Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV 18-42 London Cornish 2nd XV
Referee: Mr. A. Jolley
After six weeks of frustration whereby fixtures had been cancelled due to the weather or the opposition crying off, Sevenoaks 2nd XV took to the field for their first fixture of 2017.
With Ben Martyr called up to the 1st XV prior to the match, the Oaks coaching team did their best Bruce Forsythe impression, shuffling the pack to move Yasuyuki Shiraishi-Miles to hooker, Oliver Boatwright-Smith to the flank alongside Rory Philpott and welcoming the evergreen Rob Thurnell onto the bench.
The visitors, who's 1st XV currently sit clear at the top of London 2 South West, boasted a team that was athletic, well organised and skillful. Indeed they made that show almost immediately, with forays into the Oaks half early on through their excellent number 8 in particular to the fore. However, Oaks withstood a number of attacks, with Jack Belither, Alfred Gard and Jesse Fay making themselves a nuisance in defence. The line was eventually breached however as Cornish worked the ball through the hands to touch down, with the score converted.
The visitors were to add to their lead with a second converted try, rolling over with a poweful forward charge to the line that Oaks could just not stop.
Oaks started to string some phases together though and scored two excellent tries of their own. The first from captain Jack Curnow after Jesse Fay had broken through the line after good play from fly-half Ben Adams. Fay powering through two defenders before drawing his man and passing to the supporting Curnow who finished well. The score converted by Adams.
Cornish were to score their third through a powerful finish from their winger, before Oaks responded with a try from the returning Chris Karg. After Cornish were sucked in by Alfred Gard, Mickey Thurnell and Rob Thurnell, quick ball from debutant Josh Ashby-Young saw Karg run a strong line and power over. The score was uncoverted but as half time approached, Oaks were in touching distance of the vistors. HT score 22-18.
The third stanza was mainly to be played in midfield, but with only 16 men in the squad, Oaks began to tire and Cornish began to exert some authority. Oaks manfully defended, but Cornish are a good outfit, and as the last quarter approached, took their chances well and opened Oaks up with some fine running and interplay. Despite not giving up until the end, Oaks struggled to contain their opponents, as Cornish scored three unanswered tries in the final ten minutes, running out deserved 42-18 winners.
Senior Coach Duncan Fotheringham said after the match 'We are really proud of the efforts from the boys today. A number of the guys were either new to the group or were playing out of position, but they equipped themselves extremely well. London Cornish were a very good side and certainly put us to the sword in the last 15 minutes, but the application of each and every one of our players was very good.'
'There were some really good individual performances, particularly from Mickey and Rob Thurnell. We just hope that now we get a run of fixtures as it has been a frustrating month or so. We are a young squad and at the age the players are, they just want to play rugby.'
1. J. Tiffin
2. Y. Shiraishi-Miles
3. J. Sneddon
4. M. Thurnell
5. A. Gard
6. R. Philpott
7. O. Boatwright-Smith
8. J. Belither
9. J. Ashby-Young
10. B. Adams
11. D. Melville-Jones
12. J. Fay
13. J. Curnow (c)
14. A. Matthews
15. C. Karg
16. R. Thurnell