Old Alleynians RFC VS Bromley RFC
|Old Alleynians RFC||27||Win|
BROMLEY OUTGUNNED AT ALLEYNIANS
Bromley travelled to Dulwich on Saturday to face league leaders Alleynians in a top of table clash. They knew that this was going to be a tough assignment and needed to be at full strength to face up to the challenge. Unfortunately, as has been the case most weeks, at least six of the squad were not available and the composition of the team was still being adjusted on match day. However, they still put out a strong side and with a big travelling away support everyone was looking forward to a good game and in the main, this was the case with the home side being the more dominant of the two.
The size of the task soon became apparent. Buoyed by a big win last week Alleynians started off at a rate of knots and had the away side on the back foot and stretching them all over the park. Bromley’s defence was given a severe examination but were not breached during this initial onslaught. Having survived this Bromley managed to get into the opposition half and eked out a penalty which Alex Griffiths knocked over with aplomb to give them a 3-0 lead. Could this spur them on? Sadly not as the home side took a grip on the game and attacked from all angles. Bromley were firefighting all over the pitch, mostly in their own half and it seemed inevitable that they would concede at some stage. The moment arrived on the twenty minute mark when they couldn’t contain a rolling maul from a lineout and the try scored plus conversion meant they were 3-7 down. More of the same followed and Bromley were mainly restricted to kicking to clear the danger but not for long as Alleynians were unrelenting in running the ball back and with excellent support play kept the black and ambers under pressure.
Bromley’s defence was exceptional and when their very good full back went for a little dance up the left wing mixed in with some showboating the music stopped, the curtain came down and he spent a couple of minutes trying to locate his stomach. However, the gaps began slowly to appear and from a scrum around the thirty five minute mark their big number five, who was a considerable nuisance all afternoon, broke away, eluded a couple of tacklers and created space for their winger to go in for an unconverted try. 3-12. Bromley had to get to half time without conceding again or the game was gone. They just about managed this and were glad of the breather and a reassessment.
Obviously, Alleynians did the same and came hard again at the beginning of the half and within three minutes were in for another try. They took possession of the ball near the halfway line and with quick hands moved the ball to their right winger who made ground and he slipped it neatly to the inside centre, who was a constant menace, and he stormed across the line for an unconverted try. This was a big blow for Bromley and an energizer for the home side who if anything upped the tempo and all Bromley could really do was kick for territory or attempt individual breaks which did not lead too much. Then about sixty minutes in the away side contributed to their own demise having a lineout turned over and then dropping the resultant high kick leading to a scrum and the ball was fed to the left wing who bolted down the touchline to score and with the conversion it was basically game over at 3-24. Shortly afterwards their ten knocked over a penalty and you feared for the away side as there was still plenty of time to go and they had only infrequently got out of their half.
However, this is a very spirited Bromley side and they redoubled their efforts and after mighty work by the forwards, they got field position in the top left hand corner leading to a couple of surges at the line with the ball eventually being spun out along the backline and Alex Griffiths added to his points tally with an unconverted try in the corner. Ten minutes to go and the forwards were starting to give their opposite numbers a torrid time leading to a number of penalties which with good kicking placed Bromley in the top right corner. For a couple of minutes, Bromley mauled their way forwards leading to a very feisty exchange of opinions but the boys were not to be denied and George Scott, who had a magnificent game, scooted around the side and over in the corner for another unconverted try. It was the final play and Alleynians had won 27-13 much to their delight.
This was a hard, uncompromising day for Bromley and they will be better for it in their quest to improve. They picked up a couple of war wounds with the valiant Banfield battling on with a leg injury and young Rice, who gave it everything, having to retire with a head knock. This gave the opportunity for Haisell to come off the bench. He has had a torrid time with injuries and has not featured for the first team this season. It was good to see him back and come through unscathed. I think that the four front row forwards who featured Miles, Smith, Banfield and Carroll deserve great credit as they stood up to the physical challenge in the engine room and more than matched it if not bettered it. Bromley can be proud of their defence and their spirit but came up short in an attacking sense and again, under pressure, gave away too many penalties. Alleynians thoroughly deserved their win proving to be a fit, skilful and athletic side playing at pace and with controlled aggression. Hands up they were better on the day and deserve to be at the top of the table. Classy side unlike two or three of their younger supporters – shame.
The seconds were supposed to be playing a merit table game but the opposition cried off – the second time they have done this. It was decided to rest some of the seconds after a few tough games recently and a mixed twos/threes went over to Charlton Park and came away with a win. Next week the firsts are at home to Folkestone, the twos are at home to Westcombe Park and the threes are also at home to Beccehamians. If that all goes ahead it will be great if not a miracle. All kick off at 2.00pm. Also on the day is a sold out President’s Ladies Lunch. Prosecco will be bashed.