The Torn`A`dos returned to the campaign trail a somewhat larger side than before
the long break caused by long white Christmas that meant most of the counties rugby
pitches were being used as holding pens for Santa’s reindeer. Indeed the great man
himself visited the Ton`Ados and the after match inquiry led to most of the team
being in `The Limelight`.
Despite their hectic New Year training regime that had led to the Team bulking up body mass the Torn`A`dos started unusually well they soon had Gravesend under pressure after `Gs` failed to deal with the kickoff adequately . From the ensuing line out the ball was fed out to inside centre Rupert Fairweather who ran around a number of would be tacklers to score under the posts. The ever reliable Germany Calling converted and the TornAdos were off to the perfect start in 2011. Gs however quickly let it be known that this was not to be an easy run out and using their heavy strong forwards bulldozed their way up the pitch to pull back a try.
Medway responded with a sustained period of pressure though the forwards struggled
to stop the Gs forwards coming through at the rucks they did manage to secure
the ball for No 8 Foley to outpace the defence I a 30 m dash for the line to register
TornAdos 2nd try, Germany duly added the conversion. A few moments later Foley
was over again following a pick and go from the back of a scrum about 20meters out only for it to be disallowed as the ref had obstructed the Gs no *8 (though in the humble opinion of your correspondent it would have been doubtful that he had the pace to catch Foley).Foley was so upset at this that he insisted at being substituted at
½ time so he could go off for a good cry.
G`s fought back again and managed to cross the Tornados line again to narrow the gap just before ½ time.
Playing with the slope in the 2nd ½ G`s forwards began to make significant headway but stout defence from Tornado Thomas` men kept them out until eventually the G`s diminutive winger managed to wiggle out between two would be tacklers to cross the line to put G`s in front by a point, a penalty against the TornAdos for killing the ball at a ruck saw this lead increased.
Not to be denied Tornado rallied his troops for a final New Year push inside centre
Faiweather again proved key in the match winning try jinking through the defence to
score ( Selection committee please note apart from this he had a dour game and needs
several more games to get him in contention for promotion). Germany again added
the extra 2 points. There was still 10 minutes left and Gravesend pressed hard but The TornAdos defence held firm for the win. Special mention must go to the Medway forwards who did well to hold the larger Gravesend pack for much of the game and in particular to a young man who for a number reasons stood a lot taller after the game
A good all round performance saw the Tornados weather a strong 2nd half fight back from the visitors. Boosted by the return of skipper Tornado Thomas , the Tornados got of to a flying start when after a few minutes early pressure from the Tornados Cranbrook were forced to kick from defence, tornados young fullback Steph Noname caught the ball on his own 25yrd line and with the whole of the defence in front of him took the obvious option of running the ball straight through all of them! Sidestepping some and bouncing of others he made his way the over the line to open the score.
(Although following this and several other fine catches of the high ball and strong return running of the ball he did nothing of note and obviously needs a few more games with the Tornados to improve his fitness and hone his skills before he could be selected for promotion).
Tornados kept up the pressure via some good work from the forwards keeping the Cranbrook pack on the back foot., the backs benefitting from the return of Germany- calling at fly half(Now rebranded as Durable –Germany if his T-shirt is to be believed)., looked sharp and Cranbrook managed to just stifle a number of strong attacks. Eventually it was Tornado himself who crossed the line to register the next well deserved try for his team. A quick pick up from No 8 Ooh Gary Davis on this afternoon saw him brought down just short of the line, he managed to pop the ball to scrum half Watts who was held up over the line the ball was quickly recycled through to Durablegermany and then to Tornado whose pace saw him through the gap and over the line.
