Medway under 14’s arrived on a beautiful Sunday morning still on a high from the previous weeks spectacular tour victory. With a group of players away at a sevens festival it bought opportunities to play certain regulars out of position. Today’s opposition was a touring side called Lymme who were up for a hard match.
With the match split into 3 thirds Medway started brightly and game became open and scrappy with both teams having scoring opportunities but when Lymme scored their first try Medway heads dropped and Lymme were able to score a couple more tries.
As we approached the end of the second third the advantages of having a tightly knit squad showed and Medway fought back with courage and lot of huff and puff and all though Lymme went in for another try Medway’s defence was strong and the hard work was rewarded when second row Adam Barnett pounced a loose ball which had squirted from a big Medway maul.
Spurred on by Barnett’s try Medway came back strong in the final third, straight from the kick Matt Brightman caught the ball and was through for the try when he was tackled high by a Lymme player and a penalty try was awarded. Lymme came back and Medways defence held strong again with the likes of Sam Edwards and Tom Dennis tackling well to hold Lymme only to a further two tries.
With much of the squad playing sevens and certain regulars playing out of position this match was more about the performance than the result and although we started slwy we finished well and the team be able to take both positives and negatives from the match and taking these points will be crucial to the progression of the entire squad.
The Class of ‘94/95 embarked on their annual tour high in expectation and excitement at what would lie ahead. A squad of 21 players with supporting families and friends descended on Selsey caravan site on Good Friday in preparation for a great weekend of rugby.
Saturday morning saw an intense training session run by the coaching team focussing on ball retention, communication and decision making. All players contributed with a high work rate and involvement to ensure that lessons were learnt, drills practised and all players understood their roles and responsibilities ready for the Festival on the next day.
Sunday dawned to rain hitting the caravan roofs, but that didn’t matter as spirits were high as we all arrived at Worthing RFC. Unfortunately due to late withdrawals the U14 age group consisted of only 3 teams – Worthing, Barnet Elizabethians and Medway. Arrangements were made for each team to play each other twice, giving in total 4 games to each side, 10 minutes each way.
Led inspirationally by captain Jack Baulch Medway took to the field against Barnet for game one. And what a start it was. Control from a mobile pack of forwards allowed the Medway back line to shine with a smart clean move stretching the ball wide to wingman Charlie Dalrymple bursting across the line to give Medway a 5-0 lead within 2 minutes of play. Converted from an acute angle a further two points were added to the score by Baulch. By half time further tries from Rhys Burns, Jack Baulch and Luke Edwards saw a convincing and clinical display as Medway raced to a 26 – 0 lead. The second half told a different story as Barnet raised their game and pressed Medway all the way, with much of the play within the Medway 22. Stout defence restricted Barnet to just one try. Final score 26-5 to Medway.
The second outing of the day for Medway was pitched against the local’s Worthing. They looked a strong team from appearance with a big set of forwards. But ultimately Worthing came up short as Medway tore into them from the start. The words exchanged between Medway coaching staff and players at the end of the first match about how the foot had been taken off the pedal in match one resounded in all the player’s ears. There was no taking it easy now. Again Medway opened up an early lead and continued to dominate across the whole game. Simple and effective rugby was on display as the Medway loose forwards dominated the breakdown, and the new pairing of Lewis Smith at Scrum Half and Matt Cross at Fly Half gelled together to provide an effective axis between forwards and backs. Tries provided by Henry Butler, Lloyd Milner, Luke Edwards, Rhys Burns and Charlie Dalrymple, supported by 3 Jack Baulch conversion led Medway to a 36 – 0 victory.
Confidence was high going into what turned out to Medway’s last game of the day. Determination was written across every players face to ensure that Medway walked away with the ultimate prize. Barnet provided the opposition for the second time and again felt the full force of a now rampant and confident Medway team. Game 3 provided exquisite moments of rugby from Medway with secure and smooth handling, intelligent running lines and sheer brutality in the tackle from the likes of Adam Barnett, Lloyd Milner and Tom Dennis. There was no escape for Barnet. Medway ran in four tries and 3 conversions to come home 26-0 winners. Each try was the outcome of some great team work. The first try saw a great combination of Scrum Half & No 8 peeling off the back of the scum with Lewis Smith providing the decoy run taking Barnet’s loose forwards away from the action, and No 8 Lloyd Milner picking up, going to the blind side and charging through for the 5 points. The second try was a classic Medway move with Fullback Joe Fish receiving a defensive kick from Barnet as they tried to clear their lines. To those who watch Medway U14s on a regular basis they will testify to the lightning speed of Joe Fish in these situations – and they were not to be disappointed. Receiving the ball in mid pitch Fish set his sights on the line and simply left all other players in his wake. Superb, direct and fast. Try three was a great example of back play with the ball finding it’s way to winger Toby Gerdes-Hansen. Toby took the ball in full flight and two other Barnet players with him as he progressed towards the line. A last ditch, excellent tackle from Barnet held Toby short but with superb follow up and support play Luke Edwards was on hand to receive an inside pass and a simple dive over the line for a further score. And finally try four was just rewards for Toby Gerdes-Hansen as once again he received the ball from great distribution down the line to score his maiden try for Medway U14s.
