Gannets fall short again
By Matt Clarke
Gillingham just had a bit too much for the Gannets in a hard hitting encounter.
You kind of get the idea that maybe it's not going to be your day when there's colour in the pre match warm ups.Everyones favourite Emerald Isled lunatic,Gary Curran's elbow found its way into the face of on loan Swan Pierre du Toit,causing a blood injury before the game had even got underway.A quick bit of bandaging from Mayhem however and he was good to go...let's just hope his Christmas present wrapping is better than his head wrapping though.
The early exchanges saw the Gannets taking it to their visitors and coming out on top in the scrums until our second injury of the day came via Jamie Feighery's shoulders connecting with the Anchorians centres chin in a textbook display of how not to tackle a big guy.After a brief 'lights out' moment he thankfully left the field but was unbelievably allowed back on before the end of the half.I guess the HIA hasn't quite reached Gillingham yet..anyway,a Connor Watkins penalty on 10 ten minutes was followed up by Ash Tester ratting his way through the legs of the Anchorians defence to score under the posts.Being 5 foot 2 has it's advantages you know.
With things seemingly under control the Gannets then imploded in typical fashion,undoing their excellent multiple phase goal line stand minutes earlier missing tackles and allowing Gillingham two quick tries to level things up at 10 a piece going into the half.
Matters didn't improve in the second with the visitors scoring almost straight from the kickoff ,waltzing in through a static defence to take a 17-10 lead.This fired the Gannets back into action,temporarily at least with the forwards taking matters into their own hands with the hard yards gained around the fringes by the likes of Ryan Hanes,Pierre and second Saffa,Vaughan until the ball found Jamie Feighery lurking inconspicuously in the backfield,who then proceeded to do what he does best and skittle a couple of players en route to the posts.
This revival was brief though as Gillingham made life tough for the Gannets by moving the ball around the pitch,stretching the defence until the gap finally appeared for them to exploit for another converted try and a 24-17 lead.
A late rally was on the cards now in order to salvage a draw and the Gannets duly obliged.The reintroduction of the semi injured Paddy (knee) and semi rattled Shuttlewood (nutting the floor) helped the cause but they were repelled at the line several times and a knock on,not sure who by but i'll say Mayhem,bringing the game to a close.
As we seem be saying most weeks now,there was no disgrace in losing to this Anchorians outift.Although the Gannets largely bossed the scrums,the visitors were just a little bit sharper in the open,especially when it came to finding support in the tackle,their offloads gaining countless metres.
Onto New Ash Green next week and SURELY i'll be writing up a Gannets win because god knows they're due one...oh no hang on..their first team are playing RBS next Saturday.
Until next time...