An eager Medway team lined up against a tough Stanford side feeling pumped up and confident for the game ahead.
In the early exchanges the Tiger forwards fought a hard battle in the tight and the backs, lead by Ben Clayphan, who defended well despite conceding two tries. The game was evenly poised when flying Medway winger Rhys Burns finished a good backs move to put Medway on the scoreboard. In the rest of the first half Medway played well with Stanford scoring from a good forwards move before half time.
In the second half Medway came out energised and inspired for the coming period. The forwards, lead by Joe Martin and Ashton Hargreaves-Hassan set a good platform for the backs, who showed good hands to send winger Charlie Dalrymple over twice. The good work continued and scrum half Rob O’Brien had a jinking run to set the Tigers in good field position and second row Alex Pitcher crashed over for a try. Stanford fought back and put Medway under a load of pressure but Medway’s defence was unbreakable and Medway soon had the ball in the Stanford half again and put the final nail in the coffin when Alex Pitcher finished a good move and scored a another try. At full time the Medway players walked off, proud of their performance and looking forward to the beginning of the next season when they can take this performance forward and improve even more. The final score seemed a good way to say thank you to Head Coach Martin Coyd and Manager Linda Taylor who are stepping down from their roles at the end of the season.
Final score Medway 31 – 17 Stanford
Try scorers: Rhys Burns, Charlie Dalyrmple x 2, Alex Pitcher x 2
Conv: Freddie Taylor x 3
By Lewis Smith, Hooker
It was an OK sort of day weather wise, but the outlook sketchy. All the Tigers were there bright and early ready for a tough match against Westcombe Park. We stretched off and started our preparation for the game.
We had a few of 1st team players with us for the match. We received the first kick after winning the toss and started going up hill. We seemed to start off asleep and the tough opposition scored early on. We tried to fight back but it would not come. A fast winger found the gap and scored their second try.
We tried to defend hard, but many mistakes led to a third and converted try. Our heads were down and we needed something to go our way. Unfortunately it didn’t, after a forwards battle and some great running from the opposition again they scored. The Tigers were angry with themselves.
The frustration came through in our play and after a long fantastic period from all of our players forwards and backs, Tom Coleman scored a forward’s try. The half time whistle was blown, 5-24 to them.
Ben Clayphan kicked off for the second half. The same intensity was shown and with added help from Jack Baulch we were staying in their half. After a great run and skill from Ben Clayphan who offloaded to Jack Baulch which resulted in him scoring.
After a moments lack of concentration Westcombe Park scored a converted try. After a big battle in midfield we scored through Tom Coleman again. They however fought back hard with two consecutive tries.
We had however the last laughs with a fantastic try through Sam Edwards. This lifted our spirits but to no avail as it was the end of the match. The final score was 22-41. The team learnt a lot from the experience and hopefully we can take it to our next game.
As the end of the season draws ever closer, and summer approaches, Medway were set to end with a flourish.
Thanks to the hard work during the winter Medway U13 A were all fired up and raring to go.
The policy of rotation and opportunity saw 3 debutants in the form of Glen Williams in at hooker, Ryan Kirby performing well in the second row, and Robert O’Brien providing quality ball for the back line at Scrum half; along with 7 1st team regulars left out of the starting XV the game-plan and style were not disrupted.
As Medway kicked off they faced the somewhat difficult challenge of playing uphill and despite good inter-play between the ¾ line, finished the half 10 points behind at 5-15 to Dartford with Lawrence Chittil touching down, but was unsuccessful with the kick.
After an inspiring team talk from head coach, Martin Coyd; Medway began to focus and busted out to achieve a phenomenal turn-around. From the moment the whistle blew Medway forwards burst into a streak of fury and won fantastic quick ball for debutant Rob O’Brien, who delivered spot on ball for newly interchanged Tom Coyd, who had just replaced James Anderson after a strong performance in the 1st half. Tom Coyd began to zip the ball down the back line to distribute perfect ball for hatrick hero Lawrence Chittil and wingers Matt Cross and Charlie Dalrymple nearly crossing the line themselves, several times.
You would never have known several A team regulars were not on the field due to an impressive, confident performance from Henry Butler. After Jack Baulch and Sam Edwards produced 2 valuable 5 pointers by punching holes through the Dartford defence, along with Joe Fish scoring twice down both wings with some fancy footwork and a conversion from Lawrence Chittil, the game finished with one of the achievements of the year, 37-15 to Medway!
We arrived at Hornet Rugby Club’s excellent facilities, match prepared for our first game, which was ironically against the Tigers. It was arctic weather; even Martin was wearing ¾ length shorts and a coat. The Firsts beat the Tigers but despite the score line the Tigers put in some great defence.