And that was enough – 3 games, 3 victories. Game four against Worthing was abandoned at their request – it would have made no difference to the outcome as Medway conquered all.
The trophy was presented to the Captain Baulch and the rest of the team as worthy winners of the Worthing Festival 2009.
This U14s age group is very lucky to be supported by an excellent set of parents, friends and sponsors. Tour organising team of Linda Taylor, Bev Martin and Caroline Murray performed a fantastic job off the pitch against difficult circumstances, and due credit should go them for their efforts, time and tenacity.
Each member of the travelling squad played a full part and should be proud of their achievements. The victory is dedicated to all members of the U14s squad, a further 18 players who couldn’t be part of the tour.
Congratulations and well done to all.
Squad : Jack Baulch (c), Ashley Thorpe, James Martin, Ben Tuff, Joe Martin, Adam Barnett, Sam Edwards, Tom Dennis, Hayden Lewis, Luke Edwards, Lloyd Milner, Tom Coleman, Lewis Smith, Matt Cross, Freddie Taylor, Henry Butler, Rhys Burns, Mitchell Dent, Charlie Dalrymple, Toby Gerdes-Hansen, Joe Fish.
A slightly weakened Medway team took the field on the show pitch against a very strong Cranbrook team, who had narrowly beaten Medway in last years Kent Cup.
The game started well for Medway with some great breaks made by Luke Edwards and Lloyd Milner. This gave midway lots of territory during the first 10 minutes. Although Medway were inside Cranbrook’s 22, they failed to capitalise on a number of forward drives by Adam Barnett and Sam Edwards. We were then put right back into our half from Cranbrook’s “kick the ball as far as you can “move. Charlie Darymple and Mathew Brightman then did some great runs down the touchline to secure our place back in Cranbrook’s half. With a few minutes to go before the end of the half Medway was awarded a penalty near the line, this was taken quickly by Jack Baulch who scored.
As the second half began with some fresh legs on the pitch Medway began to play some great expansive rugby. Luke Edwards was put into score under the posts by pick and go from Lloyd Milner, which was safely converted by Ashley Banfield. After a great kick return from Rhys Burns well supported by Matt Cross, another try was scored by Rhys Burns. In the last ten minutes of the game Cranbrook began to dominate possession and have most of the territory. It was due to some brave defending from Tom Dennis and Mitchell Dent, on the flanks that Cranbrook didn’t score on numerous forward drives.
After a long maul in the centre of the pitch Cranbrook broke away, the break was then stopped by Joe fish with a great try saving tackle. Just as the game drew to a close Cranbrook shifted the ball down the line to score a try in the corner successfully converted to make the final scores 17-7.
Overall this was a great team performance with everyone putting in an enormous amount of effort to secure a win against one of the best teams in Kent.
From the start, Medway were on the attack and after 5 minutes of hard work Lloyd Milner was put in position to score a try Freddie Taylor narrowly missed a conversion which put Medway 5 – 0 up. Sidcup came back and managed to push us to our half and score a try. But a blistering run by Joe Fish put Medway 10 points up, once again Freddie narrowly missing another conversion.
Sidcup put over another try and this time converted it. Score 10-7.
With half time looming, Sidcup put up a brave fight but were again pushed back with Joe Fish able to go through to score his second try. Half time score 17-7.
The second half started with a fantastic Joe fish tackle on the opposition which he followed with another try.
With Sidcup being dominated by Medway’s forwards with runs from Alex Pitcher and Adam Barnett putting Medway deep into the Sidcup half, a defensive mishap but Joe Fish for his fourth try which Freddie Taylor converted. Sidcup were not giving up though and continued to fight hard.
