Wolves A fall at the Last Hurdle on a Hot Day at the Kent Waterfall by Tom Barrett
Coombe play with skill and a lot of heart but tantalisingly lose the final 1-0
Westcombe Park A 4 - Old Colfes 2
On a hot afternoon more suited to summer sports (and the spectators) Wolves A kicked off on a bone-dry pitch and it wasn’t long before a quick thinking Matthew looped an early pass from a penalty to Henry B who bulldozed through from 20 yards out down the left. Soon after Matthew assisted again sending another long pass to Haydon down the right and he ran it home with ease. Adem then added to a seemingly comfortable victory with a powerful 30 yard run twisting and turning through the heart of the OC defence. OC’s then came back into it somewhat with their star player bursting through to take a good interception but the Matthew/Henry B combination worked again as the latter ran in from close quarters before a consolation from OC’s at the death. One standout moment was a bone crunching hit from Toby and Wolves had started the competition well.
Westcombe Park A 1 Whitstable 1
Match 2 followed shortly after in a far more even game. Matthew set up Ollie on the left twice in short succession but he was well marshalled by a good defence and pushed into touch near the line on both occasions. Shortly after though Coombe took the lead with Christopher pressing high up the pitch and putting in a good tackle with that man Ollie pouncing well on the panicked kick that followed catching a yard from the line and touching down. Whitstable then came back into the game strongly and put up a good high kick which took the Wolves defence by surprise enabling one of their backs to collect 20 yards out and finish off expertly. The last couple of minutes were all Wolves and following a couple of penalties in the Whitstable half Henry B was somewhat harshly adjudged to have made a double movement when touching down for what looked like a last gasp win. Although Wolves shaded territory and (definitely) chances this was good quality and high intensity rugby in difficult conditions.
Westcombe Park A 4 Beckenham 3
In the third game in quick succession Beckenham steamrollered an understandably tired looking Wolves early on and they looked unstoppable as they won rucks and outplayed Coombe in the first half. It wasn’t long before they had taken a 2-0 lead and their back line was peppered with big fast running units that Coombe were not able to tackle quickly enough before they built up speed. Henry B then scored a great individual try when he picked up the ball at walking pace before accelerating through the gears side stepping right around a lethargic Beckenham defence although Beckenham finished the half 3-1 up with their big winger running home again with little meaningful defending from Coombe. At half time the boys got a bit of a rollocking and they started the second half with the wind behind and superbly matching their opponents in rucks and scoring a couple of tries to level through Haydon on the left fed by a now hobbling Matthew. Tommy Hill then almost put Wolves into the lead with a typical burst through Beckenham’s right flank from deep but got smashed with a good tackle by the corner. Haydon then pulled off his second half hattrick somehow taking a difficult ball at head height and at full speed to seal an improbable victory. This second half performance was impressive stuff with committed tackling, rucking and of course Haydon’s finishing being the icing on the cake.
Trophy Game (Final) Westcombe Park A 0 Bromley 1
The final saw a move to the first XV pitch which was thankfully softer underfoot and there was more than a hint of tension in the air as the ref delayed the whistle. Bromley started immediately on the front foot and their knock-on was unnoticed by the ref before one of Bromley’s big lads powered through a weak Wolves defence from distance to take a lead in the first minute. After this wake-up call the Coombe defence was superb as Bromley’s lightening quick half back pairing probed time after time with Wolves pinned in their own 22 for the whole of the first half. Coombe were overpowered at times in the rucks but Bromley could not get a second try as a result of some outstanding last ditch tackling led by Christopher, Adem and Henry (once all on one player) and the ball was held up on the try line on either flank by a Wolves team who were digging deeper that you thought was possible. In the second half Bromley continued to dominate although Wolves were less pinned back and Haydon seemed ready to pull off a trademark interception on half way and although he was blocked illegally the ref did not see it.
Despite this final defeat the boys did amazingly well over 4 games in difficult conditions playing great rugby in defence and attack. A big thanks is due to al the coaches and apologies as I'm sure I missed some key moments out due to the sun/alcohol!