The next game for the Firsts was against O B Wiggs. They weren’t a bad side and put us under a lot of pressure in the 2nd half with a very strong wind against us. Although with some risky thinking and a great pass from Tom Coyd, Ashley Banfield scored a length of the field try. Soon afterwards another followed from Lawrence Chittil. The game was one of our hardest all season and we probably wouldn’t have achieved victory without some great defence from Luke Edwards and a great try from Ashley Banfield.
We then went on to play Nelson. This team were the best team we have played all season. They piled on the points and deserved the trophy they received at the end of the tournament. They showed us how good a team can be, with loads of effort, training and determination. Hopefully a standard of football we can all aspire to.
On Sunday our first game was against was against Heathfield. This was probably one of the highlights of the tour as it was a great game to watch. The first half we struggled, giving them 2 tries, but we brought it back in the 2nd half. With the centres linking up, Ashley Banfield supplied two great tries and brought us back into the game. But towards the end of the game everything was against us. We tried playing a fast and wide game of football but it just wasn’t working, even the bounce of the ball went against us! The team we were playing were very much a kick and clap rugby team and wouldn’t let us play, and with the referee’s decisions going their way we lost the game and went into the dressing rooms distraught.
We had one more game to go and it was against local rivals Gravesend. The weather did not look good and we didn’t play the type of game we normally play and started getting involved in big wrestles all over the field. But the game was not all lost as we put in some massive tackles all over the park. In the end we won 2 tries to nil, with a great try for Scott Bracken from an attacking kick.
Over the two days the Tigers results did not reflect the level of determination, courage and commitment displayed on the field. Every player influenced the play and demonstrated their strength and awareness of the game. Every boy playing for the Tigers should be proud of their achievements.
All in all we had a great time, not only was the rugby great but we got a chance to meet Welsh rugby hero, Thomas Shanklin, and were all presented awards from him.
By Lawrence Chittil
It was a typical rugby union day, wet, windy and cold. Having only 15 players from the start with no interchange we knew we were going to be up against it.
Captained by Luke Edwards, the team took kick off with a well placed kick from Ashley Banfield which went into touch two meters from the try line. It went down hill from there conceding two try’s in the first third, but the highlight of the day was still to come.
The second third didn’t go very well either with the players starting to feel the weather. Medway conceded another three try’s then the highlight of the day came, defending on our own try line the ball came out the back of the scrum to a Sam Edwards, he lined himself up for a massive kick, but being a second row, kicking isn’t his forte. He banana kicked it, forcing Matt Cross to put it down over our try line. From then on we conceded another two try’s.
The final third was probably our best conceding one but putting in a massive attacking and defensive game.
Although we lost, our spirits weren’t hurt as we just wanted to get back inside into the warm. The game was a first team full debut for Lloyd Stevens, Alex Pitcher and Sean Crittenden. They all did well and gelled well within the team hopefully progressing for their experience.
2 March 2008
The day had finally arrived. Medway’s campaign began with their first group game against Sidcup who started the stronger side and even with good defence from Medway managed an early try.
With grim determination Medway fought back and from a penalty Lawrence Chittil opened Medway’s scoring. From the restart some good defensive work resulted in a good clearing kick to provide a lineout which Medway stole. With quick ball down the line Ashley Banfield switched with Chittil resulting in his second try. Banfield converted. After a strong half time talk Medway again worked hard to get the ball down the line for Charlie Dalrymple to score in the corner. From the kick off, Lloyd Milner ran the length of the pitch to score under the sticks. Good defence from Medway pushed Sidcup back time and again. With Luke Edwards stealing the ball from a maul, and passing to the ever hungry Chittil, his third was scored. Banfield produced an awesome tackle to knock Sidcup’s ball into touch to end the game. Medway winning 29-5.
With Deal and Betteshangers’ no show Medway progressed to the quarter finals against Old Colfeians.
Milner caught the opening kick and swiftly passed to Matt Cross who ran at pace with Hayden Lewis in support catching Matt’s offload to score. Conversion went over. Good ball handling and scrummaging made it difficult for Old Colfeians and close on half time Luke Edwards ran blind from a scrum to score on the wing making the halftime score 12-0. Hayden Lewis caught the restart kick and took it on for Luke Edwards to pick up and pass out to Chittil who ran in under the posts. An easy conversion for Banfield.
The second half saw Tom Coyd kicking a good cross field kick to Dalrymple who expertly offloaded to Banfield enabling his first try of the day. With great team play a further two well worked tries were scored by Lawrence Chittil and Rhys Burns. With the end of the game in sight a final lineout was won by Sam Edwards who took the ball on and at the right moment passed to Scott Bracken who scored the final try of the game.
Medway won 45-0.
