Pulborough RFC VS Bromley RFC
Bromley and a smattering of supporters made the long trip into deepest Sussex to play Pulborough in a fixture that traditionally they have not been very successful in. There were only two changes in the starting fifteen with Griffiths A coming in at full back and Rice at ten. The weather again was not great with a bitingly cold wind blowing down the pitch which determined how the game panned out as whoever played with the wind would dominate territory. The home skipper won the toss and put Bromley into bat with the wind.
Consequently most of the forty minutes was played in the Pulborough half and with Bromley dominant in the scrum the pressure was on. The away side reaped the benefit with Pillow first scoring in the left hand corner after a penalty was run, then Powell J crashing over in the right hand corner on fifteen minutes after a powerful scrum and this burst of scoring was completed on twenty one minutes when Wilson scored after pressure was exerted on a Pulborough lineout with Griffiths converting. At the end of the first quarter Bromley were 17-0 to the good. They did not take their foot off the pedal and a few minutes later Bird dotted down out wide on the left hand side. Pulborough, at last, managed to get a foothold in the away sides twenty two and exerted sustained pressure using their big forwards and eventually the ball was released down the line and their right winger cantered in.
A few minutes later play was held up due to a serious looking injury to the Bromley full back when his leg got trapped at the bottom of a ruck and hopefully he will return to full fitness soon. The dependable Powell T came on as a replacement. Sometimes incidents like this can upset the flow of a team but not this time. On thirty four minutes Bromley were awarded a penalty which was kicked to the corner and a well executed catch and drive was given the coup de grace by skipper Houghton scoring with Griffiths converting. Half time was signalled and the black and ambers were 29-5 to the good with the bonus point secured. Was it job done? Not really as it was their turn to play into the strengthening wind which would test all their defensive skills.
The Pulborough forwards got their act together and began to dominate in loose play and really started taking the game to Bromley. However they were up to the task and although Pulborough were in the Bromley twenty two for long periods they could not break down the door. Bromley were awarded a number of penalties in this passage of play but could not find touch due to the conditions which made life even more difficult. Eventually something had to give. Pulborough were awarded a lineout close to the try line. This was caught and the ball shipped along the line for the left winger to score and conversion added. The next fifteen minutes were very scrappy wit a number of injuries being attended to leading to Houghton being replaced by Moore.
Crucially the next score went to Bromley with another catch and drive from a lineout with Holland this time rumbling over on sixty seven minutes. This did not deflate Pulborough and they went back on the attack but concerted good Bromley defence kept them at bay despite a series of penalties against them. However the dam burst a little bit in the last few minutes with Pulborough scoring two tries. The first was the best of the day with their number ten cutting a beautiful line to score near the posts and the second coming from deep, again down the left wing. Final score was 24-34 to Bromley and a difficult away fixture negotiated.
Again a few changes in personnel for the team but their structures and spirit are very good and will serve them well in tough challenges to come. However it is disappointing to note that this was the only game played by Bromley this weekend. No point dwelling on the reasons why but with the first team having two home games coming up it would be great to get the other sides out and create that special club atmosphere, which binds everyone together, over the coming weeks leading up to Xmas. Come on some of you do your bit – get playing!!! Next week the ones take on Maidstone and the following week one of the famous club lunches is on the menu. Details about Boxing Day will no doubt circulate soon.