1st XV - Match centre

Westcombe Park
Guildford
A Hitchcock (2), T Gray, B Saffery, S Dixon, M Davey, L Covington
Full time
G Player, G Player
F Neale (5)
G Player, G Player
F Neale
Sat 11 Mar 14:00 - London & SE Division - National League 3 London & SE

Second-half Blitz Settles it . . . Emphatically for Combe

Westcombe Park 48 v Guildford R.F.C. 14

There are the best of times and there are the worse of times and this match was no less easy to watch for Combe supporters, for much of the time, than the two previous matches against Shelford and Sutton & Epsom, in fact in several matches this year since we lost our way against TJ's.

A point highlighted by Guildford's lead at the interval because Combe's second-half performances have not been too much to right home about of late and the performances in the second-half that we grew to know and love were but a distant memory.
What has kept them a memory, thank goodness, were the massive wins we have had in that time but in fairness, and due respect to the opposition, they were wins even before the refs whistles got them underway.

It was altogether different on Saturday, Guildford had given us a bit of a beating back in November back at their place, matching us defensively and with a good deal of speed on offer from the backs and it was felt that Combe would need a good start and at least a solid second-half but it didn't map out quite that way.

It started out as expected with early Combe pressure looking likely to produce points but Guildford stood firm and after 10 minutes kicked their way into Combe territory for the first time and with some deft touches were soon on the edge of the 22. Joe Garner only had to break a half tackle to go through the centre and between the posts. Bradley Smith converted with a drop-kick.
When Combe play their cavalier rugby it is very good to watch but can look clumsy when it doesn't come off and this first-half was littered with such mistakes. It took until the end of the first quarter before they managed to get it together enough for the first score and another twelve minutes before they added to it. Firstly, Ant Hitchcock shrugged off a couple of tackles to go over wide and then Tommy Gray outpaced a stretched defence to score the second try that Frankie Neale converted. That's more like it we thought! In fairness it was no more than Combe deserved because despite the mistakes they had dominated both possession and territory.

Two minutes after Combe had gone into a 12—7 lead Guildford made a rare visit into Combe territory and the same combination of Joe Garner and Bradley Smith carved out their second goal.

The next six minutes were not enough for Combe to get back, so the interval, was reached with Guildford enjoying an unlikely lead 14—12.

There must have been some pretty hard talking at the break because within twelve minutes of the restart Combe were leading 29—14.
Barely had it got underway and Frankie Neale had nudged Combe ahead with a penalty in front of the posts and not that far out. Then Bradley Saffery and Shaun Dixon had weaved and crashed their way over for tries and Frankie Neale had added the four points.
What followed was sixteen or seventeen minutes of sheer delight as the cavalier rugby returned unblemished by mistakes, well few, and the likes of Ant Hitchcock fielding the overheads and setting out on mazing runs to shred the Guildford defence and Fulcrum Forsyth standing just off the breakdowns and with the minimum of effort starting some scintillating moves. Pure entertainment!
With only ten minutes left Combe got down to business again and had seven clear chances to add points. Mark Davey (Man of the Match, apparently) was the first running in from short range for his try, converted by Frankie Neale and then a gap of seven minutes before, in short order Ant Hitchcock crossed for his second try and Lee Covington added the icing on the cake.

From the right Frankie Neale struck the post with the first and it somehow stayed out but safely slotted the second, and the game finished with Combe being awarded a penalty close to halfway and time didn't permit for anything other than a stab at the posts but it was pulled just wide.

I'm glad it wasn't me who had to pick the Man of the Match award (it was probably Dick Russ and Peter Johnson from the Wooden Spoon Charity) there were so many contenders. Most of the forwards and a good number of the backs must have been in contention and I'd still be making up my mind 4 days later!

Squad: Frankie Neale; Bradley Saffery, Ant Hitchcock, Dave Bonner, Tommy Gray; Bradley Bateup, Charlie Edwards; Jimi Stanford, Joe Bonner, Jamie (Fulcrum) Forsyth; Tom Clark, Charlie O'Sullivan; Mark Davey, Lee Covington, Shaun Dixon. Nick Porter, Dan Fox, Max Roddick.

