New Ash Green hit by TornAdos!
Medway’s `A` fifteen finished the season in style with an impressive away win over N A G. Plus a good 1st game in charge for new skipper Tornado Thomas, charged with filling the impressive boots of the out going skipper Gary Friel. Nag started the stronger and took the lead when they fed the ball along the backs quickly to release their speedy left winger who rounded the defence to score under the posts.
Medway came back with an impressive display of running rugby, with some good interlinking between forwards and backs. NAG had the heavier pack and looked to put Medway under pressure in the tight especially as Chesney Foord was playing an unaccustomed role in the front row but thanks to the Fleet footed Sideshow hooking , alongside the experience of Tank Engine Thomas Medway were able to secure their own ball. The lighter Medway pack were quicker around the field and able to keep possession for long periods coupled with the backs shifting the ball with unselfish quick hands along the line this tired the heavier NAG Forwards enabling Medway to rack up the points later in the game despite playing up the slope in the 2nd half.
For the 1st 20mins the score line remained close. Medway took the lead after some good work in the lineout from veteran Gary Davies saw the ball quickly fed along the line via `Accountant` McDonald out to Winger Peter Barnet-Gunning who went over in the corner.
Nag responded with a well worked try through their forwards for a converted try to retake the lead. Medway came back again and the willey old fox of a scrum half Germany-Calling scored a try following a fine run from Segway Davies.
In the 2nd half Nag tried to pin Medway in their own half with some long kicks but Fullback McManus on at half time for the newcomer Kempt distributed the ball well and Medway racked up the points Dance completed his hatrick much to his fathers disgust!, James McFlurry Germany Calling, Mark `pas de deux` Green and Nigel Levitt scored a try a piece. Segway Davies with some superb runs managed a brace along with the odd conversion, the rest being shared between Germany and Dance
Sadly for Medway two of the linchpins of the team are moving on from Medway next if things go according to plan; fly half Jimbo Dance moves on to Bath and 2nd row Segway Davies to Loughborough.
For the time being dear reader let us leave them relaxing in the warm after glow of a successful season replacing lost body fluid and minds far away from the trials that next season shall bring.
Those magnificent men in Friel’s Fighting Fifteen have had their up tiddley up ups and the odd down tiddley down down so far this season . This being skipper Gary Friel`s last game in charge Medway were keen to carry out his pre match instructions and be a lean keen winning machine against New Ash Green ( Gary`s book of inspirational speeches and poetry to be published later this year in hard back).. N.a.g. however had their own thoughts about how the game should go. The game was indeed a series of ups and downs fortunately a few more ups for Medway. Allowing Friel to finish on a W!
Medway started well with some darting runs from the backs and driving at close quarters by the forwards moving the heavier less mobile Nag pack around to tire them out. Soon this paid off and Prop Nick Tank Engine Thomas crashed through the defence at close range to register the 1st try.
NAG came back strongly using their heavier pack to drive at the Medway line, Medway held them up just short of the line and indeed on one occasion over it. Eventually the sustained pressure told and Meds gave away a penalty for killing the ball in the ruck NAG kicked the penalty to claw back 3 points. Moments later almost a replay of this sequence of events occurred and NAG took the lead with a 2nd penalty.
Medway were pinned in their own half for along period of tine but continued to keep Nag from scoring a try. A break from defence saw youngster Jimbo Dance score a try to put Medway back in front. A few moments before ½ time he again crossed the line for a converted try to put Medway ahead 17 -6 at the break.
NAG continued to pressure Meds and some uncharacteristic poor tackling let them in for 2 unconverted tries in quick succession leaving Medway clinging to the narrowest possible lead with 30 mins left to play.
The game ebbed and flowed for and against both teams. Each creating chances only to be denied by last ditch tackles. With 4 1/2 minutes left to play Medway gave themselves a 2 score cushion when following some fine driving runs from Skipper Friel, the ball was fed to Jimbo Dance who used his pace to get round a couple of men before off loading to veteran Gary Davies who fleet footed as ever he was in his bygone 1st team days raced the length of the dead ball area to score a try converted by Colin Germany –Calling to put the result beyond doubt.