With expectations running high Medway ran out in the semis against old rivals Cranbrook. Medway started strong with Lawrence Chittil running down the wing whilst handing off a number of his rivals to score in the corner. Cranbrook upped the pressure causing Medway to concede penalties. Cranbrook took advantage and scored from a quick tap, then dug in and eventually won another penalty which they kicked.
With no further score coming from either side Cranbrook ran out winners 10-5.
This saw Medway out of the competition at the cup semi final stage and on their way home.
Thanks must go to all Medway Mums who unselfishly gave up their special day to stand on the touch line in support of us all.
By Ashley Banfield
The match against Cranbrook was the start of Medway’s preparation for the Kent preliminaries next week. All players who turned up had equal amounts of game time. The game was played in three thirds. The first third was a mixed, squad mainly based around the Tigers team. The second third was a mixed squad with a few first team players entering the field. The final third consisted of what was considered our strongest squad.
In the first third Medway held Cranbrook well and James Anderson made a great try-saving tackle. After ten minutes Cranbrook’s forwards could not be contained and they powered over Medway’s line twice. Medway looked positive and after some great play, Scott Bracken weaved through their defence, dummied their full-back and touched the ball down for a try. Towards the end of the third Medway seemed to switch off and Cranbrook scored another try.
The second third was closer, penalties were given to both sides and the game became very scrappy. Rhys Burns made a great tackle on his opposite number, forcing him to knock it on, which gifted Medway a scrum. The score line was fairly blank for the entire third but two breakaway tries for Cranbrook meant the score was now 27-5 to Cranbrook.
In the final third the strongest teams took to the field and a close game was likely. The game was still scrappy and penalties were given either way. Cranbrook were awarded a penalty in front of goal and decided to convert it to make sure they had points on the board. Lloyd Milner was unlucky to knock the ball on as he made a great run from a no.8 pickup by making at least 10 metres and then bowling over a player. Lawrence Chittil took advantage of his pace and strength by running through four players and touching down for a try, which Ashley Banfield easily converted. Overall it was a tough loss for Medway with the final score being 30-12 to Cranbrook. Medway will take the positives to the Kent prelims and look for a good result.
It was a beautiful morning at sunny Barking, and the Medway 1st Team were looking for a win, having been beaten convincingly by Barking last year.
It was a game of two halves this week. Barking scored first, getting an early try in the bag. But straight after, a determined Sam Edwards managed to put it over the line with Tom Coyd converting brilliantly.
Applying pressure once again, Lawrence Chittil scored a wonderful try, directly under the post for an easy conversion for Ashley Banfield.
As the whistle blew for half time, Medway were ahead 14 – 12. But with the sun in our eyes for the second half, Barking applied the pressure once more with Medway only managing to squeeze in one more try, a late effort by Jack Baulch, which Lawrence Chittil easily converted.
Both teams battled it out, we fought hard, but unfortunately Medway were down 8 points and it was not quite enough on the day.
The day started at 10.00am arriving at their home pitch, Priest fields on a cold and windy Sunday morning. Before the match, Martin led a team talk and then the team went off to warm up for the big game ahead. Unfortunately Mitchell Dent and Hayden Lewis informed Martin that they both had back injuries. Martin changed the starting line up but that didn’t matter because everybody was physically and mentally prepared for the game ahead.
Old Elthamians kicked off with the wind directing the ball. Medway caught but unfortunately the first pass was dropped. There was a massive heave from each team in the scrum but Medway won. Amazingly, the backs had great play and finally the ball fell into the hands of Ashley Banfield who successfully dived over the line for the first try of the game. Then after a great performance from both teams Lawrence Chittil suddenly broke away but then got caught and offloaded it professionally to Ashley Banfield who crashed over for his second try of the game, this time successfully converting. The game was played in 3 parts which were twenty minutes each, and ten minutes a half. In the second half of the first third Henry Butler received the ball from Luke Edwards to run from the twenty two, dodging tackles, before finally diving over the line and placing the ball in the oppositions try area to make the score 17-0. Ben Clayphan converted. Lawrence proceded to score 2 great tries, both of which were converted, and saw Medway ending the first third 33-0. This was a great third for all players.
Then the second third of this great match kicked off. The team had been switched around and both teams were raring to go. Old Elthamians had great forward play and eventually their backs crossed our line. An Old Elthamians pass was brilliantly intercepted by Matt Cross, who raced to the line with the opposition fall back hot in pursuit. Matt, being the faster player, managed to score a great converted try for Medway. Luke Edwards fought off tackles to go down for a ruck and Tom Coyd picked the ball up and plunged over the line to score. The pressure was on – a conversion needed to win the second third. Ashley Banfield kept his head to convert and win the second period 14 – 12 to Medway.
