Lucky 13 for Gannets
Perri nails it when it matters with the last kick of the game to nick it for the 13 man Gannets
A stiff breeze combined with the low sun,the god awful sloping Gannets pitch and a late ref aren't your typical ingredients for a keenly contested,tight game of rugby,but that's exactly what somehow managed to transpire this afternoon with the hosts outscoring their visitors by a single point.Had the wind behaved itself,Perris last minute penalty would not have turned out to be a game winner with two of his three conversions bang on for accuracy but held up in the wind.
With the Anchorians arriving with the bare 15 they graciously allowed the Gs two extra subs to allow for players returning from injury and of course,little Willie who returned without his socks.
The Gannets played into the wind for the first 40 and it was only to be expected that the Anchorians would be putting them under pressure with the kicking game and so it proved,but the backs held firm and returned the ball upfield with interest each time..by the way,if anyone knows what 'stop f*cking kicking it' is in Lithuanian is,could you let me know?
Ash Tester made the early breakthrough after fine work from his forward colleagues,driving him over for the score in what has to be the worlds smallest...endzone? Is that what it's called?
The ensuing kickoff hung and swirled around in the breeze,causing havoc in the Gs defence and despite a decent goal line stand a 5 metre tap penalty caught the hosts napping to the point where even the Gillingham 9 wasn't sure if he' d scored.But score he did and they found themselves 5-7 up.
The sideline chat between laughing at Welshys cynophobia and Bromleys post scrum cap barnet was that this score was just a temporary setback and this proved to be the case when Steve Wootton bust through some inexplicably poor tackling to go over in corner and Mike Percival soon added to the tally with his trademark crash over the line.
So despite some filthy sidestepping from Dan Bromley,some uncharacteristically safe hands from Mayhem and ian shuttlewood,no further scores were added and the housewives favourites went into the break with a healthy enough lead.Talk at the half was about keeping the penalty count and not chirping the ref...
..and they pretty much managed to ignore that advice for the majority of the second half as time again they were marched downfield for an assortment of infringements.Matters weren't helped when the Anchorians 9 went off injured and was replaced by Ben Baker who proceeded to take the piss by playing better in purple than he did in black and white with some ridiculous back handed passing.
With the visitors going over in the corner to make it 15-12 with around 20 minutes left,it wasn't quite squeaky bum time yet,but the penalty count was gradually creeping up along with the tension as Gillingham threw everything at the Gannets in the closing stages.Two yellow cards in quick succession for Perce and chubby Novak meant that they would finish the game with 13 men and the inevitable was delayed until maybe 2 minutes from time when the Anchorians 9 found the gap in a tired defence to score under the posts.With the wind dropping,the conversion should have been a formality but the kicker somehow contrived to hit the post.Protector.
So with less than 2 minutes remaining,2 points and 2 men down,it was surely beyond the Gannets to pull this one out of the fire...
Bens kickoff was left alone by Gillingham.Maybe they thought it was heading into touch,who knows but Perri wasn't hanging around as he fielded the ball and cut inside to set up the ruck.Three or four harem scarem phases later and the Gannets were awarded a penalty.For what,i don't know but it was 30 metred out and in front of the sticks.This time with the wind at his back Perri made no mistake and slotted what proved to be the game winner.
The Gannets celebrated as if they'd won,i dunno,something big,something really big and not an end of season battle for mid table obscurity.Maybe it was a little harsh on the Anchorians who'd fought valiantly to take the lead after a first half where they were mostly under the cosh,but hey,who cares.
So with the spoils going to the mighty Gannets all that was left was for them to be clapped off by their vanquished foes to the call of 'three cheers for Old Gravesendians'
Until next time....