The old cliché a game of two halves sums up this game. Medway won the 2nd half, unfortunately not by as much as Lordswood won the 1st! Medway yet again with a large No of personnel changes took a brief early lead through a Tristan Lewis penalty after Medway had pressed hard in the opening encounter forcing Lordswood to kill the ball. Lordswood however struck back almost straight away with an converted opportunist try after some lapse Medway defence. .Lewis pegged the lead back to 1 point with another penalty. Lordswood played some good rugby making good use of their backs, but it was their forwards who registered the next score when they drove over the line off the back of a lineout. From this point on Lordswood dominated the rest of the half, scoring 2 more unanswered tries before the ½ time break.
The 2nd half saw Medway apply some pressure although Lordswood always remained dangerous in attack some good defensive work plus a number of penalties conceded by Lordswood enabled Young scrum ½ Ben dance to push Lordswood back with a quick tap penalty. From the ensuing passage of play Matt Kelly having switched from 2nd row to his more accustomed back row place drove over the line to score a try ,duly converted by Lewis. Lordswood answered with a 3 point penalty. Despite both teams working hard and Medway having more chances in the 2nd 1/2 no further points were scored. Over all Lordswood were the better drilled side and deserved the spoils. Medways' 3rd string can however take heart from some encouraging debutants to the game of rugby namely Dan Hargest, Nathan Todd and Mark Bayley, as well their 2nd half performance.
Whilst a look at the scored line would seem to suggest that Medway had a torrid afternoon, those who played and those hardy souls who braved the elements, spurning the warmth of the clubhouse plus Scotland v Italy on the TV, would tell you it was far from one sided.
Medway without inspirational leader Tornado Thomas(Damaged fetlock) were forced to make a large number of changes from last weeks team, due to injuries and international duties. As a result it took most of the 1st half for the team to get to know eac other, as a result this there were some gaping holes in the defence which T_J`s were able to exploit . Running in 4tries in the 1st 20 mins. Medway woke up, the pack matched the heavier t_j pack in the scrummage and began to allow the backs to run the ball .In the 2nd ½ Medway had their fair share of possession and threatened to score on a number of occasions but were unable to cross the line kept out by some resolute defence. Medway did eventually get on the scoreboard Skipper Gary Davis gathering a charged down clearance kick to out pace most of the opposition and running through a couple of defenders.
However chasing the game in the last 20 mins Medway allowed T-Js back to the ascendancy leaking several tries with some uncharacteristic poor tackling perhaps through tiredness. Hopefully this weeks training and the return of some of the regular players will put this right before next week’s game
A converted try in the last play of the game saved Medway`s blushes . Although it was always a close game Medway would only have had themselves to blame had they lost.
A blend of youth, and experience Medway started with a game plan to spread the ball wide away from the large Weavering pack, however the loss of Joel Jenkins (30 seconds) and skipper Tornado ( a truly awesome 10 mins). disrupted the start.
Medway took a 3-0 lead following a infringement by The Weavering pack followed shortly by a fine individual, try from youngster Matt Waddams, showing that speed was the key to beat the larger Weavering side, who continued to grind their way forward using their Heavy forwards..
After ½ time Medway increased their lead through a well worked try again using pace from the backs to get round the defence good ball from the forwards who worked hard all afternoon against the much larger opposition saw the ball through the hands of the backs for Jamie Aldrin to score. Medway then relaxed and let Weavering who always looked dangerous around the fringes back into the game. Weavering scored 3 unanswered tries to be going in to the closing minutes 19 –15 ahead. Just when it seemed some lapse 1st up tackles had cost them the game Medway showed their resolve and pressed forward causing the opposition to give away a series of Penalties, Aware of the clock Meds took these quickly Weavering running out of tacklers to allow Micky Hutton to score under the posts. The ref blew as the conversion crossed the bar and Players and spectators with a Medway slant crossed to the Bar to celebrate and perhaps reflect on how close they had left it!
Medways 3rd string can take heart from a solid performance, despite losing this close fought league fixture. The absence of Skipper Tornado, away on international duties, was obviously a blow, but his deputy, Gary Davis, charged with the task of blending together some up and coming youngsters with some of those a bit longer in the tooth did an admirable job as indeed did the rest of the team.
East Peckham with the experience of how best to use their home turf. Using the advantage of the slope pressed hard in the opening encounters Medway defended well, the speed and commitment of the youngsters being helped by the gile of the more experienced, but eventually pressure told and Meds conceded a penalty to fall 3 points behind. Medways youngsters ran the ball well out of defence and made good ground. Youngster Michael Davis opened the Medway account by charging down a clearance kick f, gathering the ball after a clever kick through to run in the try and put Medway in front.
A lapse of concentration saw East Peckham regain the lead after their heavier pack kept Medway close to their line for a long period , the medway defence slipped in the boggy ground allowing the score. After half time Medway tried to play a more open game but against the run of play east peckham scored another try a solo effort from their centre who gathered is own chip ahead and out paced the Medway defence.
The game continued to ebb and flow Medway unable to score themselves,but keeping the opposition out..
In the last move of the game which seemed to last for 5 mins Medawy kept possession and forced East Peckham concede a penalty, a quick tap and go from scrum half Andy Watts saw him brush aside one tackle before diving in at the corner to earn Medway a well deserved losing bonus point