Revenge at Rye
By Matt Marriott
28 - 48
Our last trip to Rye, earlier in the season, saw us comprehensively beaten by a large, physical and skillful side, so it was with some apprehension that we travelled the long journey south, in this our last game of the season, with a slightly patched together team. With several regular 2s missing, and our 9 and 10 dropping out late on, we were forced into playing hooker, Tom, at scrum half, while a couple of beers persuaded Titch to wear the 10 shirt for the first time as a senior. Any worries I may have had about this only deepened, as Rye scored two quick fire converted tries, to leave the scoreboard showing 14 - 0 to our hosts.
I wonder if it was Rye’s exuberant celebration of these scores that stung us into action, certainly something changed at this point. Titch broke the line, fed Sammy, who streaked down the middle, timing his pass to the supporting Oli Brown who ran in under the sticks. Our confidence grew still more as Marriott junior scored acrobatically in the corner to reduce the deficit still more.
Any thoughts we may have had that Rye’s heads would drop, were soon put to bed, as more powerful running through the middle, saw another converted try to the red and whites, and the score was now 21 - 12, but now we knew we could score! Darren, who had his best game for the club, ripped the ball on the oppo line and plunged over to keep things interesting, before lovely hands saw no. 8 Halligey in the wide chanels, with only the winger to beat (Poor boy). It was an unfair match up, and the big man dove in after swatting the unfortunate defender contemptuously away. This meant we led for the first time 21 - 22. There was still time for young George to crash over after wonderful work by the whole team, phase after phase until the opposition defence finally snapped. The whistle went for the half with us leading by 8.
Having kept the tempo high in the first period, we now looked to control territory and possession and Titch executed brilliantly, with boot and hands. Gus and Liam were ferocious in the tackle all game, and Liam was waltzing through the defence, seemingly at will. Lamps had another wonderful game, solid under the restart and so effective in his return running, ably supported by Jon and Halligey, these three battered the Rye defensive line making huge dents repeatedly. A pressured clearance from the oppo, saw the ball drop to Zach, returning from three weeks out with a shoulder problem, our very own stuntman was eager to get in on the try scoring action as he rounded four defenders in his long run to the line! George smashed over for his brace, and there was still time for Marriott senior to flop over after a deft offload from Lamps. The only second half blemish, saw the excellent Rye 10, power through some halfhearted tackling, to score a well deserved consolation.
So many MoM contenders this week. Liam back to his best, Halligey so powerful, George everywhere, both half backs exceptional. But my MoM this week goes to Darren Gwynne. What a game he had, in the scrum, powerful carries, and even a meat pie!! Well done brother. DotD goes to Lamps, who needs to learn to actually score when he’s over the line - It’s not American football buddy?
The league table shows us at the top, 6 points clear of Crowborough. Our rivals still have two games in hand however, but you never know!!! It has been a funny old season, with so little consistency across the team, but this was a brilliant way to finish - Thank you so much to the boys at Rye who were fantastic. I’m so so proud of everyone who has played and supported us throughout the year, thank you all so much - bring on next season!!