It was the backs that created and scored the next try some slick handling and good support play saw an overlap created and Peter Barnet-Gunning was put clear to score in the corner. Just before ½ time it was the forwards turn and No 8 Oohgarydavies broke clear and crossed the line to give Medway a comfortable ½ time advantage. Whether Meds relaxed too much at half time or the Cranbrook ½ time talk was truly inspirational or the slope on the pitch made that much difference or a combination of all 3, the 2nd half was much different from the 1st. Cranbrook attacked strongly their forwards began to drive more effectively, coupled with some missed tackles saw them get on to the score sheet in the first few minutes of the ½. This seemed to raise their confidence further and they scored again a few minutes later. The Tornados remained calm and drove the ball back up field; pressure caused Cranbrook to concede a penalty which Durable duly turned into 3 pts.
Moments later Medway had another penalty in front of the posts for a further 3pts.
Cranbrook came back hard and were rewarded with a 3rd try for their efforts. The Tornados however were in no mood to lose. A fine passage of play resulted when Durable in his own 25yrd area decided (in move not dissimilar from that much talked about Twickenham try) to run the ball out of defence beating a couple of men he fed out to Mark Geentheyouger who drew his man and fed on to Thomas who outpaced the defence for 13 seconds (just like Ashton, but unlike Ashton 13second was not long enough for him to cross the line)! The defence managed to hall him down. Meds recycled the ball and moved ever closer to the line eventually the ball was fed out to Barnet -Gunning who powered over the line to complete the scoring.
An encouraging Team performance from the Tornado’s that well deserved victory against a plucky Cranbrook side.
Youth just beat age and experience in this encounter at Priestfields. The Spartans started well, showing their pace and handling skills to score a converted try within the 1st 5 minutes. They scored again shortly after this again their pace and slick handling being too hot for the Tornados to match. The tornados however eventually got their hands on the ball and used their heavier pack to drive the ball up field and despite some good defensive work by the Spartans veteran centre Andy (Dwarf) Green cleverly broke free from his marker and ran in a superb try to put Medway on the score sheet.
The Tornados dominated the set pieces but were unable to capitalise on their possession in the remainder of the 1st half. At half time Spartans made a number of changes to inject even more pace,the Tornados did not have the luxury of any replacements.
The 2nd half continued in much the same vein as the 1st , the tornados drove forward using their stronger forward s but seemed to fail just short of the line the Spartans defending very well. Eventually pressure told and Tornados scrum half Andy Watts Picked up from the base of a 5yard scrum and dived over to score. A short while later Medway’s young No8 Greg (the baker) Woodward scored as the tornados pack drove over to put Tornados in the lead. Once again the Tornados lack of place kicker meant the try was unconverted and this was to come back later to haunt them. The Spartans rallied and had the tornados under pressure on their own line for the last 5 minutes It looked as though Tornados were going to hold on for a win but The young Spartans had other ideas and a quick ball out to the Wing saw their winger outpace the defence to score a try in the last minute to put them back in front for a win they probably on reflection deserved.
The Torn`A`dos won an entertaining encounter with TJs producing their best display so far of the season. Playing into the wind in the 1st half Medway did not get off to good start, having kicked off forced Tj`s to knock on Meds lost the ball against the head, the ball was spun out to the TJ`s young centre who promptly took off like Billy Whizz zigzagged his way around the Medway team and scored under the posts. This was repeated a few moments later when Billy did more or less the same but offloaded the ball to his winger to score. However the tornados having a mixture of youth and experience (the combined age of their fullbacks being over the magic ton) did not panic and used their experience to keep TJ`s under pressure in the loose and denied them possession to stop young Mr Whizz from getting the ball. Meds continued to apply pressure and a quick tap penalty saw pack leader (ohh) Gary Davis break a couple of tackles before being caught a few yards shy of the line the other wing-forward Sideshow was there to carry on the move a register meds 1st score.. Medway continued to press and some quick thinking from scrum half Germany (Calling) saw him through a gap in the defence to score Medway’s 2nd try.
