Beckenham bounce back with resounding away win!
By Michael Timms
Difficult conditions do little to hamper the clinical blue and gold attack.
After a heart breaking first loss of the season to Charlton Park, Beckenham had two weeks to prepare to go and right their wrongs.
The journey to a victory wouldn't be easy however, and I mean this literally. With the teams coach driver opting for the scenic route to the ground and ending up at the bottom of a dead end, Josh Smith seized his opportunity to shine and used his vast heavy goods vehicle experience to aid the driver and get us back on route.
Arriving to the ground almost an hour late, you could spot the Heathfield and Waldron supporters licking their lips, not in appreciation of the pre match lunch but in anticipation that a shortened preparation period may cause distraction. However spirits were very high, with the boys focussed on the job at hand, let the game begin.
Heathfield started the game off strongly. After 2 minutes of being camped in our own 22 Beckenham conceded an offside penalty in front of the sticks, duly slotted by Heathfield and Waldron' s 15, Lucas Cuming.
The next 15 minutes the game was well balanced, with Heathfields 10, Toby Harrison playing the territorial game extremely well. Beckenham relied on Dominant carries from Andrew Knowles, Henry Kenny (on debut) and Graham Murray to work their way into the Heathfield half. These bullish carries continued right up until the 20 Minute mark where Beckenham found themselves in the opposition 22. After patient phase play from the forwards, the Beckenham backs did what any good back line do, scream for the ball very loudly and aggresively 5 metres out. Some great hands from Louis Richards and Keita Orelaja Saw the ball shipped to JP Santamaria who dotted down for his 8th of the season. Richards was short with the kick from out wide, kicking into a swirling wind.
With the weather more unreliable than a boss man sandwich. The next 15 minutes brought what only can be described as a British Monsoon. This lead to a scrappy period of play with a lot of change in possession. However on the 35 minute mark, another dominant carry from Alex Jones (who postponed his birthday dinner to travel down and play!) got Beckenham in behind the resilient Heathfield defence and provided a sweet offload to the supporting Keita Orelaja. With the wise words of Dan Brown "sometimes pass before contact" looming in his head, the full back popped inside to the ever present Craig Thompson to score under the posts. Louis Richards adding the 2 points.
Half time Score Beckenham 12- 3.
Coming into the second half Beckenham knew there was still a lot of work to do to see this over the line. With Beckenham awarded a penalty from the kick-off, after a brain freeze moment from the Heathfield full back, Beckenham found themselves on the opposing 5 Metre line. Graham Murray, after some good initial phases from the pack, hit a great line to rampage over for his 3rd try of the season. A difficult man to stop from a couple of meters out. Conversion wide. 17-3.
On 52 minutes, with Beckenham sensing blood and seeking the important bonus point try, they found themselves with a midfield scrum in the opposing 22. With the opposition seemingly confused by Beckenhams set up, Louis Richards moved the ball wide to Keita Orelaja, who running out of space pulled off a no look inside pass to George Hixson to secure the bonus point try. The 2 points were added by Louis Richards with one hell of a conversion from out wide. 24-3. 52 minutes played.
Beckenham were not done however and with 30 minutes or so to play, set out to send a message to the rest of the league. On the Hour mark Josh Smith powered over, having been held up a matter of second before. Louis Richards good from the Tee. 31-3.
A minute later and fresh on the paddock, debutant Reagan Tarbie showed some good footwork from the kick off to push the boys into the opposing half. A few phases later Richards placed a delightful grubber, which Tarbie ran onto, controlling the ball well, dribbling the ball over the line and dotting down for a debut try. Richards clearly with some magic left in those boots slotted the extras from the touchline!
Heathfield and Waldron did however provide something for their fans to applaud with one of the scores of the day. After receiving a high kick Waldrons number 11 showed some quality footwork to round the Beckenham defenders feeding number 13, Tom Tingley, to go in under the posts. conversion missed 38-8.
Beckenham keen to ensure Heathfield didn't have the final say, played the last 10 minutes with high intensity. With Heathfield chasing the game and playing from deep, George Hixson seized the opportunity to fold his opposite number, forcing the centre to dot down over his own line. With a scrum 5 metres out, another dominant push from the pack allowed Andrew Knowles to score a trademark 8’s try. Richards added the 2. 45-8 With 5 to go.
One more the crowd cheered, and one one more they got. With the clock in the red, Jordan Dehartee demonstrated exactly why he spends an extortionate amount of money on Metroflex and supplements with a powerful run through 3 defenders to score under the posts. Louis Richards sealed the deal with another two. Final score 52-8.
An impressive show from the boys in difficult conditions to get the ball rolling again. Some notable performances especially from our debutants. A strong 80 minutes from Henry Kenny, and an impressive performance off the bench from Reegan Tarbie. I'm sure we'll be seeing them again soon in the first XV. However, man of the match goes to Andrew Knowles after a powerful hard working performance.