Westcombe Whites Win 2 for 3 in Tonbridge by Tom Barrett
By Rebecca Cahill
Wolves come up just short in Matchday 1 of the Kent Waterfall
Westcombe Whites 5 Aylesford 1
On a gloriously bright yet chilly day Westcombe Whites opened up against Aylesford and after a sleepy start Elijah picked up the ball near halfway before sauntering through a powderpuff defence. The game was then interrupted by a whistle-happy referee who awarded a string of around 7 or 8 penalties all against Coombe from what could have been illegal handling in the rucks although it was not at all clear to those on the touchline. Despite having a lot of the ball, however, Aylesford struggled to get out of their 22 in this period and Ralph soon punished them when he picked up a looped pass on the right wing 40 yards out before sidestepping and curving a powerful run to the line at full pace. Although Aylesford then pulled back an unlikely try as a result of missed Wolves tackles scores quickly followed from Westcombe; the first was from Tommy H who was determined not to be stopped (after some desperate defending) and you could see why when he signalled “1” to his dad as a reminder of his try bonus! Matthew then slid through a well-executed grubber kick on the right to a switched on Haydon who dived onto the ball on the try line and Adem rounded things off with his version of a Superman finish from close minus the cape.
Blackheath 1 Westcombe Whites 0
In the second game of 3 Blackheath’s bigger pack overpowered Coombe in the scrums and in the majority of rucks which was a clear reversal of the fixture played earlier in the season. Despite some good cover tackling from Will and Christopher and a couple of monster hits from Adem, Blackheath managed an easy score when one of their big lads eased down the right wing from deep as Coombe fell asleep and stood off. Blackheath were bossing possession by attacking through the middle and Coombe’s backline were unable to reproduce the free-flowing rugby* from the earlier fixture at Blackheath often taking the wrong decision by trying to go it alone through the centre. Coombe were fighting manfully though and this was highlighted when Charlie tackled well in the thick of the action which unfortunately injured him and other enforced departures soon followed with Christopher, Ralph and Toby (the latter for a dead elbow and a bloody knee) being forced to leave the action. The warrior of the day Adem himself also then struggled off with what looked like bruised ribs but despite these losses Coombe had possession without ever really gelling in attack often failing to ship the ball out effectively. At the final whistle Blackheath’s players and supporters were celebrating like they’d won the World Cup which was a clear response to the drubbing earlier in the year and although this was frustrating to see their game-plan had clearly worked.
*At full time following a bit of chin scratching Will Crossley pointed out that the previous game at Blackheath game was on an almost full size pitch which clearly played to Coombe’s advantage as there was more space for the Coombe backline. These pitches were ridiculously narrow and this of course all then made perfect sense – good point Will and there may be a vacancy going soon for team reporter!
Tonbridge Juddians 0 Westcombe Whites 6
In the final game Coombe eased past TJs without really getting into top gear and although the match was won at ease there were a few occasions when the ball wasn’t passed down the line quickly enough to take advantage of clear overlaps. individual tries from Ollie (twice running in strongly), Tommy Hill and Elijah all came before Charlie was rewarded for good support play and positioning to take advantage of an Ollie break and pass when the latter was held up on the line. Haydon then iced the cake as he picked up a pass on the left on halfway before coming to a standstill and then almost nonchalantly easing up through the gears to impressively sprint home.
Well done to the boys who took a bit of a bruising and a battering today. The passing, support play and high pressing was lacking a little but the breezy conditions and the narrow and congested pitched clearly did not help to produce free flowing rugby and you all put in a good shift and deserved your doughnuts and burgers!