Deal & Betts 2nds. 22 v GRFC 3s. 26
A decimated trumpets squad battle to tough win over gutsy opponents,
In a game that could have gone either way right up to the last play.
On an ideal day for rugby, the mighty Trumpets headed down to the Kent coast for the second league fixture of the season, following on from last weeks tough home defeat to Judds.
It was a hard week for new Trumpets captain Bren "gun" Kelly as the squad had been decimated through injuries, work & holidays, the side being bolstered by a few fourth teamers who didn't have a game, even so, they went with only a bare 15.
The game started brightly with both sides tussling to take control & neither giving an inch, the difference between the sides being the Trumpets set piece which was back to its dominant best, & the 100% kicking of Wozza. Mckee.
The early exchanges resulted in penalties being exchanged until the 37 minute when the trumpets half backs finally used the devastating ball carrying of their centre partnership resulting in Craig "cumander" Larney running in under the posts from 30m out.
The game could have run away from Deal & Betts but a succession of dubious penalties resulted in the home side scoring a converted try with the last play of the half, to turn around 10-13 at half time.
The 2nd half started with Wozza kicking another penalty to increase the lead but again the home side fought back, with a converted try to give them a 17-16 advantage.
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" & none are tougher than Richard Hooper, who after a spell of sustained pressure barrelled his way over from 10m out, again converted. Once again Deal &Betts came back with an unconverted try. 22-23.
With 10 minutes to go the tension grew, with the game in the balance, Deal & Betts making subsistutions to freshen up their team & the GRFC side battling fatigue & injuries, but unable to make replacements, still they battled on forcing a penalty from the home side, duly converted by Wozza, taking his points tally to 16 for the match.
With 3 minutes to go a try would have won the game for the home side, but the character of the Trumpets shone through, with none stepping aside until the final whistle blew & the points won.
Next week sees the return of a number of players from injury & absences, & given the expected quality of the opposition, Thanet Wanderers, they will be most welcomed back.
Experience tells us the more games the Trumpeters play the stronger & slicker they get, the fuse is lit, now wait for the bang !