The 2nd ½ saw Medway playing up the slope a, but with the wind, intelligent kicking by fly half Wadsworth (returning from injury but obviously a long way from match fit, unable to complete a full game, he will obviously need several more weeks to regain his confidence before moving back up the teams) saw Medway keep T-J`s pinned back in their own half. No 8 Jason ,Thesponserstickens put Medway in front after several fine runs from the back of the scrum he was finally able to drive over the line to score Medways3rd try. A penalty from Germanycalling increased the lead. Fly half Wadsworth dummied the defence to score another try before Medway’s skipper Tornado Thomas lived up to his name and from 30rds out (as quoted in the post match interview) “Burst through the defence like a destructive tornado leaving would be tacklers in my wake!” Germanycalling converted giving Medway a 30- 12 lead with 5mins remaining. However Billy Whizz had gathered his 2nd wind and ran in 2 tries in both instances running almost the length of the pitch and outpacing all the Medway defence to pull the score back to 30-24.
A deserved victory for the Torn`A`dos who worked hard all game as a team against a TJ`s team that contained a number of very talented players.
The Torn`A`dos just finished in the silver medal position in the nail biting finish of this game. Edenbridge turned up the smarter (resplendant in ties and blazers) and more eager of the 2 teams perhaps as a result of this and a thorough warm up dominated much of the 1st half. They supported each other well and off loaded the ball well in the tackle, spurning the following wind running the ball from most areas of the pitch. Their endeavour was rewarded when after about 15 mins Medway ran out of tacklers and `bridge opened the scoring with a try. Medways forwards against a heavier pack kept a steady supply of ball and the portly figure head and captian Tornado Thomas lived up to his own publicity and scored a fine individual try from about 30yards out outpacing the defence to pull Medway a try back, the conversion putting Medway in front.
Bridge took the lead back a few moments later when Medway again allowed their defensive line to be stretched and they scored a 2nd try. After a further period of sustained pressure Medway `s transgression was punished by a penalty to increase the score followed just before ½ time by an uncharacteristic lapse from centre Green(who was probable worrying if he had everybodies orders right for ½ time) which saw bridge take a 20- 5 lead into the break.
Either it was Greens special halftime refreshment package or Tornados inspirational ½ time pep talk or indeed a combination of both, we shall never know but Medway had a much better second half. Edenbridge with the advantage of more youth, substitutes and a coach on the sidelines still dominated the game for the next 20 mins but eventually Meds put together some sustained pressure, some superb tackling from the backs notably Green (no doubt trying to make up for his earlier lapse) and winger Wayne King meant Edenbrige were kept at bay the Medway pack led by ever youthful (Ooooh)Gary Davis began to gain the upper hand in the loose Medway were able to exert some prolonged periods of pressure, No 8 Nigel (the Dad) Levit crashed over the line only to be judged by the excellent referee to have been held up not to be denied from the ensuing scrum a quick pick up saw him over the line for a try . Continued pressure saw Prop Gregg Baker crash overfor Medways 3rdtry. Fly half James Notsoslender duly converted to see Medway 1 point behind however time was almost up the sizable crowd were of the opinion that had the game lasted a few moments longer Medway could have scored again . Alas it was not to be roll on next week when they will get a chance to get it all right!
An encouraging win for Tornado Thomas` team after their narrow defeat last week. Once again several changes to the previous week’s line up, this time however some older more experienced players returning to the team meant a greater consistency.
Medway started well Andy Connell bursting over the line following some fine driving play by the forwards and backs combined. The conversion by Germany gave Medway a 7 -0 lead within the 1st 5 mins.
Medway’s forwards dominated the set pieces, winning their own ball and putting a lot of pressure on the Aylesford forwards. However a combination of the very robust defence by the Aylesford team, the poor weather conditions and some handling errors saw the half time score remain unchanged.
The second half saw Medway put under pressure for the first time, a clever kick to the wing saw the unfortunate bounce beat the Medway defence as the ball bounced straight to the hands of a grateful Aylesford player who touched down for an unconverted try.
The game remained close but despite their forward domination Medway seemed to contrive not to score on several occasions when it would have been easier to score than not to! Aylesford almost took the lead but some good defensive work by Medway held the No 8 up over the line.
