Gosport and Fareham RFC 1st XV 19 - 41 Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV took the long journey down to Gosport and Fareham RFC to take on a side that had already been relegated from London South 1. Oaks went into the game knowing that seventh place was secured and that they could not catch sixth.
On a sunny spring day, with a crowd buoyed by over 100 at the pre-match lunch, the home side kicked off. The talk before the match within the Oaks camp had been of providing the opposition with the upmost respect and not take notice of their league position. Indeed it was the home side who were to strike first through some excellent play. Moving the ball quickly with some excellent hands and offloading they created a whole for one of their backs who sliced through the away side defence to score an uncoverted try.
This seem to stun Oaks into action who responded shortly after with a well taken try by centre Shadyn Osgood. Issac Winter, playing his last match for the Club, was successful with the conversion. If the crowd were to think that this was to then see Oaks hit their straps, that thought was to be short lived. Gosport & Fareham were to go back into the lead after some fine hands saw them break down the right wing to score. An excellent touchline conversion saw the score go to 12-7 in the home sides favour and their tails were most certainly up.
Oaks struck back though, this time through Alex Rolfe who bundled his was over the line after a number of Oaks players had tried to batter their way to the line after good work from Oliver Shirtcliff who had kicked Oaks into good field position, with help from the ever willing Jonny Short who chased and harried the home back three at every opportunity. The unconverted Rolfe try saw the teams level on the scoreboard.
But a lack of concentration by Oaks at the kick off saw the home side go back into the lead immediately, after gathering the ball they raced away to score by the posts and convert to take them into the lead at half time. Gosport and Fareham 19, Sevenoaks 12.
After strong words from Head Coach Adam Bowman and Captain Stuart Coleman, Oaks started the second half well and pulled the score back within two points through an unconverted Jonny Short try in the corner. They were to take the lead through the try of the day, as from a midfield scrum, Winter chipped the ball over the onrushing home defence. Adam Field showed his lightening pace to screech past the retreating defenders, gather the ball and touch down under the posts for a converted score.
Oaks were not to look back, and a further two tries from Short which completed his hat-trick and one from Sebastian Goodhuw, which finished off a fine 50 metre break from Sean Derrick, saw Oaks finish up 41-19 victors.
After the match, Head Coach Adam Bowman commented ‘We probably left one our poorest performances of the season for that first half. Having said that, Gosport and Fareham were excellent and didn’t allow us to settle, causing us problems throughout. The second half, where we returned to our patterns, allowed us to get our danger men on the ball and when you have finishers like Jonny Short and Adam Field, more often than not you are going to cause the opposition problems. It was also great to see Jack Holden, another Academy boy, make his first team debut today. He’s been an excellent performer in the 2nd XV this season and we are delighted to have him in the squad.’
Bowman continued ‘Its been a long season – we started on July 3rd – the players have been outstanding throughout the season and to finish mid-table in our first season in a new league is really pleasing. The challenge now is to build on this and get better for next season in what we believe will be a tougher league. Also a huge thanks to our supporters who travelled down with us today – we had a full coach and it was great to see so many supporters and other members of the squad being part of our final game.’
1. A. Rolfe
2. S. Sedgewick
4. S. Coleman (C)
6. S. Humble
7. J. Baldock
9. S. Goodhuw
12. A. Field
15. O. Shirtcliff
16. J. Holden