Beckenham overcome resilient Colfes
By Michael Timms
Beckenham now within touching distance of league title!
This Saturday saw Old Colfeians take the short trip drown to Balmoral Avenue. The boys, looking to bounce back after a poor performance against Haywards Heath, facing an in form Colfes side, who had clinched the South east cup the previous weekend. Going into the penultimate home game of the season, Beckenham were 7 points clear with 15 points to play for and still chasing the all-important league title. The sun was out, and the supporters were out in force to support the blue and gold.
Beckenham started the game strongly and after a mix up in the Colfes line out, James Cleverly burst clear, offloading out of the tackle to the ever present Hans Laud-Anderson who broke through to put Beckenham 5 points clear, Richards was unfortunate with the extras, hitting the post. Colfes bounced back soon after. Beckenham were victims of their own downfall after several penalties resulted in Colfeians having a lineout 5 meters out from the Beckenham line. With a big pack, Colfes secured the ball and drove over the line well to get the score. The Fly half was wide however, leaving the scores tied at 5-5.
Soon after Beckenham started building pressure in the opposition half! This included one of Beckenhams best opportunities of the half with Louis Richards stepping inside, spotting the opening for James Curr and Reegan Tarbie, but unfortunately, the pass didn’t go to hand after being met by a solid Colfeians defence. Meaning that Beckenham were only able to come away with 3 points.
Minutes after Beckenham were pinged for being offside and the resulting penalty saw Colfes level the score yet again. Beckenhams lack of discipline seemed to be letting them down, making hard work of the opening exchanges.
The latter part of the 1st half became scrappy! There were several turnovers and neither team could really get a solid foothold in the game. But a mix up in the Beckenham defence saw Colfes looking like they were in for a second try, only to be denied by a great recovering tackle by Mike Furness. With the final play of the first half hot stepping Keita Orelaja isolated the Colfes prop. A good scramble defence however saw him brought down meters out from the Colfeians try line. The ball was recycled quickly reaching James Curr who threw the miss pass out to winger Mike Furness, who was tackled while diving for the line, knocking the ball on in the process.
As the whistle blew for half time the scores were level at 8-8
Soon after the second half started and a build up of pressure allowed Beckenham the opportunity to go 11-8 up with a kick from 30 meters out in line with the uprights from Louis Richards. However instead of pressing home the advantage, a lack of discipline saw Colfes make inroads into the Beckenham half. A lineout 5 meters out was held up by Beckenham. However Will Winter was addeemed to have come in from the side, resulting in a yellow card for the Beckenham prop. Old colfeians soon capitalised on the man advantage, with the 9 sniping from the base of the breakdown. With the 2 points added off the tee, Colfes lead 15-11 with just over 20 minutes remaining.
As Beckenham were reimbursed back to the full compliment of 15 a penalty was awarded in front of the posts, giving Louis Richards the opportunity to close the deficit back to within 1 point.
With Beckenham now seeing more of the ball, Craig Thomson made an initial break managing to connect with Mike Furness, who looked like he was in for Beckenham’s second try of the match until he was brought down 10 meters out. From this, large gaps where prevalent in a rattled Colfeians defence. A quick ruck got the ball out to Louis Richards, who showed sharp footwork to step inside the last defender and go over for the score, which he the duly converted. Putting Beckenham 6 points clear with 10 minutes to play.
With 2 minutes to play a high tackle saw Beckenham take Colfes out of bonus point territory with 3 points from the boot of Richards. From the restart Beckenham were just looking to close the game out and wind the clock down. With around 30 seconds to play, James Curr spotted a gap and offloaded to Jamie McDowall who streaked clear, stepping and rounding the trailing full back to go over from 40 meters out. Richards was just wide with the conversion.
FT Beckenham 29 – 15 Old Colfeians
Stand out performances came from Clev with his vast amounts of powerful carries throughout the game and KK who was dynamic in attack. Man of the match however went to James Curr who just wouldn’t go down in a tackle, making meters all game long. This combined with the ability to get an arm free to offload in the tackle was exemplified with Beckenham’s final score.
Credit to Colfes who pushed Beckenham all the way, a made it a a close and nervy affair for the full 80 minutes! This result means a Bonus point victory next week against Maidstone would secure the title! Maidstone however have shown a resurgence in form in recent weeks, so it promises to be an exciting encounter. A coach will be travelling down before the game, please contact Timmsy or Ali Boyd, if you wish to book a space.