and the backs created space which George ‘The Hawk’ Hawkins exploited with a powerful burst through the middle and with a shimmy he was in under the sticks duly converted. The next fifteen minutes were fiercely contested with both teams creating chances. From Bromley’s perspective they probably could have scored a couple of tries but either ignored clear overlaps or kicked the ball when keeping it in hand was the better option. As halftime was approaching the away side began to apply heavy pressure and from one of their moves, they created space for their large right winger to cut a beautiful running angle to score left of the posts and with the conversion this left the score at the break at ten points apiece. During the course of the half Bromley lost two players to injury Brown the talismanic captain after one particularly fiesty exchange and the always excellent and wholehearted Gray who needed a cut to be attended to. This meant that some of the young bench had to be deployed earlier than anticipated.

Bromley had given glimpses in the opening forty of what they are capable of and they just needed to tighten up and be more ruthless in their execution when chances arose. Five minutes into the second period the alert Carroll scrambled a ball back from a lineout leading to a heap of bodies and a penalty to the home side. Bromley played on with the advantage and space was again created for The Hawk and he was in again. As he neared the line he was tripped by one of the opposition who had to leave the field of play to work on his mathematics counting from one to ten or ten to one whatever. This try was converted. East Grinstead responded with a bout of heavy pressure which was only relieved by a fierce hack downfield by Hawkins. In the ensuing chase, the ball was knocked forward by EG. The Bromley scrum exerted huge pressure on their opposite numbers allowing the Bromley nine to snipe around the side and score which he then expertly converted. Fifty five minutes played and Bromley 24-10 up. The home side were now hitting their straps with the front row of Carroll, Banfield and Miles causing all sorts of problems to the opposite three and the scrum motoring forward (how they never extracted one single penalty with the opposing scrum in disarray is beyond me). The back row were scavenging and putting in big hits and the backs began to play with much more authority, passes were sticking and moves flowing.

To emphasise this on the hour mark Bromley scored the try of the game. EG knocked the ball on about thirty metres out from their try line and Bromley struck the ball quickly with the backs running at pace and beautifully running into space the ball was moved crisply to allow the supporting Beckett to cruise through to the line for a super try beautifully converted. Nine minutes later and from another dominant scrum the ball ended up in the centre with Rice, who had a commanding game, and he executed a beautifully weighted kick for Rushton to run onto and score. Conversion missed and Bromley were out of sight at 36-10. East Grinstead were further handicapped by two injuries – both nasty looking leg knocks and we wish these guys well. However, this did not stop them from having another prolonged attacking move towards the end of the game and they constructed a really well worked try to leave the final score at 36-15 to Bromley.

A very, very satisfactory outcome for the firsts with a number of positives with probably the main one being the younger players showing up so well and showcasing their talents. Some areas of Bromley’s game need attention and the penalty count against was off the scale and seriously needs to be addressed. However two cup games, two wins, much changed teams for both and numerous regulars unavailable – we move into the semi finals. This will be away at Twickenham RFC on Saturday 4th May. We wish whatever team they can put out on the day all the best. So the weekend got off to a fantastic start but could the twos go one better and bring home the Kent trophy?