Nobody conveyed this to NAG however who came back strongly in the remaining few minutes but the defence held firm.
It will be an interesting return game next week, when NAG have the home advantage for the fixture re-arranged because of the bad weather earlier in the year, when new skipper Tornado Thomas takes the helm.
A birthday treat for Skipper Friel!
Medway finished convincing winners in this top of the table clash, despite worries about being jaded and losing momentum due to them having no game last weekend.
Medway started well playing with the slope and breeze.
Young fly half Jimbo Dance opened the scoring with a fine turn of pace to put Meds in front. The second try came from the aging but durable No8 Nigel Levitt using his experience to out fox the defence . Dance then added a another following some good work in the line out by Medway. Winger Peter Barnet-Gunning was next over the line following some slick handling in the backs. With scrum half Germany-Calling adding 2 conversions Medway were 24-0 up at half time.
The pattern of the 2nd half was a little different Weavering now with the wind and slope advantage began to exert some pressure, Medway tackled well and fielded the high kicks frequently employed to pin them back in there own half.
Weavering looked dangerous in attack and as befits this top of the table clash came back strongly, through there backs scoring 2 tries converting one to narrow the gap. After some stern words from birthday boy Skipper Friel Medway came back to score a final try through Gary Davies following some fine work by his Nephew Michael `segway` Davies in chasing up a kick ahead before passing to Gary whose clever Maori sidestep left the oppositions fullback floundering. Germany kicked the conversion to put the game beyond doubt
Medway Dance to Victory!
Medway led by inspirational youngster Jimbo Dance beat Footscray by a handsome margin at Priestfields. Dance opened the scoring with a fine solo effort following some good work by the forwards in the opening 5 minutes of the game.
Shortly afterwards another of Medway’s up and coming youngsters Micheal Segway Davies also scored following another break by Dance. Medway’s forwards although outweighed were much quicker around the field they were able to retain possession and drive at the Footscray defence eventually pressure told and James Dyingswan drove over the line to get his name on the scoreboard.
Medway then had their customary laps an unfortunate kick gusted by a strong wind went straight into the arms of the fastest of the Footscray backs who took full advantage of the gift to score under the posts. Footscray made further in roads into the Medway lead with another try just before half time.
Skipper Germany Calling had some stern words at half time. Medway took head and soon after the restart centre Tornado Thomas redressed the balance with a well taken try. Medway continued to press and were rewarded with a second try for Dance. Medway continued to run the ball at Footscray at every opportunity eventually pressure told again and that man Dance was on the end of a flowing movement to complete his hat-trick. Moments later he was over again to add his fourth, giving him a personal tally of 24, with his two conversions. The rest of the Medway points coming from the boot of Germany.
Footscray never gave up and scored some late consolation points as Medway continued to play champagne rather than safe rugby.
Despite the score line being reminiscent of last weeks win over Tunbridge Wells, the game was vastly different. Lordswood put up stern resistance throughout the game. In the scrum they always had Medway under pressure. The balance was more than redressed by Meds dominance in the line out and the quicker pace of their backs.
Lordswood started well driving up the field with their large forwards before spinning out to their backs who tried to run through the Medway defence. But Medway tackled well and when they gained possession were able to kick down field with the confidence. They would either regain possession from the ensuing line out or if Lordswood opted to run the ball back, the fleet footed Medway defence would make the tackle well over the gain line.
After a kick down field the ball was retrieved by the chasing Medway players. The ball was shipped along the line giving the twinkle toed Barney “Barnstormer”Mc Flurry the chance to stretch his legs and run round the outside of the defence to register the 1st try.
Moments later fly half James Notsoslender scored Medway’s second with a fine individual effort, carving his way through a surprisingly small gap to outpace the defence.
Scrum half Germany Calling added a 3rd try with a neat dummy to wrong foot the opposition just before half time making it 17 -0.
Lordswood forced there way back into the game at the start of the 2nd half with a couple of tactical substitutions with the introduction of fresh legs in the pack, they drove up field using their advantage in the tight their No 8 picked from the base of the scrum and despite being held up by the defence his forwards got behind him to drive over the line for a well deserved try.
