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1st XV - Match centre

Beckenham
Gravesend
K Orelaja (2), A Jones, R Tarbie, J McDowall (2), G Hixson (2), E Ikediashi
Tries
Unknown, Unknown
L Richards (5)
Conversions
Unknown
Sat 6 Apr 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 2 South East Full time

Beckenham sign off in style against Gravesend

By

Blue and gold rampant in second half after tight first 40

Beckenham tiger rolled their way into this historic weekend. Having secured promotion to London One South in Maidstone last week, this was a homecoming. A homecoming with bells on. The club had not tasted promotion in twenty-three years, so many generations of Balmoral ballers (including the legends of ’96) were here to celebrate the success of our current 1st XV.

The potential party poopers came in the form of Gravesend. With strong runners through the spine of the team they would certainly be a testing final furlong. They are coached by Dan Buckland – who was sporting a fine beard. He was the man at the helm when the Beckenham ship crashed into London Two South East five seasons ago. Perhaps, the facial hair was a ploy to maintain a disguise and go under the radar on Saturday.

In the week building up to the game, the emphasis of those currently in charge was for the squad to not be complacent. As their last game before off season, the players themselves did not want to feel like they had missed an opportunity to close things off properly. They wanted to sign off in style.

1st XV vs Gravesend (H) 06/04/19
88 photos

In the opening exchanges of the game, the weight of the occasion got to the team. There was a failure to execute basic skills. This was highlighted by two try scoring opportunities being squandered on either side of pitch. The deadlock though was broken, when Keita Orelaja pressurised a defender into a mistake and collected the loose ball five yards out after an opportunist chip from Louis Richards.

This helped to settle nerves and Beckenham began to find some fluency. Two players in particular triggered the shift in tempo. Josh Smith (the archbishop) and Alex Jones (the man of the match) were making serious yards with their carries. The latter was rewarded for his efforts with a try after a bouncing break through the gainline.

Credit is due to Gravesend as they continued to fight and, after a period of Beckenham ill-discipline and consequential penalties, they kicked to the corner, secured the lineout and bundled over for five points on the short side.

It was 14-5 at the first half with the break giving the players a chance to regroup. The interval had the desired effect as Beckenham began to show their dominance on the pitch and importantly on the scoreboard. Our very own sixth form casanova – Reegan Tarbie – crossed over the line after a well worked backs move.

Tempo was being created by the forwards securing the ball superbly from restarts, working at pace around the corner and ensuring quick ball at the breakdown. The deadlock was broken again by Jamie McDowall. During his second spell on the pitch after providing injury cover at nine, he slotted in on the wing and collected a delightful nudge from Louis Richards. Jamie finished it off with one of his trade mark jinking runs.

The ajar flood gates were now open and coming off their hinges. George Hixson, with a touch of white line fever, grabbed five points when a pass to a free Michael Furness would have been the easier option. Then the stallion – Ebenezer Ikediashi – galloped through with a handful of Gravesend defenders putting their name forward for the runway vacancy at Gatwick. Jamie McDowall bagged a second after a well worked team move from a lineout.

George Hixson then joined the brace brigade after a crafty ruck turnover from Hans and a lush series of passes on the short side. With a silky run in the dying moments, KK signed off proceedings with another five points. Like a brightly coloured, tailored jacket, he could quite easily fit into a team at a very high level of the game.

Champagne and flare popping celebrations ensued after the final whistle. At one point there was fears Paul Charlesworth’s ceremonial speech would be extended penning approval from Brussels. Thankfully though this rumour was unfounded. Revelry continued long into the night. And then into Sunday. And Monday. Whilst Sam Forrest lost his head and received a yellow card on the pitch, there was a danger of the one the squad physically losing their head on the open bus tour of Beckenham on Sunday. For anyone arranging a similar journey, please note the Birkbeck bridge is deceptively low.

Thank you to all those behind the scenes that made the day so special and for those who donated generously during the charity raffle. It will be our 125th anniversary next season and we are back in London One South. The future is bright. The future is blue and gold.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

Key moments

17:00
Try Keita Orelaja scores for Beckenham
17:00
Conversion Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
31:00
Try Alex Jones scores for Beckenham
31:00
Conversion Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
36:00
Try Try for Gravesend
42:00
Try Reegan Tarbie scores for Beckenham
47:00
Try Jamie McDowall scores for Beckenham
51:00
Try George Hixson scores for Beckenham
61:00
Conversion Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
61:00
Try Ebenezer Ikediashi scores for Beckenham
71:00
Try Try for Gravesend
71:00
Conversion Conversion for Gravesend
75:00
Try Jamie McDowall scores for Beckenham
75:00
Conversion Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
78:00
Try George Hixson scores for Beckenham
80:00
Try Keita Orelaja scores for Beckenham
80:00
Conversion Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham

