Cranbrook RFC VS Bromley RFC
BROMLEY CRACK TOUGH CRANBROOK NUT
The Bromley first team to play against Cranbrook away showed several changes from last week. As none of the regular second rows were available number 8 Wilson and the angelic Ansell, returning from injury, got an idea what the words lock and grunt meant. The back row was slightly reconfigured and was made up of the combative trio of Godden, Monk and Gray. The backs were more or less the same with the only change seeing the returning Alex Griffiths replacing Fast Freddie. The bench saw another two players returning from injury in the shape of Ben Smith and Tommy Scott with Carroll as front row cover. So far so good and then they got on the fun bus and endured an arduous journey being severely delayed due to traffic meaning kick off time was put back to 2.45 and there was barely time to have any sort of warm up. Glad to report that this did not seem to affect the boys too much.
From the kick off they were at it and after some intelligent tactical kicking, they won a lineout in the Cranbrook twenty two. A well executed catch and drive led to Banfield breaking blind, creating space with George Scott being the beneficiary and he jogged home after seven minutes. With the successful conversion by Alex Griffiths the away side had got off to a perfect start and were 7-0 ahead. However, the home team have not been top of the league for no reason and were soon giving the Bromley defence a real testing. However, they were up to the job and a number of big hits went in with their number 14 in particular on the receiving end of a monster. However, the pressure told and after twenty one minutes their nine sniped in from a couple of metres and with the conversion good it was 7-7 and the game was now well and truly on.
Bromley responded and the game became fiercely competitive. Four minutes after the home sides try the black and ambers went through several phases of play and ended up winning a scrum in the opposition twenty two. This was won cleanly and Bromley broke down the blind side and the space created for winger Pillow to finish expertly in the corner. 12-7 Bromley. With half time approaching Bromley kept up the pressure and won another lineout not too far out from the try line. Again this was well taken and when Banfield got his big hands on it there was only going to be one outcome – try time. With the conversion Bromley could be pleased with their work and a scoreline in their favour of 19-7.
Bromley kicked off the second half and were immediately on the attack with big Ben Smith, off the bench, and steaming through. This passage of play led to a penalty slotted by Griffiths and the score extended to 22-7. Cranbrook were now well and truly chasing the game and threw everything at Bromley but they were more than up to the challenge and their only reward was a successful penalty around the hour mark. Last week Bromley established a lead with about fifteen minutes to go but struggled to see the game out and endured a torrid time before closing out the win. This week they were much more calm and composed and ended up winning 22-10 away from home against a very good Cranbrook team. Next week the firsts have a rest weekend which will be extremely welcome and give the coaches and players time to reflect on where they are as a squad. They have endured a remorseless series of injuries and unavailability but have developed a huge team spirit. They have a difficult run of fixtures up to Xmas and then it will be time to really assess where they are going.
COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH, JOE SIMPSON:
“You would’ve been forgiven for thinking that a 15 minute warm up might have led to a slow start but the boys showed how resilient they are. For me, this was the performance of the year. Not pretty at times, but under the circumstances, it felt like a huge win. The boys deserve huge credit and a relaxing week off!“
BACK AT BARNET WOOD ROAD
The seconds entertained Old Colfeians twos in a friendly. The away side play at a higher level so this was going to be a big ask. After fifteen minutes there only looked to be one winner as the away side dominated possession and territory. Their backs in particular looked big, strong and dangerous and played with a swagger that suggested they fancied themselves to bag a few tries. Bromley had other ideas and started to use their big forwards to punch holes leading to Mason to kicking the ball huge distances into the corners and with sergeant major Freds at scrum half barking away the home team came on strong as the half progressed. 15 -10 to Colfeians at half time. For about twenty five minutes Bromley threw everything at Colfeians who defended for their lives and the home team only got on the scoreboard once with an unconverted try. However, fatigue set in for the home side and they conceded two late scores. In truth, this was really a great game and Colfeians deserved their win and boy did they have to fight for it. The game was also notable for the high number of injuries on both sides which reflected the ferocity of the contest. The poor physios were on overtime and probably needed a lie down afterwards. Hopefully, no serious damage was done and there were enough subs to keep the game flowing.
Next week the twos entertain Beccehamians and the thirds have an intriguing fixture at home to St Leonards.