Almost from the kick off Lordswood scored again, giving Medway a wake up call. Skipper Friel rallied his team and they duly responded.
The fact that Lordswoods main option was to retain possession and slowly grind their way up field ultimately led to Lordswoods demise as it tired their heavier pack more than Medway’s. This meant that in the closing stages of the game Medway were able to pull away, Running the ball from all over the field they stretched the Lordswood defence and were able to close out the game in the last 15 mins with tries coming from Michael Segway Davies, Jimbo Dance, Tornado Thomas and Mark “The Tackle” Green.
Overall a good victory for Medway over their Local rivals and good entertainment for the supporters, although they did have a slight falter it was not as the score line suggests a slaughter
Skipper Germany must be well pleased with the effect of his pre Match speech , the hours spent mid week in preparation did not go unnoticed Medway did indeed “Knock 7 bells out of Tunbridge Wells!”
For the 1st 40 minutes of this game Medway produced their best rugby of the season so far. The forwards drove into the Wells defence time and again slowly sucking in defenders to create the space for the backs to exploit. On the occasions they were held up they put pressure on the Wells scrum and Hooker Ford was able to take several balls against the Head.
It is difficult to single out individuals from a very good all round team performance the tries coming from team moves ,the time spent training put to good use.
Germany opened the scoring following some good work by open side James McDonald following a run from No 8 White.
From the resulting kick off Dad Dance made a weaving run before feeding the ball to Michael `Segway` Davies who took the ball further up field seting up a ruck which enabled Gary ( uncle ) Davies to score under the posts.
Wells were by no means idle they defended well but kicked the ball back to Medway ,failing to find touch, a mistake they should not be making on their home ground , allowing Medway in the form of fullback Watts to field the ball and feed it quickly to the fleet footed James Dance who returned the ball with interest on every occasion.
Dance was rewarded with the 1st of his 2 tries from such an occasion when Meds took the ball from the Wells lineout, the ball was fed quickly through the hands of Andy `Dwarf `Green to Outside centre Mark Green(No relation) who in turn after making several yards fed winger Barney McDonald . McDonald finding his way to the line blocked by defenders slipped the ball back inside to the supporting Dance who crossed the line for the 1t of his brace of tries , the 2nd coming in the 2nd half after two bullocking runs from the Props Nick `Tank Engine` Thomas and Meirion Webber. A fitting tribute to Webber who due to international commitments is unavailable for a few weeks.
The 2nd half was a little less free flowing than the 1st Germany added a 2nd try to his tally as well as a total of 4 conversion. Tornado Thomas was the recipient of some good recycling from the forwards quick hands again from the backs allowing him to score under the post.
A selfless move by Peter Barnet-Gunning saw Vetran Graham McManus over in the corner for the final score.
The only blot on the afternoon was a soft try conceded due to a lack of concentration late in the 2nd half.( No names but its an ill wind…..)
After a difficult journey much of it completed on foot you might have forgiven Medway for being slow out of the blocks, Quite the reverse was true as they started well with some fine driving runs up the pitch from veterans Nick Thomas “the tank engine”, “Conan” Connell, Dyingswan as well as youngster Michael Davies in the forwards. A quick pick up from the base of a scrum by No.8 Bear with a quick feed enabled scrum half Germany to across the line to open the scoring. From the resulting kick-off a Medway made their way back up the field for Evans to finish off a the move with a try,
Medway then sat back and allowed T-J`s back into the game, lack of concentration saw the overlap created for the 1st score by T-J`s the 2nd came soon after from a quick penalty after another Medway infringement.
Wake up call given Medway went about regaining the initiative. A clever chip ahead and quick chase saw centre Luke Burns score a try to put Medway back in front.
A clever weaving run from fly-half James Dance saw him break through several defenders when he was finally held, surprisingly it was full back “Warrior” Watts in close support, who took the pass and scampered the remaining yards to score. A few moments later Evans popped up again to score his 2nd at the end of the half following a sustained period of Medway pressure.
