|29th April 2018||2.30pm||Westcombe Park||65-0||1st XV||Kent Plate Final||Away|
WESTCOMBE PARK RFC 65-0 THANET WANDERERS RUFC
A pointless trip to chilly South London for the Wanderers in the Kent Plate final.
Selection problems meant it was an unfamiliar blend of young and older Wanderers who joined a small core of regulars to honour this fixture. It was good to see Jimmy Robinson get a start on the right wing with Isaac Roe in the centre alongside Kris Finneran usually seen in a back five forward’s shirt. Jake Whittlesea was back from navy duties to play at full back.
From the kick off it was clear that Thanet were up against a well drilled and capable side who hung on to early possession to cross Wanderers line after just four minutes. Two minutes later it became 14-0 and there was little to cheer for the small band of Wanderers supporters other than a typical Charlie Knight break and some brave defending. Ethan Wright was injured and replaced by Tom Harvey who last saw duty in a first team shirt many years ago. Twin brother Kieran Wright again got through a mountain of work in defence plugging gaps all over the field. The score howevevr advanced inexorably and Westcombe Park were leading 36-0 before their scrum half Joe Birch was shown a red card for throwing a punch. At half time Wanderers trailed 41-0.
Danny Clement who had defied injury to play now withdrew to be replaced by John Davies who himself had to be replaced by Andy Bourton after playing for just twelve minutes when he was shown yellow for a scrummaging offence. Four further tries had taken the score to 65-0 with twenty minutes to play. Westcombe Park now introduced some replacements and Joe Mount made his first team debut for Wanderers from the bench. The experienced duo of No 8 Andy Letts and Captain Adam Gaddes led a spirited fight back with powerful runs. Half backs Tom Walton and Tom Longdon were finding space and Arek Janeczko burst clear but was lured into giving a pass by a wily pursuing opponent. Joe Carlier reached out to touch down but was just short. Reagan Doody took a couple of scrums against the head but their was to be no score and Westcombe Park were the easy winners.
Head Coach Tom Carlier congratulated and thanked his players for turning out for this difficult fixture. Everyone had played their hearts out representing their club. Knight with limited attacking opportunities put in a fine defensive shift and Walton’s play impresses with increasing maturity and confidence every week. Well done to all who thought their days in a first tram shirt were maybe past and those younger ones who didn’t expect a call up this early in their careers. You did yourselves proud.
SQUAD: Clement, Doody, Carlier, Wright K., Janeczko, Gaddes (C.), Wright E., Letts, Walton, Longdon, Robinson, Finneran, Roe, Knight, Whittlesea. Subs: Davies, Boulton, Mount, Harvey
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