Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV 13 Old Colfeians 6
Sevenoaks hosted Colfs at Knole Paddock on Saturday 6 January, and following 80 minutes of hard graft there was very little between these two longstanding rivals. Ultimately Oaks managed to hold on versus resurgent visitors to bag the win, by 13 points to 6.
The biting wind and, for the most part, ten-man rugby on display made it very much a day for the purists; seemingly cold hands on both sides made retaining possession at pivotal points hard work.
Oaks were under pressure from the get go and it was a welcome respite when having weathered the early phases from an imposing Colfs pack, Sevenoaks rumbled over for a try from a line-out catch and drive. They repeated this trick to good effect at the end of the half, and Colfs and Oaks having exchanged penalty scores between the two tries, the sides entered the half-time break with the home side 13-3 to the good.
Check out the photos from the match here.
The second half picked up where the first left off; the visitors dominating much of the possession while Oaks defended very well indeed, relieving the pressure with bursts of excellence from Derrick at 8 and Short at 15, as well as the effective boot of Shirtcliff at 9. Unfortunately every time Oaks secured decent field position, a lack of discipline, patience or both meant that Oaks had nothing to show for their forays into Colfs territory.
Inevitably Colfs made all the possession count and narrowed their deficit to 7 points thanks to a pen from in front of the Oaks posts. Sevenoaks' continued defensive effort matched OCs' continued attacking drive, and it was gutsy resolve by Oaks that ensured the navy and gold held on to secure the victory.
Oaks now face a series of matches versus league-leading opposition, beginning with a home encounter against table-topping Medway RFC on Saturday 13 January, 2:00pm kick off. All support very welcome for an Oaks side that continues to demonstrate a capacity to push any visitors to the Paddock hard.