The Third was definately the hardest with two good tries coming from the opposition. Medway had to bring it back with the game being played mainly in the middle, with great tackles from both sides. But then the determination of Lawrence Chittil shone through. He made a dash for the line and lunged over to give Medway five points. No tries were converted in the third and Old Elthamians emerged the third period winners, by a score line of 10 – 5.
Despite losing the last period of play, Medway played the whole match with pace and passion, and were the rightful 52 – 22 winners
By Hayden Lewis and Henry Butler
Never say die!!!!
Unfortunately before the match we lost several players due to illness and injury and only travelled with a squad of sixteen. The Old Colfs on the other hand have only one team but a squad of twenty five to choose from!!! Many of which played a few weeks ago against our first team.
After a very positive start Old Colfs eventually wore down down our dogged defence and scored a try which was converted. A couple of minutes later after some sterling work from the forwards we eventually made a mistake which they capitalized on and scored again. Once again the kicker converted. Despite our forwards driving the opposition off the continually at the scrums tentative handling behind the pack eventually led to another try in the corner which was converted.
Although 21-0 down our heads never dropped and despite being on the defensive it was persistence which saw Rhys Burns pick up a loose ball and avoid tackle after tackle and scored a very good try. Old Colfs scored another try just before half time. The score didn’t reflect the amount of work and covering that went on during the whole of the first half. Half time the score was 5-28.
There was a skilful use of our only interchange player who rotated throughout the match to give some forwards a well earned rest
We couldn’t stem the flow of tries in the second half despite some desperate defensive tackling when all seemed lost. They eventually ran out winners 5-61. Despite our heavy defeat they didn’t beat us just scored more points!!!
Despite us winning virtually every scrum and we won quite a few of their line outs, we still lost but we can safely say we tried our hardest and we never say die.
By Llwyd Stevens (prop
Lawrence Chittil gets Medway's second try
Medway Under 13s 1st XV stepped out to play Old Colfeians expecting a hard fight after a few easy matches. It did not get off to the greatest of starts for Medway because Colfs scored an early converted try. But an undeterred Medway, bit back soon after, when flying fullback Joe Fish scored. In the second half it turned out to be a game of scrums which is paradise for the Medway front men, and it was an even battle with centre Ashley Banfield applying the pressure, until Colfs scored half way through and then once more. But once again, Medway did not lay down and die, and Luke Edwards battled his way through several of the opposition to set up Lawrence Chittil for Medway’s second. With two minutes left, Medway needed two scores and the forwards, including A team newcombers Lewis Smith and James Martin, fought hard, but unfortunately the efforts of all 15 players were just not quite enough on the day.
Lewis Smith, Hooker
The weathermen were right, it was awful - wind, rain and pitch conditions. Medway RFC U13 were on a mission to maintain the momentum of a great start to the season. The challenge was to play the exciting brand of football which epitomises this team.
From the kick off, Sam Edwards, in the form of his life and getting better, charged up the right hand side, scattering defenders like skittles and gave us field position. Quick recycling saw a try out on the right for the equally awesome Jack Baulch.
From the restart, Medway showed that this was no fluke and smashed into the Maidstone defences again. Showing great hands and feet despite the handicap of the conditions and very well led by Ashley Banfield, the back line let rip and scored again. The signs were ominous for Maidstone.
The management team had taken the opportunity to award two debuts and two first starts this season as well as resting established players. This was rewarded with very positive arrivals from Henry Butler, a great athlete and the strongman, James Martin, at prop. Seasoned Medway players, Ethan Hall and Joe Martin both had great games starting for the first time and placed a marker down for all to see.
The most pleasing aspect of the day was the extremely high levels of skill, competence and decision making which was always spot on. Very few handling errors were registered and the magnificent pack won every scrum, bar two, any how.
Maidstone had almost zero ball to play with and when they did, first instinct was to kick possession away. The referee encouraged Maidstone back into the game with some sympathetic decisions but this was simply rebuffed with typically powerful, no-nonsense defence from all the squad, who aspire to no tries in every game. They did not bend or weaken.
The referee stopped the game early, after a great move down the line saw the ever dangerous Joe Fish put into space to score under the posts again.
This season we have scored 50 tries and conceded 8, 4 of those in the one game where we tasted the bitterness of defeat .
|15||Full Back||Ben Clayphan||1||2|
|5||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|4||2nd Row||Sam Edwards||1|
|IC||Half Back||Tom Coyd|
|IC||2nd Row||Lloyd Milner||1|
|IC||Utility Forward||Mitchell Dent|
|IC||Utility Forward||Harry Palmer|
On the 25th November 2007, Medway U13 Tigers played Anchorians. Anchorians, a recently set up squad, looked well drilled and ready for a good morning’s game of rugby.