The second half saw Medway reduced to 14 men, for the second week, for 10 minutes this time the errant fellow was 2nd row giant Chesney Ford. The extra man made the difference and T-J`s were able to exploit the space to claw back 2 tries.
Fly –half dance put Medway further in front with a well taken try to cap a good all-round performance.
Dave `police chief` Evans put the icing on the cake with his 3rd try showing his pursuers a clean pair of heals in last play of the game when he raced almost the length of the pitch to score a fine individual try ,which rounded off a good team performance by Medway and completed Evans hat-trick. (Proof that an athletic performance can be had from a diet of coffee and Kebabs)!
The conversions were shared evenly between Germany and Evans to round off a good afternoon’s work, though again like his England counterpart manager Friel will be worried about the number of yellow cards Medway are accruing.
Medway laid to rest another ghost this week, after they narrowly lost last week to East Peckham the league leaders, this week they faced the only other team to beat them so far this season Maidstone.
Things started badly for Medway they kicked off, straight into touch, from the resulting scrum a speculative kick ahead bounced awkwardly, away from the full back straight into the arms of the chasing Maidstone player who then had an unopposed run to the line, Maidstone 7 Medway 0, 45 seconds played.
However Friel’s fighting xv did not groan against Maidstone, they knuckled down to some hard work. The forwards matched Maidstone much heavier pack up front, some superb work from back row man James Dyingswan and second row Michael Davies always kept the pressure on Maidstone. Eventually Medway’s backs were able to cross the Maidstone line. A clever step by Chesney Ford made the overlap and a flick on to the portly but agile Tornado Thomas back after recovering from extensive surgery on his foot. With the boot of Germany the conversion Medway were back on level terms,
Both teams played some spirited attacking rugby and both defended well, eventually the boot of Germany put Medway ahead after Maidstone were penalised for killing the ball. Fly half Germany scored the rest of Medway’s points a fine try again following some good work from the forwards, duly converted. Maidstone pulled back to within one score following a period of sustained pressure which saw prop Mierion sin binned for what is unusual from props- an early tackle!
Germany put Medway 2 scores in front again with a neatly taken drop goal to complete all forms of scoring no doubt aiming make sure the selectors take note of his resurgence
Medway via that man Germany again scored another penalty that was shortly cancelled out by a penalty to Maidstone.
A satisfying performance that put Medway back in contention at the top of the table. Medway lived up to Skipper Friels request at the start
With many of his squad unavailable because of international duties this weekend, skipper Friel had the bare minimum of players to man all the posts. Bearing in mind East Peckham are the league leaders and had earlier in the season put Medway to the sword with an impressive display of power and fluent running rugby .
Many of the home side’s impressive crowd were gathered for a repeat performance, But with skipper Friels sage words of wisdom “do not yield on this field.” echoing through their ears this turned out to be Medway’s “Rorkes Drift”. East Peckham seemed determined to spread the ball wide at every opportunity intent on running in tries Playing against the slope Medway however had other ideas they, tackled, tackled and tackled some more. With some fine work by the foraging back row Medway were able to mount several attacks of their own, being held short of the line on a couple of occasions.
Just on the stroke of ½ time the Medway defence was finally breached when East Peckham were able to create an overlap and squeeze in at the corner for a try.
With the gentle slope in their favour Medway looked set to tear up the form book in the 2nd half and run in some tries of their own, but rather like their England counterparts were undermined by poor discipline. On several occasions Medway had the opposition under pressure only for East Peckham to be able to relieve the pressure with the ensuing penalty Medway invariably gave away.
Indeed it was from a penalty the East Peckham were able to fashion another try, A penalty just inside their own half was taken quickly before Medway had chance to change from attacking to defensive formation saw the overlap created and the 2nd and final score of the game go to East Peckham.
A Moral victory then, certainly Friel can be proud of his team’s gutsy performance But as Martin Johnson said this weekend “We’re not into moral victories and all that rubbish. If you don`tmake silly errors and don1t give away penalties you become a difficult team to beat.”
