Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV hosted London Cornish on Saturday at the Paddock and following 80 minutes of pulsating rugby landed a well deserved 41-31 win.
The benign spring conditions enabled both teams to play to an expansive game plan and so it was that Oaks went over for the first of six tries within five minutes through Pettet, outstanding all day, which was backed up by a successful conversion by the trusty boot of Ben Adams, in brilliant form with the kicking responsibilities.
A rapid response from Cornish exemplified the topsy turvy nature of proceedings, and the teams entered half-time with the home side 24-12 up after Cornish grabbed a try just before the break in reply to tries from McCrae and Gumbleton for Oaks, both converted by the trusty boot of Adams.
There was no let up after the break and with a few enforced adjustments in their backs, the scramble defending by the Oaks pack was called on time and again by a Cornish team now running the ball from every part of the field. The Paddock knew the game was afoot and news filtering through of the teams around Oaks in the league all performing well, added to the sense that the unfolding drama would have a telling outcome on next season’s league status.
But it was some turbo charged back play from Oaks, set up by the forwards’ solid and imposing platform, that captivated the attention more than scores from elsewhere. Adams crossed the line for a brace of tries, both self-converted in response to an earlier score from Cornish; at 38-17 with ten minutes to go victory for Oaks seemed in the bag.
However Cornish aren’t made of tin and they clearly had other plans. A penalty try to the visitors was quickly followed up by a well worked backs move that saw them barrel over the line for a converted try that closed the gap to 38-31. This made for a rather nervy closing moments of the game for the Paddock faithful, before a penalty to Oaks gave Ben Adams the very opportunity he needed to strike the ball between the uprights to secure the vital 41-31 win.
This coming Saturday the Oaks head to Brighton and then on Saturday 21 April for the last home game of the season versus Chichester, 3:00pmkick off, the match day lunch will be in honour of Peter Hunt and Ian Wood, who sadly passed away in recent weeks and both gave so much of their time and energy for Sevenoaks Rugby Club. All visitors welcome. Visit www.sevenoaksrugby.com to find out more.