Medway played with ambition after their recent victory at Westcombe Park. This resulted in a try to Medway shortly after kick off by Rhys Burns, on yet another great run leaving the defenders far behind. Alex Pitcher once again had a good game that was rounded off with a full length run of the pitch scoring under the posts. Another great play that ended with a try was from Zak Gardner, who once again ran the whole length of the pitch, and left it looking like a battlefield. These displays were to the great displeasure of one Anchorian player in particular. Rob O’Brien also scored his first try for the club. Other tries were scored by Ben Read, Hayden Lewis and further tries by Zak Gardner and Rhys Burns. Oliver Baker converted three, ending the game 53-0 to Medway Tigers.
Another fantastic win for The Tigers! One of the main positives that came out the match was that the team fulfilled a challenge set to them at half time by the Head Coach, not to concede any points. This fighting display shows that this team will never ease up.
Four members of Medway RFC U13s met up in Dover on 17 November 2007, but on opposing sides, as King's School Rochester took on the Duke of York's Royal Military School. With key players missing from the home side the game ended as a very one sided affair with the Kings School dominating throughout. Despite the score the Medway players were all smiles after the final whistle.
12 weeks of preparation and hard work had been put in prior to this game with our closest rival whom we had contested tight fixtures over the years. This was a milestone where the team could measure progress and we were expecting The Bulls to up their game for the Battle of Medway.
A strong team had been selected from the 46 player Medway squad and there was an air of quiet determination as the build up moved closer to the whistle. Each player was briefed and knew his place in the game plan. We were ready.
From the kick off, Aylesford fluffed it, not 10, and conceded a scrum. Ethan Hall fed Tom Coyd who put Lawrence Chittil, a dual code representative, into the hole in the line. Chittil, running straight and hard left a trail of prone bodies behind him to open the scoring.
From the next play, Medway shipped the ball right to the prolific Charlie Dalrymple on the right wing. His opposite number showed him the outside, which he took and, stepping off his left foot, beat several players to score under the posts. Ben Clayphan goaled. 12-0 in a matter of 4 minutes.
The whole Medway team were sparking and, led by Jack Baulch, the Medway pack smashed into the opposition, driving them off the ball to give the Medway halves the easiest ride. Time after time the dream team ¾ line tore in, great hands and footwork enabled the team to have total control.
There were no kicks and the only lineouts came from being tackled into touch. Medway won these with the dominance of Scott Bracken and Sam Edwards in the second row growing each week. As well as size this pair are athletes of real skill. Backed up by the returning Matt Holland, who joined in the handling fest, the front five never released their grip.
Our other dual code representative Luke Edwards came off the bench and made an immediate impact by tearing away from a ruck and scoring by the posts.
Right behind the big red machine was a fast, angry, and controlled back row led by Lloyd Milner, three months into his rugby career with Medway, but always in the right place and always makes the big play. Milner is backed up by the wolves, Mitchell Dent, Freddie Taylor, Harry Palmer and James Anderson, who hunt down the lone runners, hit them hard and take the ball, win the ground and set it up again for another Medway assault.
It was 49-0 at half time.
The coaching team were able to make changes without impeding the rhythm of the play. The defensive leader at the back, Ben Clayphan was not called to make a tackle for the whole game.
There was telling contributions from all three props, Ben Tuff, Ashley Thorpe and newcomer Hayden Lewis in setting up fast ball. Ashley Banfield was on fire, having had a great run in the Tigers the week before, and continued to rip through the defence. He put Joe Fish into a gaping hole and Fish, as usual, turned on the after burner to score under the sticks.
At 65 – 0, five minutes into the second half, the Referee called time and showed mercy to the home team.
Not the tough game we needed but a realisation of how far we have come.
There are three tough games before the Christmas break, Maidstone Upminster & Old Colfeians. We will aim high.
Simply outstanding performances from all 22 players, the goal now, is for a good team to become great.
|15||Full Back||Ben Clayphan||1|
|12||Centre||Lawrence Chittil (C)||2|
|5||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|4||2nd Row||Sam Edwards|
|IC||Half Back||Luke Edwards||1|
|IC||2nd Row||Matt Holland|
|IC||Utility Forward||Freddie Taylor|
|IC||Utility Forward||James Anderson|
It was a cold and windy Sunday morning (traditional for rugby) and The Tigers were prepared for an immensely hard match against a team who were also up for a do or die battle.
The first five minutes were very tight with lots of knocking on from both sides, until Henry Butler picked up from a ruck and charged at Westcombe’s centres. He battered through the tackle and then charged at the line to score.
Westcombe came back with renewed enthusiasm which lead to an unconverted try of their own. It was really tight with great defence of the Medway line. Westcombe drove over the line again to make the score 5-10 to Westcombe at half time.
The Tigers were fired up and ready following the inspiring half time team talk with the belief in themselves that they could win the match. Medway had the hill and wind behind them in the second half.
