Another tough afternoon for the Gannets
League new boys hand defeat to Gravesend's fourth team
The curiously named Kent Cinque 4 West (Cinque is apparently the latest Shepherd Neame beer - if only we had 5 divisions...) kicked off this weekend with the first of three consecutive away games for the Gannets, beginning the season being a trip to Edenbridge.
Despite the anticipated excitement of the opening match of the season, the Gannets were scratching around all week to get a team together so it was a relief when 16 players showed up to Edenbridge. Big thanks to Matt O'connor, Paolo and John Booth playing their first games for the Gannets and massive thanks to Ash Tester and Jamie Feighery
playing out of position to allow contested scrums.
Perhaps feeling like the battle has been won by getting a team together isn't the best preparation as the Gannets conceded early in the match after failing to clear their lines in damp conditions from the kick off. However after giving the opposition that headstart the Gannets defended admirably for the remainder of the first half. Unfortunately there was very little chance to attack back at their hosts with more spilled ball at fly half (Ben Baker
) and soggy conditions hampering the few opportunities presented. Half time arrived with score at 17-0.
In the second half the Gannets had some better phases and managed to spend some time in their opponents half, scoring one try with an impressive finish from Dan Beazer and nearly getting another if only Mike Percival had a transparent back to allow the ref to see the grounding!
Unfortunately a few mistakes at the beginning and end of the half presented a good Edenbridge side, led by their omnipresent openside and strong-running, quick-stepping centre, with plenty of chances to add further to their score.
Credit must go to the away team today for sticking to their task as best they were able, even with the game getting away from them every player in black and white continued to put their body on the line, making tackles and competing at the breakdown, albeit that competition did cost the side a number of penalties.
Hopefully there will be other fixtures this season which are more evenly matched, both in terms of scoreline and squad numbers (the waiver of the 18 player squad limit never being mentioned, or observed, by the hosts and not considered worth enforcing by the referee). Perhaps then the Gannets might have the chance to secure the victories their efforts deserve.
Praise must still to the home side though for participating in a fair, good natured match, and making the most of the chances they were able to create. Best wishes to them for the remainder of the season.