Eventually Medway managed to break through the stout defence when a jinking run from fly half Germany following an inside pass from centre Green saw him complete a 40 yard move to score under the posts.
A few moments later Medway scored again through Connell, bursting over the line after some sustained pressure from forwards and backs, a ruck a few meters out a quick pop to Connell no one was going to stop him.
Medway’s A XV started their league fixtures against Old Gravesendians IIs last Saturday.
Once again the scarlett and golds were led out onto the pitch by that squat Welshman Simon Tornado Thomas. The team was unique in it’s make up…..with a combination of talented old-guard stalwarts…Davies, Germany, Sideshow etc….and an injection of young dynamic blood from above….Krasij, Kelly, Kempt, Thompson etc…indeed it came as something of a shock before kick-off as to the huge expanse of rugby shirt that Howard Thompson was expected to fill…however you can always rely on Mark Krasij to cut through the politics…’’you’re in the fourths now Howard, get eating.’’
The game plan was agreed on by all before hand……..’high-tempo, miss Tornado out.’…..and this is how the game commenced….but for a slight lapse where OGs briefly took the lead with a penalty. Medway looked strong at the set piece, and looked to stretch their opponents with fast exciting rugby. OGs held firm for 10 minutes until Medway broke their line as huge centre Ben ‘ I’m not a centre’ Craddock scored in the centres. Germany did the honours.
Medway created more chances, but showed some early season crap, as they kept dropping stuff….back came OGs with another accurate penalty to keep things tight. Twenty minutes in, and a blind side break from the H-bomb, saw black-belt second-dan grandmaster-flash Julian Kerr screech in on the left wing from 30 metres out. Again Medway squandered chances as a length of the field break from Matt Kelly and Martin Farbrace, saw Gary Davies drop the vital scoring pass with 5 metres left to run….he claimed it was a tricky pass, but everyone saw it hit him between the nipples.
Medway dominated, and their fast pace was too much for the visitors…..quick ball from scrum half Germany was passed wide for debut winger Jason (on loan from a higher team) Russell to step his man and score out wide. One further penalty by Germany, and two from OGs excellent kicker saw half time reached with Medway 22 – 12 to the good.
The Tornado made a couple of changes at the break bringing on Nigel Levitt and Tom Fay…..and as the half resumed Medway were braced to turn on the style. Unfortunately these things never seem to work out that way, as a flukey kick through by OGs saw Medway’s deep defenders cock-up in great style…and present the ball on a plate for OG’s flanker to run in unopposed for a crap try….which they converted. Incredibly despite Medway’s dominance they were now only 3 points ahead….The Tornado was not a happy bunny as he ran about shouting at everyone in a Charlotte Church hissy-fit.
The solution was at hand…Tom Fay at fullback…..give him the ball,,.,,chalk-up a try,….easy…….give him the ball again…..chalk-up another try…..easy…….give him the ball again…….tackle him short of the line……pass the ball to Jason Russell……chalk-up another try……easy……hissy-fit over.
This 10 minute burst of quality by Medway blew OGs away….and saw Medway dominate at leisure for the final quarter of the match.
Firstly, quick ball from a penalty wide left was spun out to the loitering figure that is Nigel Levitt, he drew the final defender and delivered a perfect pass to Tornado Thomas….he wiped away the tears, slung his handbag over his shoulder, and sprinted in for a captain’s try.
Next up, a length of the field move was driven into the visitor’s 22 by Ben Craddock, as he was tackled short of the line….second-row Gary Davies, nipples erect, was on hand to dive over for a great try. Germany converted.
Medway lost No8 H-bomb Thompson shortly after with a badly cut head that found the only gap in his head-gear……but Medway’s momentum was unstoppable by now. With the game nearly over scrum-half Germany broke from a lineout, he was tackled short of the line, but off-loaded to Ben Craddock….from 15 metres out no-one is going to stop Craddock as he bludgeoned his way over to score under the posts.
Germany converted to round off an excellent team performance, built around a solid set-piece scrum and lineout, and fast expansive rugby.