Alex Pitcher made an inspiring run from outside of the centres on the halfway line. He was stopped just short of the line and was then penalised for double movement. Powerful scrummaging from the strong Tigers pack turned over the ball releasing winger Rhys Burns for a spectacular try. This levelled the score to 10-10.
Medway’s continued pressure pinned Westcombe into their own half
for most of the second period. The Tigers persistence paid off when Butler
crashed over for his second. The Tigers maintained their composure and
field possession leading to the full time score of 15-10 to Medway Tigers.
At Priestfields on Sunday 11th November, Medway under 13’s played Deal and Betteshanger. Medway started off by watching the Tigers play against Folkestone with some players from Ashford. Half way through the first team got warmed up etc and was ready to play by 12:00.
The match started and Medway kicked off and were playing well. After about 5 minutes of constant pressure Joe Fish put Medway ahead. Soon after Luke Edwards scored two good tries, one to be converted by Lawrence Chittil. Deep into the first half
Lawrence Chittil scored a strong try to put Medway up 22-5.
In the second half Medway were running the game and an early try from Tom Coyd put Medway up 27-5.After Lloyd Milner was bought off and on again he was eager to impress. So after a momentary lapse of concentration which Deal and Betteshanger made the most out of, scoring an unconverted try, Lloyd decided to run it from his own 22, scoring try of the match. With 10 minutes to go, Medway’s continuing pressure from the forwards meant that Jack Baulch could peel off a ruck and score another superb try which was converted under the posts by Jack Richardson.
Final score: 39-10 to Medway
|15||Full Back||Luke Edwards||1|
|9||Half||Ethan Hall (2)|
|5||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|4||2nd Row||Sam Edwards (1)|
|IC||Half Back||Jack Richardson||1|
|IC||2nd Row||Lloyd Milner (3)||1|
|IC||Utility Forward||Tom Coleman|
11 November 2007
The Medway Tigers lined up hungry against a tough Folkestone team on a cold Sunday morning. The game got off to a bad start for the Tigers when Folkestone scored early on, but Medway struck back when Ashley Banfield burst through to touch down five minutes later. Then Folkestone scored another using some good forward play. But once again Medway showed the warrior spirit and with some exciting backs play centre Ben Clayphan crashed over. Then Banfeild broke through for another score for Medway, so Medway had the lead. Folkestone soon equalised after having to fight for every ball because Medway forwards, Lewis Smith, Harry Palmer and Mitchell Dent were causing havoc at the rucks. Halftime.
The early stages of the second half were fought out in the forwards with both teams having break aways, but good tackling from second row Alex Pitcher and Banfield stopped them from scoring until they finally broke through for a try. Then Folkestone had a lucky break away try which made a very hard job for Medway. However, once again they fought back when Ashley Banfield scored his third. Medway worked for every ball but unfortunately it wasn’t to be , Folkestone touched down through a fast winger with the last play of the game to cast a gloomy look on the scorecard. Never the less it was an encouraging performance from a young Medway side. Final score Folkestone 32- Medway 22
28 October 2007
A hastily arranged game for the 1st XV gave an opportunity to reward outperformers from the U13 Tigers and also give variation to the interchange system. Dartfordians, boosted by recruits from New Ash Green, came to Priestfields on a miserable morning with a constant wind which kept flags horizontal and persistent, wet rain. Not great for running rugby, but it did not deter both teams who favour the open handling game.
The game started with an upper hand for Dartfordians who capitalised on Medway errors and held field position for the first five minutes. The solid Medway defence held them and after a period of attrition, Chittil broke out and, going through the hole, accelerated into space and found the try line out in the right hand corner. 5-0.
Ben Read and Rhys Burns, impressed on their debut 1st XV appearance and contributed to the attacking game, Burns showing his potential with a good breakdown the left wing.
Dartfordians scored a converted try by the posts following a big heave from their forwards.
Following a territorial gain after a penalty, Medway pounded the opposition line and on winning a second line out, following a pressured Dartford clearing kick, upped the pressure. Regular half backs Luke Edwards and Tom Coyd, on from the interchange bench, began to move the ball around and unleashed the midfield who got the ball to the impressive Matt Cross who used great footwork go slice through the opposition defence and score by the posts. Banfield goaled for a 12 - 7 half time lead.
The second half saw Medway leaning into the wind, as Dartfordians hit back hard. Time after time, winning the ball in contact, they probed and pounded at the Medway line. The line would not give and Dartfordians began to resort to the kicking game. Medway continued to defend and adopted a scrambling defence model.
A great break down the right from Chittil put the ever lively Charlie Dalrymple away into space. Dalrymple held his body position well and stayed on his feet to be joined by the back row, who carried him forward for 15 metres to crash over the line for a great team try. 17 – 7 and the game was safe.