Videos and photos

1st XV vs Gravesend (H) 06/04/19
88 photos

Highlights

View 0 new events
80:00 Try Assist
Craig Thomson makes an assist for Beckenham
80:00 Try 55 - 12
Keita Orelaja scores for Beckenham
80:00 Conversion 50 - 12
Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
78:00 Try 48 - 12
George Hixson scores for Beckenham
78:00 Try Assist
Louis Richards makes an assist for Beckenham
78:00 Missed Conversion
Louis Richards misses a conversion for Beckenham
75:00 Try 43 - 12
Jamie McDowall scores for Beckenham
75:00 Conversion 38 - 12
Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
75:00 Try Assist
Keita Orelaja makes an assist for Beckenham
71:00 Try 36 - 10
Try for Gravesend
71:00 Conversion 36 - 12
Conversion for Gravesend
70:00 Yellow Card
Sam Forrest is yellow carded for Beckenham
61:00 Try Assist
James Curr makes an assist for Beckenham
61:00 Try 36 - 5
Ebenezer Ikediashi scores for Beckenham
61:00 Conversion 31 - 5
Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
51:00 Missed Conversion
Louis Richards misses a conversion for Beckenham
51:00 Try Assist
Keita Orelaja makes an assist for Beckenham
51:00 Try 29 - 5
George Hixson scores for Beckenham
47:00 Missed Conversion
Louis Richards misses a conversion for Beckenham
47:00 Try Assist
Louis Richards makes an assist for Beckenham
47:00 Try 24 - 5
Jamie McDowall scores for Beckenham
42:00 Try Assist
Mike Furness makes an assist for Beckenham
42:00 Missed Conversion
Louis Richards misses a conversion for Beckenham
42:00 Try 19 - 5
Reegan Tarbie scores for Beckenham
End of period 1
39:00 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Gravesend
36:00 Try 14 - 5
Try for Gravesend
36:00 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Gravesend
31:00 Try 12 - 0
Alex Jones scores for Beckenham
31:00 Conversion 14 - 0
Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
31:00 Try Assist
Louis Richards makes an assist for Beckenham
17:00 Try 5 - 0
Keita Orelaja scores for Beckenham
17:00 Try Assist
Louis Richards makes an assist for Beckenham
17:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Louis Richards kicks a conversion for Beckenham
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Beckenham
  • Gravesend
  • 0
  • Keita Orelaja Try 17:00'
  • Louis Richards Try Assist 17:00'
  • Louis Richards Conversion 17:00'
  • Alex Jones Try 31:00'
  • Louis Richards Conversion 31:00'
  • Louis Richards Try Assist 31:00'
  • Try 36:00'
  • Yellow Card 39:00'
  • Mike Furness Try Assist 42:00'
  • Reegan Tarbie Try 42:00'
  • Jamie McDowall Try 47:00'
  • Louis Richards Try Assist 47:00'
  • Keita Orelaja Try Assist 51:00'
  • George Hixson Try 51:00'
  • Ebenezer Ikediashi Try 61:00'
  • Louis Richards Conversion 61:00'
  • James Curr Try Assist 61:00'
  • Sam Forrest Yellow Card 70:00'
  • Try 71:00'
  • Conversion 71:00'
  • Louis Richards Conversion 75:00'
  • Keita Orelaja Try Assist 75:00'
  • Jamie McDowall Try 75:00'
  • Louis Richards Try Assist 78:00'
  • George Hixson Try 78:00'
  • Keita Orelaja Try 80:00'
  • Louis Richards Conversion 80:00'
  • Craig Thomson Try Assist 80:00'

Team selection

Orelaja, Keita Orelaja, Keita
Tarbie, Reegan Tarbie, Reegan
Hixson, George Hixson, George
Curr, James Curr, James
Furness, Mike Furness, Mike
Richards, Louis Richards, Louis
Thomson, Craig Thomson, Craig
Blackmore, James Blackmore, James
Laud-Anderson, Hans Laud-Anderson, Hans
Jones, Alex Jones, Alex
Smith, Josh Smith, Josh
Kenny, Henry Kenny, Henry
Murray, Graham Murray, Graham
Markey, Liam Markey, Liam
Wynter, Will Wynter, Will

League round up

Other London 2 South East results

Charlton Park
39
26
28
15
Aylesford Bulls
76
12
Maidstone
Thanet Wanderers
26
10
Old Colfeians

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Beckenham 22 96
2. Horsham 22 90
3. Charlton Park 22 87
4. Haywards Heath 22 66
5. Old Colfeians 22 66
6. Gravesend 22 57
7. Deal & Betteshanger 22 50

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