“Don’t let the winning streak end against Gravesend.” Was this week’s rally cry from skipper Friel! Whilst not everything went Medways way and not every move came off it was one of those rare halcyon days when most things worked and the whole team played fluently together.
For once Medway started the game firing on all cylinders from the kick off despite centre Andy Green’s late withdrawal due to a training injury. Medway pressured Gravesend into a knock on. From the ensuing scrum, the aging but durable Germany at scrum half fed the ball to James Notsoslender at fly half who executed a well rehearsed switch move with inside centre Fay who cut through the defence and ran in a spectacular try from 30 meters. Medway never looked back despite the oppositions heavier pack the front row of Nick Thomas “the tank engine” , Steve “commando” Applegate, and Pinder were always secure on their own ball and had Gravesend under pressure on their own put in. This enabled the back row of DaviesG `Daddy Dance` and McFlurry to put pressure on the opposition when they were in possession a quick turnover of the ball as a result of this enabled the Medway backs to shine and some slick handling saw winger Mark Green go over for the 2nd try a few minutes after the 1st.
Almost from the restart Medway struck again through the pace of the backs enabling Dance Junior to register a try. With the conversions Medway were21-0 up inside 15 mins and the game looked over but fortunately for the spectators Gravesend began to rally and gaining some possession tried to batter down the Medway defence but excellent tackling from the whole team kept them at bay.
Following a period of intense pressure on the Gravesend line Medway recycled the ball time and again until Davies G managed to crash over for a try at the end of the half.
Gravesend played a different game in the 2nd half trying to use their heavier pack to drive the ball up the park but Medway’s response was to do the same but better with Skipper Friel parting the defence with his characteristic snowplough technique.
Medway scored 2 more tries with Davies G completing his brace and White striking with white hot pace in what must surely be one of the most memorable tries of his career, considering the distance he had to travel. Notsoslender completed the try scoring following another move that involved most of the team. Both teams played hard and were both forced to use their full compliment of replacements. Coming on for Gunning (Barnet malfunction) and old campaigner McManus coming on for Ye Olde Warrior Watts following damage to his fetlock. A high persistency of conversions made the score line an even more satisfactory result.
24 January 2009
“Win at all cost in the frost!” was the rallying cry from Medway`s skipper Gary Friel. As the score line shows his team did not disappoint, despite a number of weeks without a game as a result of cancellations due to poor weather. It was however a keenly contested game throughout. Aylesford pressed hard in the opening encounters but were unable to breech the visitor’s resolute defence. After absorbing the opening assault from Aylesford , Medway began to mount some attacks of their own. An elusive run by back row man James McFlurry scuppered the defensive line and some slick handling saw the ball in the hands of winger Tom McMulkin who went over near the corner to put Medway in front.
Medway maintained pressure on the Aylesford side thanks in no small part to their dominance in the lineout through the 2 jumpers Gary Davies (the elder ugly uncle) and Davies M (the younger good looking nephew). A rampaging run from prop Nick Thomas followed by some surprisingly quick thinking and slick passing saw that man McMulkin scoring his 2nd try. Continued pressure saw the younger Davies, Michael, score the 3rd Medway try, following some penetrating running from the backs and some superb ball retention and recyling by the forwards.
Turning round with the slight slope and wind at their backs Medway failed to heed skipper Friel’s words of maintaining the pressure , though in fairness Aylesford who fought hard in the first half continued to work hard and again put Medway under pressure, eventually it told and they managed to create an overlap to peg the score back.
This brought an almost immediate response from Medway allowing James McFlurry to crash over the Aylesford line following some fine work by the rest of the forwards in the special 99p move. Both sides continued to attack but both sides defence were equally as good and no further scoring took place despite some very heavy pressure by the Aylesford team at the end when Medway gave away a series of penalties resulting in the sin binning of Dan (The Hand) Dance. Vice Captain Colin Germany had a good day at the office with the boot converting a good percentage of the tries.
The rallying cry from the stand in skipper and legendary warrior, Colin Germany, was “Let’s get beavering against Weavering!” That’s exactly what needed to be done in the testing conditions on the heavy & undulating terrain of Mote Park.