Another good team performance against a Kent side continues the development. There is work to do up front, but an awful lot of positives too.
|15||Full Back||Ben Clayphan|
|14||Wing||Matt Cross (2)||1|
|13||Centre||Lawrence Chittil (3)||1|
|5||2nd Row||Matt Holland|
|4||2nd Row||Sam Edwards|
|IC||3/4||Charlie Dalrymple (1)||1|
|IC||Half Back||Luke Edwards|
|IC||Half Back||Tom Coyd|
|IC||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|IC||Utility Forward||Lewis Smith|
|IC||Utility Forward||Lloyd Milner|
|IC||Back Row||James Anderson|
A very determined Medway side travelled to Brentwood in what looked to be a very competitive game.
From the start Brentwood dominated in the forwards, who were very organised. By half time, Brentwood were 19 – 0 up, scoring three tries and two conversions. Having made interchanges during the interval and an inspirational speech from Medway’s captain Luke Edwards, Medway put their foot on the gas and the score drew closer to 19 – 14, with tries from Luke Edwards and Lawrence Chittil, both being converted by Ben Clayphan.
Medway dominated most of the second half, however, with five minutes to go, Brentwood crashed into Medway territory. After having the ball held up six times on the line, Brentwood found a way through and touched down to present a final score of 26 – 14.
By Freddie Taylor
21 October 2007
The squad assembled on a fine day in South West Essex, ready to build upon the foundation laid at Bexley the previous week. Despite being shorn of several regulars due to half term commitments, the team prepared well under the leadership of Team Captain Ben Read and Pack Leader James Martin. It was clear as the opening whistle blew, facing uphill that Medway Tigers were ready.
The bigger Upminster team charged down the paddock at the red & amber defensive line and attack after attack was repelled in the middle and out wide. Newcomer Sean Crittenden earned respect by showing courage in several tackle and also clearing his line operating at left wing. The Medway team held firm for a long period, calm leadership shown by 1st teamer Ethan Hall in ensuring that the ball for the back line was of high quality.
Hard as they tried, the Upminster try came following a charged down kick, not a breach of the defensive line, for a half time deficit of 0-5.
At half time Read urged his troops to step up the intensity, keeping the same high standards. This they did. The (unrelated) Martins, Joe ands James, led from the front and with Nick Webb and the powerful Llwyd Stevens and live wires Zak Gardner and Kiran Morrison, ensured domination up front which created the difference. Hall consistently fed Read who attacked the line and put Dan Hawkridge into the hole which was exploited with venom. Hawkridge used his great footwork and was able to put Rhys Burns away for the first of three tries which, goaled by Ollie baker, opened up a lead, 7 – 5.
Upminster, stung into action, charged back up the hill, and pounded the Medway line. This saw Medway players come into their own, thriving on the defensive conflict and was epitomised by Glen Williams, wrestling players to the ground and a try saver from Lewis Robb, clinically taking out the winger on his way to a score. Medway turned over the ball and the same combination, Hall, Read and Hawkridge in midfield, created the space for Burns to extend the lead to 12 – 5.
Upminster returned to Medway territory and a second charged down kick saw a pressure situation developing with the score at 12-10. Ashton Hargreaves-Hassan relieved Medway line with a great run, followed by a line break from the impressive newcomer Alex Pitcher, both creating field position for the killer blow delivered by Burns, for his hat trick, following huge efforts from all of the pack. Baker goaled, for a 19-10 final score.
Two games, two wins, great start, great rugby and the growth of a great team.
|15||Full Back||Oliver Baker||2|
|5||2nd Row||Alex Pitcher|
|4||2nd Row||James Martin|
On the 14th of October Medway U13 Tigers went out to play a hard game of rugby, against Bexley at their home ground. The first try of the match was scored by Henry Butler, who received a superb pass from Ben Read. This was Henry's first game for Medway and he later showed his abilities with yet another try. Further trys were made by Nick Webb, Rhys Burns and Alex Pitcher with two conversions from Ollie Baker. Bexley only managed to reply with one try, leaving the score at 5 - 29 to Medway at half time.
In the second half Medway continued with their skills, with Ollie Baker setting up Rhys Burns' try by a restart drop kick going ten metres. Rhys made the ball his by catching it and running down for the try. Ollie again made the conversion. The last try of the match was made by Medway's Ashton Hargreaves-Hassan making the full time score 33 - 41 to Medway after a valiant fight back from Bexley.
Unfortunately Bexley didn't have a full team, so Medway having good sportsmanship, lent them Sean Crittenden, Kiran Morrison and Joe Martin in the first half and Nick Webb, Luke Skinner and James Martin who scored a try for them in the second half. But hopefully Medway will forgive him for this.