Match Reporter: Mike Attewell. (thefillinginthepastry.com)

Key moments

9:25
Try Guildford Player scores for Guildford
9:32
Conversion Guildford Player kicks a conversion for Guildford
19:45
Try Ant Hitchcock scores for Westcombe Park
31:55
Try Tom Gray scores for Westcombe Park
32:06
Conversion Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
33:29
Try Guildford Player scores for Guildford
34:07
Conversion Guildford Player kicks a conversion for Guildford
43:55
Penalty Frankie Neale kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
49:36
Try Bradley Saffery scores for Westcombe Park
50:47
Conversion Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
52:28
Try Shaun Dixon scores for Westcombe Park
52:38
Conversion Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
70:46
Try Mark Davey scores for Westcombe Park
70:56
Conversion Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
77:43
Try Ant Hitchcock scores for Westcombe Park
79:36
Try Lee Covington scores for Westcombe Park
80:00 +0:05
Conversion Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park

Highlights

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80:00 +2:00 Player of the Match
Mark Davey is awarded player of the match for Westcombe Park
80:00 +0:05 Conversion 48 - 14
Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
79:36 Try 46 - 14
Lee Covington scores for Westcombe Park
77:57 Missed Conversion
Frankie Neale misses a conversion for Westcombe Park
77:43 Try 41 - 14
Ant Hitchcock scores for Westcombe Park
70:56 Conversion 36 - 14
Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
70:46 Try 34 - 14
Mark Davey scores for Westcombe Park
63:58 Sub On
Max Roddick is substituted on for Westcombe Park
59:37 Sub On
Dan Fox is substituted on for Westcombe Park
59:30 Sub On
Jimi Stanford is substituted on for Westcombe Park
52:38 Conversion 29 - 14
Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
52:28 Try 27 - 14
Shaun Dixon scores for Westcombe Park
50:47 Conversion 22 - 14
Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
49:36 Try 20 - 14
Bradley Saffery scores for Westcombe Park
44:50 Missed Penalty
Frankie Neale misses a penalty for Westcombe Park
43:55 Penalty 15 - 14
Frankie Neale kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
41:11 Missed Penalty
Frankie Neale misses a penalty for Westcombe Park
3:12 Yellow Card
Guildford Player is yellow carded for Guildford
End of period 1
34:07 Conversion 12 - 14
Guildford Player kicks a conversion for Guildford
33:29 Try 12 - 12
Guildford Player scores for Guildford
32:06 Conversion 12 - 7
Frankie Neale kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
31:55 Try 10 - 7
Tom Gray scores for Westcombe Park
24:00 Yellow Card
Guildford Player is yellow carded for Guildford
19:53 Missed Conversion
Frankie Neale misses a conversion for Westcombe Park
19:45 Try 5 - 7
Ant Hitchcock scores for Westcombe Park
9:32 Conversion 0 - 7
Guildford Player kicks a conversion for Guildford
9:25 Try 0 - 5
Guildford Player scores for Guildford
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Westcombe Park
  • Guildford
  • 0
  • Guildford Player Try 9:25'
  • Guildford Player Conversion 9:32'
  • Ant Hitchcock Try 19:45'
  • Guildford Player Yellow Card 24:00'
  • Tom Gray Try 31:55'
  • Frankie Neale Conversion 32:06'
  • Guildford Player Try 33:29'
  • Guildford Player Conversion 34:07'
  • Guildford Player Yellow Card 3:12'
  • Frankie Neale Penalty 43:55'
  • Bradley Saffery Try 49:36'
  • Frankie Neale Conversion 50:47'
  • Shaun Dixon Try 52:28'
  • Frankie Neale Conversion 52:38'
  • Jimi Stanford Sub On 59:30'
  • Dan Fox Sub On 59:37'
  • Max Roddick Sub On 63:58'
  • Mark Davey Try 70:46'
  • Frankie Neale Conversion 70:56'
  • Ant Hitchcock Try 77:43'
  • Lee Covington Try 79:36'
  • Frankie Neale Conversion 80:00 +0:05'
  • Mark Davey Player of the Match 80:00 +2:00'

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League round up

Other National League 3 London & SE results

Dorking
17
20
26
20
Westcliff
17
50
Tonbridge Juddian
Sutton & Epsom
14
46

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Tonbridge Juddian 26 120
2. Wimbledon 26 115
3. Hertford 26 85
4. Westcombe Park 26 84
5. Guernsey 26 74
6. Shelford 26 67
7. Westcliff 26 57

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