Sevenoaks Rugby entertained high flying CS Rugby 1863 at the Paddock on Saturday and ultimately came unstuck 12-41, against a fit and effective squad from Chiswick.
Before kick off around 80 guests enjoyed a splendid Past Players and Supporters curry lunch, arguably the best chicken makhani this side of Mumbai, courtesy of Clubhouse manager Diane.
Guest speaker Paul Shirtcliff, legendary Oak and still playing in his 36th season with the Club, regaled the faithful and visiting friends in rugby with yarns that will live long in the memory.
Out on the pitch it wasn't long before the visitors were two converted tries to the good . A long day at the office was feared and although an injury ravaged Oaks did ultimately lose by some margin the match had more than its share of ebb and flow as Oaks dug deep and stayed strong throughout.
The response to the early tries was rapid. Sevenoaks, by keeping it tight, began exposing weaknesses in the CS defence. Taken forward with some outstanding runs by Naismith and Derrick, Oaks recovered to 12-14 going into the half time break thanks to a brace of tries from Charlie Beale.
With Storm Brian in their favour Oaks started the second half with the wind in their sails and pressed CS hard for the opening five minutes.
Unfortunately the pressure wasn't converted into points and once CS broke from their half, they went through the gears and scored five unanswered tries. The highly athletic visitors had pace and power from 1 to 15 and it showed with the combination of fast hands, positive running lines and ever present support for the ball carrier in numbers.
Oaks battled hard, had a man sent to the bin and all day had the edge over CS Rugby in the set piece.
Although Oaks are finding the league tough going this season having faced a series of high quality opponents, there's much to look forward to and the wider vista of Oaks rugby to consider.
Sevenoaks Rugby fielded four senior teams on Saturday, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XV notching up wins, and the following day 500+ young Oaks (fewer than normal because of the half term break) including boys and girls aged 6 to 18, were out and about on a sunny autumn day, to throw the ball around thanks to the cohort of volunteers who make the Club tick.
The seniors in navy and gold battled all day on Saturday; every step, every tackle and every pass backed not only by the older generations that have gone before but also by the young Oaks they inspire. One Club!
Check out all the match action captured by David Purday by clicking here