A further score when a miss-kick fell behind Sidcup’s try line, Matt Cross and Harry Palmer both went for it, narrowly missing before it bobbled it went out. Two tries for Lloyd Milner and points from two conversions meant that Medway finished the game firmly on top with a final score of 41 – 12. A really good team performance and a good result.
By Sean George Crittenden
It was a day of reversing fortunes for the B teams of Medway and Bromley.
Medway started well with Rhys Burns completing a 40 metre sprint to put Medway in front within the first 6 minutes.
This was short lived as Bromley crashed through our defensive line and levelled the score at 5-5. Bromley’s confidence grew, they showed skill and determination, which was rewarded by the half time, with the score being 24-5 to Bromley.
The second half saw Medway pulling together and working well as a team, with Alex Pitcher starting the fight back, 24-10, Rhys Burns soon followed 24-15, which Captain Freddie Taylor converted 24-17.
Nick Webb then completed a 15 metre run with some fancy inside stepping, 22-24 convert by Freddie 24-24.
We were now in this to WIN and showed no mercy, Luke Edwards, Alex Pitcher and Freddie Taylor added another 17 points before the final whistle blew.
Bromley 24 Medway 41
By Luke Edwards
We arrived at Westcliff rugby club determined to show this team who Medway Rugby Club’s under 14’s were.
For the first time in the season and the beginning of December the sun was shining and our spirits were high. We were determined not to let them see their end of the pitch and we pushed hard to score our first try with a superb run from Rhys Burns, who stunned us when he fell just before the score line only to get back up and push the ball to the line! Westcliff wanted to get back at us, hard! We were defending on our line with some big hits from Henry Butler & Ashley Banfield. We had the ball after our great defensive efforts and as we passed the ball around, Jack Baulch ran with determination and dived over the line to score Medway’s 2nd try! He also gave us another 2 points for the conversion. This made the score 12 – 0 to Medway at half time coming off the pitch with our heads up high.
As the second half started, Westcliff were angry and wanted to get back at us, and were really trying to. Medway put up a good fight but after defending our line for a long time they finally got over the line to score and to make the score 12 – 5. We continued to hold them off until the final whistle blew, what a game!
Today’s match was a good one to be a part of! In the first few minutes Charlie Dalrymple scored the first try running half the pitch at great speed and then Freddie Taylor got the conversion to bring the early score to 7-0. It wasn’t long before Charlie scored again with another superb run and Freddie Taylor getting the conversion again to bring the score to 14-0. But then Westcliff got through our line which had been brilliant at holding them off, and they scored, followed by a conversion to bring the score to 14-7. By now it was the second half and Westcliff were getting very annoyed that they could not break our lines again so they started putting players from their A team on in a attempt to score another try. We had them rattled!. Unfortunately it worked and they scored again but they did not get a conversion so the score was 14-12. There was a lot of strong play and determination from the whole Tigers team to hold them off. Throughout Adam Barnett was like a bulldozer!. When he had the ball he normally had 3 or more hanging on him but he still kept going until most of their forwards were hanging off of him! To make sure we won, Tom Dennis scored a fantastic last try making the score 19-12 and the Tiger’s victorious!.
Glenn Williams, Hooker.
Another magnificent morning on the Medway Riviera gave us some fine drizzle but little wind to speak of as Medway 1st’s lined up against a previously unbeaten Shelford side.
The first half was a tough battle mainly played out in the middle of the pitch with the general pattern of play being Medway’s backs making ground to be brought to a halt by some excellent tackling from the Shelford team.
The Shelford forwards were well drilled and managed to turn over ball on a regular basis which was then kicked away by there back row leading to a high number of line outs. Not always Medway’s strength but excellent ball was one from the line outs by Medway in the first half which then started the Medway backs off and leading to ground hog day in the first half as attack was met by stout defences, turn over and lineout.
The scrum was good from both sides with Medway more than holding there own, and forcing a number of penalties from the scrum and the break down of play around the scrum with Shelford forwards not always maintaining there feet.
Despite these penalties and the obvious superiority of the back row the first half remained scoreless.
The second half came and brought with it a number of substitutions with various interchange players being introduced mainly in the forwards which was as much a refection of the opposition and the effort that had needed to be put in by the Medway forwards to combat the Shelford pack.
This brought almost instant success as Lawrence Chittil used his strength to go over in the corner following good work from the forwards in securing the ball. Jack Baulch unfortunately just missed the conversation by a wafer from the touch line.
