Move over Dover!
Richard Hooper reports on the return of Trumpet action at Gravesend RFC
As The Trumpets turned up to Rectory Field on a dull, wet, grey day They knew they had a job to do. Dover sitting just behind them in the league, it was all to play for.
During the week, Dover agreed to a bigger bench so The Trumpets had a very strong 5, waiting with baited breath. Unfortunately, for Dover, they were somewhat let down, as they arrived we were informed they were only 17 as people had blown out, and in warm up told us they were only 15 and 14 pairs of shorts, which we helped out with, finding a small pair of shorts was a challenge!
The game started with The Trumpets opting to receive, they took the ball from the KO but unfortunately Dorton was unable to quite find touch, Dover’s 7 was hanging back and took the ball well, only to be met by Captain Kelly, who made his first hit of the day. Dover recycled the ball well and retained possession and attacking well. Unfortunately due to some silly penalties, from The Trumpets, and some odd calls, from the man with the whistle, who took a instant dislike to Captain Kelly, Dover pushed towards our line and got within kicking distance of the posts, leaving with the 3 points.
The Trumpets seemed very quiet, the week off showing, and maybe a bit of complacency. However, they returned with a good kick off and started to welcome Dover in true Trumpet style, turning over ball and attacking/defending hard. A nice chip through the middle saw Rob Roles chase but he couldn’t resist pushing the player in the back and caught the ball on the bounce along with a whistle and a penalty, back down the park we go. Apparently though it was deemed ok to push/trip players when Morgan returned a good kick, chased it up but Dover’s 11 thought pushing him to the side and tripping him would go unnoticed, it didn’t by everyone other than the referee.
The pressure continued and The Trumpets were awarded a penalty, yes, the referee had two arms, to be nicely slotted by Dorton. 3-3.
After this Dover attacked hard again and The Trumpets ended up back in their 22, 5m out fending off Dover. Trumpets made a change in the front row, Hoops for Haffenden, unfortunately after the scrum a silly off side allowed Dover another stab at goal, converted 3-6.
This seemed to blow some air in the Trumpet’s and on 33 minutes Andrius broke up the wing, after some good hands from Dorton and Kelly, bouncing players, being supported by Hoops and Kelly, Andrius passing the ball to Kelly to go over in the corner, conversion missed by Dorton, 8-6
Now the Trumpet’s were in full flow, but once again some silly penalties helped Dover walk down the park to within kicking distance, conversion kicked, 35 minutes 8-9.
The last thing The Trumpets wanted was to go into halftime with a deficit, so they pushed hard and some strong runs from the team as a whole meant they were awarded a penalty 5 yards out. Opting for the scrum, in true Trumpet style they drove them over the line, unfortunately knocked on by Wilkinson. They then put a huge amount of pressure on and Dover gave away a penalty again, “we will have another scrum” says Captain Kelly. That they did, and put an immense amount of pressure on Dover, forcing them to pop up like weeds giving away the third penalty, resulting in Trumpets being awarded the penalty try and conversion, on the 40th minute, 15-9, this is how they wanted to be going into half time.
No substitutions half time and some stern words they went out with our heads on to put the second half to bed. This, they did as two minutes into the half, the ever reliable, Danny O’Sullivan broke trough the line from their own 10 Yard line to score under the posts, being chased by an array of Dover players none of which quite had DannyO’s pace. Conversion Dorton. 22-9.
Some 5 minutes later The Trumpets were awarded another penalty and Dorton put it away safely increasing the lead 25-9.
From Dover’s kick off The Trumpets attacked immediately and some good running from all the backs and forwards they started making their way down the pitch. Another cheeky run from Andrius down the wing, assisted by Hoops and then off loaded to Hoops, for him to run into a player and bounce the player back, 3m. Assisting with the forwards the ball was won back and kicked for the line. A few more runs from all involved, with Rob Roles and Jon Cokell, all running and breaking lines, but the last pass not quite happening.
A few more substitutions, Dadson, who had been playing well, got cramp, most probably the alcohol wearing off, saw the welcome back of The Trumpets very own Thor, thrilled with the idea he has got to put his head back up Hoops’s arse, another 2 changes Woz for George “Ginge” Corrigan and Morgan for Lund.
Unfortunately, at 62 minutes The Trumpets resident goat,Greg Roles, who had been stealing ball all game, got a yellow card for cuddling a player, which apparently allowed his brother to steal the ball.
The Trumpets ever reliable and loyal leader then substituted himself to allow a now not cramped Dadson back on, a true leader, sacrificing his game to allow the youngsters development time, well done skip.
With 14 men on the park thet found that little bit extra and kept Dover away. Sclanders then took his weekly head injury allowing Harry Gillham to step back in the 9 position.
Return of Greg, the referee showing a yellow card to Dover gave us the extra man now and then more attacking from The Trumpets forced Dover back. With the extra man and a scrum on Dover’s 5 they pushed on for Wilkinson to pick and go, not wishing to repeat his earlier mistake, and scored, promptly followed by another Dorton conversion. 32-9 76 minutes.
Trumpets attacked from the kick off and trundled down the park for a while, unfortunately, Dover made yet another silly mistake to try and stop things happening, only to find another playing making his way to the bin.
Line out on Dover’s 22. From here a well executed line out saw The Trumpets trundle down the park with a great mall and Hoops breaking free to bounce the 9 and score, again Dorton securing the 2 points, no time for the restart 39-9.
Thanks must go to Dover for a great game and for sticking at it.
Next week The Trumpets welcome Sevenoaks 3’s to Rectory Field, 2.30 KO. They are top of the league so a tough game is on the cards.
All support would be appreciated come down, don your Trumpet badges and cheer on a bunch of blokes who love rolling around in mud on a Saturday afternoon for the black and white hoops. ????