2s kick off 2019 with impressive win against Westcombe
By Michael Timms
Final score 34-29
Saturday the 5th January saw the 2nd XV welcome old rivals, Westcombe Park, to Balmoral Avenue in what promised to be a hotly contested match.
The previous meeting between the two sides had seen Westcombe Park come out winners in a closely fought match, but Beckenham approached the game full of confidence after a tough week of training after Christmas.
After a sloppy start and some poor one-on-one tackling, the hosts soon found themselves 0 – 10 down to a very motivated Westcombe Park team. It was clear that if Beckenham did not adapt to the physical nature of the game, they would find themselves on the wrong side of the result.
Things began to change as Beckenham realised that they could achieve success by moving the ball wide and increasing the tempo of the match. The home side’s first score came after a 60m break from Ben Petty, who was enjoying his first match back after a knee injury, was finished off superbly by the very impressive teenager, Reegan Tarbie.
After some more fantastic work from the Beckenham back division, Connor Duffy levelled the scores with a well taken penalty from 40m out, 10 – 10.
In a game that was proving to be Beckenham’s pacey backline VS Westcombe’s muscular forwards, the next score came from some fantastic defensive pressure from the home side. After a series of tough defensive sets, Beckenham forced an error that Petty was able to pounce on and race in untouched from his own half to bring the score to 17 – 10.
The momentum was very much in Beckenham’s favour now, with all players really starting to play with confidence. The next score went Beckenham’s way after a sloppy clearance from the Westcombe winger allowed the ever impressive Eb Ikediashi to storm over from the opposition 22m line. Beckenham now led 24 – 10.
Westcombe Park fought hard to get a foothold back in the game and used their large, mobile pack very effectively. After a series of driving line outs, they found themselves hammering the Beckenham line with a relentless effort from the forward pack around the ruck. This proved to be very successful and they were able to use this tactic to score two quick tries, bringing the score to 24 – 22.
In what was already an enthralling encounter, both teams were to score again to ensure a nail-biting finish, with the score at 31 – 29 in Beckeham’s favour.
The moment of the match came amidst another multi-phase attack from the visitors, with centre Rhys Roberts winning an exceptional turnover under a huge amount of pressure. Beckenham showed a huge amount of maturity and composure in the final minutes of the game and eventually forced a penalty in the final play, which was duly converted to take the final score to 34 – 29.
In what was an excellent game of rugby, the 2nd XV produced their best performance of the season to defeat a well-drilled and motivated Westcombe Park side. The result, and more importantly, the performance, prove what the 2nd XV are capable of and should serve as a reminder that more success will be achieved through regular training and high levels of player availability.