Obviously Shelford were not used to being behind in a match and the try galvanised them into laying siege to the Medway line for a good quarter of an hour with some resolute defence from the whole team somehow keeping the Shelford side from scoring what looked like inevitable tries, this pressure was finally released by a series of touch kicks from Ashley Banfield and with our much improved line out managing to secure the ball.
Shelford did score again but from open play which started in there half and despite a number of excellent tackles Shelford went in at the corner the conversion was missed, five all.
The second Shelford try came from there forwards winning the ball and taking it again at the corner, the conversation again missed 5- 10. Catastrophe then struck with an opportunist interception try taken by one of the Shelford centres who intercepted a pass through the Medway backs and ran in under the posts the simple conversion was made. 5-17
Despite this the Medway heads did not go down and the performance remained at its high level and following a clearance kick from Matt cross and an excellent chase from Jack Baulch which forced a five meter scrum from Shelford giving the platform for the backs to put ball through the hands for Charlie Dalrymple to go in at the corner and the difficult conversion was missed.
The game continued at high tempo which had been maintained throughout and with no extra points being made the final score Medway 10 Shelford 17.
9 November 2008
It was set to be a tough game and it was. A kick off try for Heathfield made a disappointing start to the game. Medway bounced back using the strength in the forwards and the pace in the backs to get a great try from Tom Coyd. Quick recycling from the rucks and great handling and pace from the backs led to more tries from Joe Fish and Matt Cross.
In the second half Heathfield had a tough team talk and brought on their A-team. Medway didn't relax but carried on to be dominant. Same as in the first half, Medway got the ball to the wings and used their speed to get more tries from Rhys Burns, another from Joe Fish and then another from Rhys Burns.
Some handbags under the post on the fourth try from an undisciplined Heathfield team gave Medway a penalty from the kick off. Medway secured 36 points with the help from Lawrence Chittil and Jack Baulch with the conversions. The captain, Tom Coyd, kept Medway disciplined and focused throughout the game.
9 November 2008
On yet another chilly Sunday morning the Tigers stepped out against an eager Maidstone team to prove once a again that they a force to be reckoned with.
The game gave Adam Barnett his first game for Medway and also saw certain regulars play in unfamiliar positions.
Medway started brightly and good handling in the backs and superb scrimmaging from a formidable forwards pack set Rhys Burns over the line, showing superb speed in the process, 5 nil. From the restart Medway retained possession and the forwards set the platform for the backs to move the ball down the line and let Matthew Brightman show his speed and score a break away try, 10 nil. Maidstone then put Medway under huge pressure and after much huff and puff and many failed attempts at breaking through a tough Medway defence led by Adam and Harry Palmer they eventually crashed over to score their first points of the game, 10 – 5.
In the second half Medway came out pumped and inspired and ready to go for another half of rugby. Medway immediately moved the ball up field and 2 minutes in saw number eight Zak Gardener pick up from the base of the scrum and run Through the Maidstone defence to score five more, 15 – 5. Medway continued to put pressure on Maidstone in the second half and when Adam went over to cap an impressive debut the game was ours to lose, 20 – 5. Again more pressure, the forwards doing the physical work and when James Anderson gave to ball to Ashley Banfield who had just come on as a substitute, the field opened up and Banfield was able to stroll home for a another try which was converted by captain and fly half Freddie Taylor to make the score 27 – 5. In the closing minutes of the game the battle was in the middle of the field and the forwards bossed by scrum half Ethan Hall who had entered the fray as a blood replacement secured the ball and Medway recorded another victory.
This was another step and step forwards for the Tigers who continue to improve and excite with their mixture of power and pace. The game presented many opportunities to hand out praise to every player in squad but it also presented us with the areas in which we need to improve in, and this improvement will be key to the development of the entire Medway squad. Final score 27 – 5 to Medway.
Written By Lewis Smith
The phrase that "It was a game of two halves" was certainly true of this encounter at Priestfields between Medway U14 and Thanet U14. Both sides had same noteable absences due to the schools half-term break but despite the heavy rain at the start, this was a very well contested and exciting game of rugby. Thanet scored a try in the first ten minutes to take a 5-0 lead and they continued to pressurize the Medway defence. The Thanet forwards were strong in the scrum and secured plenty of possession from the rucks. This pressure told and Thanet were rewarded with a second try to make the score 10-0.
Medway responded with some fast attacks through the middle from Charlie Dalrymple and Henry Butler nearly scored a try. Thanet continued to press but some excellent defending from Alex Pitcher and Ashley Banfield kept them at bay and this took its toll with Thanet's Cameron Larnache having to leave the field with a knee injury. We all hope he recovers and wish him well for the rest of the season.