The Medway pre match preparation was disrupted by the local council who decided that Sunday was the best day to re-pave the High Street at Tonbridge and traffic chaos prevented players arriving on time. This meant that half backs Ethan Hall and Jack Richardson started at hooker and wing respectively. Pleasingly this did nothing to disrupt and the Medway team made a steady start to the game and held the disciplined Tonbridge Juddians pack for the first period, despite sustained pressure in our own half.
Lawrence Chittil broke away in the centre and turned on the afterburner to score by the posts and break the deadlock, Clayphan converted. Back came Tonbridge Juddians with their limited yet effective forward play which held Medway in their own territory for long periods again. The concerted pressure eventually led to a short range try for Tonbridge Juddians. This served to fire the Medway pack. Jack Baulch entered the arena and ignited the forwards who used superior speed and fitness, plus a big desire, began to win quick ball allowing the half backs to release the pace and power of the outside backs. Scott Bracken and Sam Edwards were impressive in the second row.
Medway extended the lead when half-back Luke Edwards exposed space close to the scrum and danced his way in from 20 metres to score under the posts. Clayphan converted. Edwards and Tom Coyd found lots of space to create openings, Coyd stepped his way through several players only to see a try scoring pass go to ground. The space was created due to the immense presence of centres Chittil and, man of the match, Ashley Banfield, who strike fear into opposition teams with aggression, power and pace in equal amounts.
After half time, Medway stepped up a gear and as well as winning the floor and the breakdown, this enthusiasm ensured that football was played in the Tonbridge Juddians half of the field. The domination created an opening for Banfield who used power and pace to score and open up the gap. The forwards got in the act next and, following an Edwards break, great passing play from props Ashley Thorpe and Ben Tuff saw Matt Holland crash over for a real forwards try.
The scoring was rounded off by a classic Joe Fish 60 metre effort where blistering pace and great footwork saw him under the posts unopposed. Banfield completed the scoring with a conversion.
This was a great effort from the Medway 23 man squad who played within themselves as a team. The interchanges worked well and do not disrupt the patterns. Competition for places is hot and ensures that all players seek to outperform, at all times.
This was second scalp from a very strong club following on from the Sidcup
demolition and is sending a powerful message across the county.
|15||Full Back||Ben Clayphan||4|
|5||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|4||2nd Row||Sam Edwards|
|IC||FB - 3/4||Jack Richardson|
|IC||Back Row – ¾||Freddie Taylor|
|IC||Back Row – ¾||James Anderson|
|IC||Half Back||Ethan Hall|
|IC||2nd Row||Matt Holland||1|
|IC||Back Row||Tom Coleman|
|IC||Utility Forward||Hayden Lewis|
|IC||Utility Forward||Zak Gardner|
Medway RFC U13 had their opening game of the campaign having come through a tough pre-season and making the transition from mini to youth and a full size pitch and 15 a side.
The game plan is simple, win fast ball and get it out to the wings. The aim is to play the most exciting brand of football, keeping the ball alive and keeping it in hand. This the team achieved in amazing style.
From the kick off the pack won quick ball, Luke Edwards and Tom Coyd operating at half back let it rip wide and the first try was scored by Ben Clayphan who came into the line from full back. Stunned at the speed of the play, Sidcup tried to come back with their huge pack but Medway turned the ball over again and centres Lawrence Chittil and Ashley Banfield tore through the midfield, a pattern which was repeated through the day.
Medway used three wingers, Joe Fish, Matt Cross and Charlie Dalrymple who all had so much space and ball to turn on the footwork, exploit the space created and then leave the defenders behind, trailing in their wake.
Jack Baulch led his pack from the front and ensured that the faster Medway forwards beat the bigger Sidcup players to the ball and keep Sidcup behind the gain line. Lloyd Milner and Zak Gardner made impressive debuts in the forward unit and are ensuring that competition for places across the whole team is tough and productive.
A great start to the season in a way that was not foreseen. Medway played a fantastic game with very few errors. The skill and pace of the players was breathtaking and was enjoyed by a rapturous touch line.
The Medway RFC U13 group has two teams and the Medway Tigers have an outing in two weeks at Vigo to open their season.
|15||Full Back||Ben Clayphan||1||4|
|5||2nd Row||Scott Bracken|
|4||2nd Row||Lloyd Milner|
|IC||FB - 3/4||Charlie Dalrymple||1|
|IC||Back Row – ¾||Freddie Taylor|
|IC||Back Row – ¾||James Anderson|
|IC||Half Back||Ethan Hall|
|IC||2nd Row||Matt Holland|
|IC||2nd Row||Sam Edwards|
|IC||Utility Forward||Nick Webb|
|IC||Utility Forward||Zak Gardner|