It was a grinding war of attrition with neither side willing to yield until Thomas “the tank engine” McMulkin broke through to break the deadlock with a try. It was not a day for the kickers as the first & subsequent attempts from both sides failed to land the target.
An embattled Medway continued to toil in the soil but unfortunately their reward was a break away try by Weavering to even the score.
The team ramped it up in the second half on the command of Germany calling on every ounce of experience from the more senior players notably Marillion, Thomas, Urko, Chesney & Jonny White. The young guns – Rumo the second, Mike Davies, Steve Appleyard & Jim Dance also stepped up with gusto.
Rumo managed to breech the try line early in the second half but Weavering were not lying down & put enormous pressure on.
With a courageous display of dogged determination the team was able to gain another try touched down by Tom “ ferocious” Faye.
The last 10 minutes saw a determined counter attack from Weavering only to be denied time & again by the stoic defence with the Macdonald twins & Mark Green in supreme defiance.
A true “A” Team performance all round & one injured skipper Gary Friel was immensely proud of.
Maidstone IV 27 Medway A 7
A week is a long time in 3rd team rugby as it is in the realm of the weather : “fun in the sun turned to pain in the rain!” for Medway 3rds as they slumped to their first defeat of the season. Skipper Friel was forced into a larger number of team changes than he would have liked and this had an unsettling effect on the erstwhile winning ways of the team. In fairness the Maidstone side was a strong one and deserved their victory though the winning margin flatters.
Medway got off to their traditional poor start letting Maidsone in for a couple of early soft tries due to some misunderstanding in defence caused no doubt by the reshuffling of the team. However, wake up call given, Medway defended well against further Maidstone pressure, causing Maidstone to kick for goal from penalty situations, rather than their usual running rugby, to move the score on to 20-0 at half time.
The second half saw Medway regain some pride in their performance, they continued to defend well and caused Maidstone to kick much of their possession back to Medway , a cruel bounce however saw the Maidstone winger scamper across the line unoppossed to further increase their lead. Medway finally managed to hit back with a try from new antipodian signing ,from the large island, Michael Harrop who was on the end of a dramatic move; a Barnswallace like pass from scrum half Simon Foord through the hands of Urquart to Harrop saw him run twenty yards to the line powering over the last few yards with a couple of defenders hanging on to his shirt. With the following conversion it at least gave Medway the consolation of drawing the second half!. More effort required in the first 15 minutes next week boys.
“Fun in the sun,not defeat in the heat” was skipper Gary Friel`s rally cry as a much changed Medway 3rd string prepared for their 1st home game of the season , in front of a large crowd basking in the Indian summer on the veranda complete with water feature overlooking the show pitch. The game did not disappoint. Tunbridge started much the stronger of the 2 sides. Only some strong Medway defence kept them at bay until a loose ball squirmed out of the scrum, the Tunbridge scrum half seized upon the opportunity and Tunbridge took a deserved lead. They were unable to increase their lead as Medway fought a stout rearguard action on their own line for the rest of the half. I do not know if it was something to do with the ½ time oranges or the swelling crowd and the Sun on their backs in the 2nd half but Medway scored within minutes of the kick off . Some flowing inter passing between the on song soprano backs and in tune tenor boys up front led to winger Rumsey the Younger scampering in at the corner to level the scores. Medway continued to press hard and were soon rewarded with a try from veteran back row man Gary Davis. Up and coming youngster Ben Craddock added a 3rd try. Before Rumsey scored a further 2 tries to complete his hatrick, a pity he had to make a hasty exit from the game to nurse a sick relative, who would undoubtedly wished they could have been here to witness and celebrate this achievement with his teamates. Not to be out done by the young back, Veteran Davis also went on to complete his hatrick. Fly half Colin Germany and Scrum half Daffyd Ruffell shared the kicking duties adding the remaining points Germany just failing with a long range drop goal attempt undoubtedly aimed more at the watching 1st team coach than putting the game beyond doubt!
Wells were always looking to counter,and were always a threat scoring a late consolation try as Medway allowed their minds to tire . Skipper Friel will again have some difficult choices to make at selection this week.