What a cracking game played in the right spirit by both teams.
Firstly, as Medway were caught short yesterday - and I mean in terms of their numbers and not that they shared a house with SnowWhite - we had to ask several of our players to play for them in the first and last sessions and, as usual, our response was fantastic - THANK YOU FOR THAT.
The first (of three 20 minute sessions) finished 0-0; not that the scoreline reflected the efforts of either team. It was a cracking 20 minutes and though we didn't score this was probably down to us taking our time to get going, the quality of the defence and giving up a bit of ball at the breakdown (AGAIN). The positive was that Medway didn't score either, which was down to some great tackling.
Matt Lane-Miller who started at 15 worked really well, though a lack of pressure on their midfield frustrated the coaches. And for his first start at 9, Fraser Latimer did well and finished off the session with a wee break that really took the pressure of us in our 22.
The middle session (12 v 12 at Medway's request) was interesting and suited the Medway team, with pace to burn (and all that open space). Although, we lost 2 tries in this session and didn't score any we came close with Matt in the corner - only a good cover tackle by their 12 (their stand-out player) prevented him going over.
The forwards came close too so while we came out 10 - 0 down we were starting to play some rugby now; with our scrum getting stronger and livelier too! One good thing that was positive was that there was no sense of panic behind the posts after the scores, just resolution to get better. Cameron Allan caught a couple of the re-starts after good chases and made yards down the pitch - obviously Cam will claim it was the chase and Aled Price the quality of the kicking (more of this later) - but we'll let them discuss the merits of the kick / chase!
The final session saw us playing with some confidence and belonged to Horsham. We were winning ball, running it well and, at last, showing that we could make things happen. The passing was slicker, people were running off the ball and supporting the ball carrier. How right then that it should be our wingers who scored our tries.
The first try saw Zac Smith get the ball and hurtle towards their 22 where, having been tracked down by their 12, he cut back inside. Their defence was coming across in numbers and altho he had a couple of our players with him, a wee skip, a shimmy or two and he was away again to score. A richly deserved try and great finish.
The second try, following good work from the forwards to win the ball, saw a clever miss pass to Jerome Downey which found him with a wee bit of space but still in our own half. Gas on and he's cleared their defence except their last man. A quick in and out, gas on again and away on the outside - result - a score under the posts. Both sets of parents appaluding a well taken try.
The final Horsham try, again from more good ball carrying saw us with an overlap in their 22. Twinkle toes Smith (so close to touch) sprinted past their defence to score in the corner. We were now in the lead and deservedly so.
Not long to go, conversion not really important (unlike last week when pressure was immense) and up comes Aled. Kicked well from hand and tee all day but not expected to get this one; uphill, wrong side for a right footer, right on touchline (thanks Zac). You kicked well last week Aled but this final conversion was superb.
Final action of the match saw Medway bag another deserved try.
Final result : 21 - 15 to us.
Match reporter - Malky Allan