8th Sep 2019, KO 11:00
Thanet Wanderers U17s travelled up the M2 on Sunday for their first game of the season, a pre-season friendly against a string and organised Dartfordians RFC..
Always a nice place to go with great hosts, the coaches agreed to play a full game of 35 minutes each way as opposed to the often four quarters.
Wanderers started strongly with a flowing move down the right wing saw pacy winger, Fran Gillespie touch down in the corner, converted by outside centre, Jack Cohen. That try was quickly followed by Cohen adding his own try shortly after for a 12-0 lead.
That could have been the start of the flood gates opening up but Darts defence was solid and some high quality turnover work saw them come back into the game. Firstly with them exploiting a gap after several phases of play in the Wanderers half and then with an interception length of the field try from Darts excellent centre. All of a sudden Wanderers trailed 14-12 with half time approaching.
From the kick-off, the ball was gathered and after some excellent link-up play from second row, Finley Lycett, openside flanker, Sonny Teall crashed over from 1 yard out and Wanderers lead 17-14 at the half.
From the very start of the second half, Wanderers carried on where they left off in the first half with 2 quick tries in 3 minutes from scrum half, Harrison Leach before Gillespie grabbed his second.
Once again this could have been the signal for a flurry of tries but Darts came back strongly with some good continuity work in the Wanderers half which lead to 2 tries just before the hour mark, reducing Wanderers lead to just one point, 27-26.
But the last 10 minutes turned back in Wanderers favour, firstly with a try out wide from fly half, Cameron Beck and then in the last minute from prop, Kieran Murray for a final score of 39-26 to the visitors.
All coaches agreed that for a game so early in the season, both side showed real promise with some excellent rugby and both teams went away with some confidence and ideas on what needs work.
Wanderers U17s are joining up with the U18s next Saturday as they travel to Thurrock in a curtain raiser before their 1st XV game in what is their final warm-up game before the U17s league season starts at Sevenoaks on Sunday 22nd September 2019.
Tries: Gillespie 2, Cohen, Teall, Leach, Beck, Murray. Con: Cohen 2.
8th Sep 2019
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