Bromley RFC VS Southwark Lancers RFC
BROMLEY SCRAPE HOME AGAINST SOUTHWARK LANCERS
Bromley as a club struggled on Saturday with unavailability and injury with the third team game having to be cried off and the composition of the other two sides still being formalised before kick off which was far from ideal. Issues also affected the away sides with the opposition for the first team turning up with the bare fifteen and the second team opposition Old Alleynians deciding that it was a good idea not to bring any kit with them. With the weather being nasty and conditions underfoot treacherous what else could go wrong.
The first team game kicked off and it quickly became apparent that Southwark Lancers had come to play and Bromley were very disjointed and unsure of themselves. Playing down the slope the away side had Bromley penned in their twenty two and on four minutes they executed a good catch and drive and motored over the line for an unconverted try. For the next twenty minutes it was a bit of a slug fest with Bromley having an opportunity of their own from a catch and drive but broke too early and the chance disappeared. Shortly after this the Lancers scrum half had to leave the field with a head injury suffered when he tried to stop a powerful surge by Tommy Scott. He did not return and the away side played the rest of the game with fourteen men. On twenty five minutes the home side turned over a ball in midfield and after a rapid attack Haissel released fly half Rice to canter home and with an excellent conversion from Alex Griiffiths Bromley were ahead 7-5 and looking to up the tempo.
Not to be and it was Lancers who came on strong forcing Bromley to concede a couple of penalties and from the second of these a quick tap and go and they were in for the try close to the posts and the conversion added. 12-7 to Southwark at half time. This had been a disappointing half for Bromley where few things went right and the expectation from the touchline was that with a half time pep talk they would come out all guns blazing. Not much evidence of this in the first part of the second half and on sixty minutes they were pinged for offside and the penalty was slotted and Bromley had a mountain to climb. This stirred the beast a bit and the home forwards laid siege to the Lancers try line. The pressure told and after a neat pass Holland rumbled over for an unconverted try. Better but still behind on the scoreboard. The home side returned to the attack and were awarded a penalty in Southwark’s twenty two. The alert George Scott took a quick tap and passed to the charging Jack Saunders who thundered over and with the conversion Bromley had regained the lead 19-15.
Bromley kept the pressure on and desperate defending led to penalties and from one of these, on seventy two minutes, A.Griiffiths eased the score on by three points. Time to go chasing a fourth try and the bonus point. Southwark Lancers had other ideas and returned to the attack forcing two close range lineouts which Bromley managed to turn over and from the latter of these Saunders made a terrific burst down the centre of the field and if he had managed to link up with one of his supporting players the try was on but he didn’t and the game came to a conclusion. 22-15 to Bromley. Another win but little satisfaction from a home perspective as this was a frustrating struggle from beginning to end and a hard watch from the touchline. The positive was the four points bagged.
As for Southwark Lancers there can be nothing but great credit to them for an outstanding performance for the whole eighty minutes. They played with fire and commitment throughout and no little skill. Their defensive work was heroic, they were constantly geeing each other on to greater heights and with a bit more composure towards the end they could have got even more out of the game than the bonus point they thoroughly deserved. Next week the first team are at home to Vigo in a rearranged fixture postponed from December. Meanwhile the second team endured a torrid start to their Merit Table game against Alleynians coughing up three tries in fifteen minutes but with the renewed spirit in the side, evident in the last couple of months, they fought back and in a seesaw epic encounter they squeezed home 29-27.