The second half saw some changes for Medway who immediately increased the pressure and began to take control. They got themselves back into the match with a well worked try using all of the backs in a slick move which saw Charlie Dalrymple score in the corner. Medway continued to control the second half with the forwards keeping the pressure on and maintaining the play almost entirely in Thanet's half.
They were rewarded with the equalising try following some more good passing through the back line with Joe Fish finishing with a try. At 10-10, and seemingly on top Medway mus have thought the game was within their grasp. However, Thanet's only real attack of the second half yielded a try taking them to a 15-10 lead. Despite an excellent effort from the entire Medway team, Thanet managed to hold onto their lead and at the final whistle, they were relieved to have won 15-10. Medway's second half showed some good performances from Freddie Taylor, Toby Gerdes-Hansen and Tom Dennis, all of whom contributed well.
Matthew Brightman, Right Wing
12 October 2008
Nice soft ground, the sun’s out, perfect conditions for rugby. At 11:00 am on a brisk Sunday morning, the match between Medway and Upminster got under way.
Within 5 minutes the first score was on the board, with a try from Ashley Banfield, which was converted by Freddie Taylor. During the next 10 minutes Medway had managed to secure a 21-nil lead, with tries from James Anderson and Charlie Dalrymple, both again converted. The next try came from a forward in a very unusual position – winger. Unsure what to do, Alex Pitcher ran straight at the opposition, leaving behind him a trail of destruction before crashing over to score.
Alex Pitcher then nailed a further try before the team grabbed a final try before half time. This was a piece of back magic. It was a two on one situation, with James Anderson in possession of the ball and Charlie Dalrymple as support. James did the classic dummy, which sent the defender completely the wrong way, before passing it to Charlie to score. The try was converted by Freddie Taylor, bringing his tally to 5 out of 6. The score on the stroke of half time was 40-nil.
With a few changes to the squads on both sides the second half kicked off. Upminster came back stronger, and scored two tries in the space of 15 minutes, which were both converted. But those tries were only consolation tries. Medway retaliated with one big push and Ashley Banfield managed to bag another try. The final score was 45-14 to Medway, a well deserved victory.
Freddie Taylor, Fly Half
After a brilliant end to last season the Tigers are looking forward to a good game at Thurrock, this promised to be good. From the start Freddie Taylor did a brilliant job as the Tigers captain and took good control over his team of 14. We had 3 newcomers in the Tigers today and they were Mathew Brightman, Jack Calloway and Toby Gerdes Hansen, it was clear that this is going to be a good season.
In the first half Thurrock was very competitive at the breakdown and this rewarded them with 3 tries in the first 10 minutes none of which were converted,. But when the ball was on their side of the field they gave a penalty so Freddie Taylor, our captain kicked for touched, it didn’t go too far but we now had a line out in their 22. Jack Calloway stepped up to take the throw in the lineout and Harry Palmer crashed over to give the Tigers their first try of the season. Again with some good work from backs and forwards we got the ball into their half again and when there was a break for a scrum Alex Pitcher came on. We won the scrum securely and Rob O’Brien sent his backs on their way but they got tackled and Alex Pitcher lined up for a set of hit ups which sent him to 5 metre line and he off loaded to Harry Palmer who scored the second try of the Tiger’s season and we knew we were back in the game when Freddie Taylor converted it. And that ended the first half 12 – 15, to Thurrock.
After some encouraging words from Freddie Taylor and Tony Martin we set off to play the second half. After a try from Thurrock, we were 12 – 22 down. After some brilliant tackles from backs Nick Webb and Ashleigh Banfield, we were really piling the pressure on Thurrock and it payed off. Thurrock kicked the ball and Dan Hawkridge picked it up and offloaded it to Ashleigh Banfield who scored and again Freddie Taylor converted it. With a set of very strong and powerful scrum’s we started to win the ball against the head thanks to the hooking from Jack Calloway and the pack leadership from Joe Martin who also did and excellent job controlling his forwards. But unfortunately we couldn’t stop Thurrock as they scored 2 tries and 1 of them was converted. But we stilled played are best and Freddie kicked the ball into their half which we retained and we scored using Mathew Brightman our new winger who sped past the Thurrock defense and up the wing to score a try. One of the quotes from Tony Martin is that we came off the pitch smiling because we knew we played well. What an improvement on last time the Tiger’s played Thurrock we lost by about 60 - nil and today we lost 24 – 34. A great start.