Sat 14
1st XV
32
-
22
League
Beckenham
T Johnson (2)
Penalties
M Condon, A Linfield, D Nwachukwu, J Bell
Tries
T Johnson (3)
Conversions
Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell

By Richard Ordidge
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Horsham secure first win after great Beckenham comeback


Horsham secured their first win in London 1 South in a nail-biting match for the home supporters. The Green and Whites set the early pace, in front of a large home crowd of 200 in warm and sunny conditions, creating a seemingly unassailable 21 point lead, only for Beckenham to make a remarkable comeback.

The visitors then dominated the middle part of the game scoring 22 points without reply before Horsham finished strongly with a converted try from Jordan Bell and a penalty to seal the victory.

Beckenham completed the double over Horsham last season on the way to securing the London 2 South East title and memories were still fresh of the drubbing the Green and Whites encountered in the corresponding fixture last season when Eb Ikediashi and KK Orelaja ran amok.

This time, with both players missing and on the back of a strong finish against Chichester last week, Horsham entered the field of play full of confidence and belief that if they played to their potential the win was there for the taking.

Horsham started quickly. Following good phases in defence the ball was turned over and moved into attack which saw a penalty awarded at the breakdown after a high tackle from Josh Smith which was slotted by Tom Johnson.

From the kick-off, a great receipt saw the ball retained and moved through several phases across the pitch. Moving the ball to the right, Jamie Redmayne made a break and chip kicked through and Marcus Condon gathered to finish under the posts which was converted by Johnson.
A great exit play saw the ball secured following good chase, then from a good set piece Aaron Lindfield broke from the base, darted through the gap to score a very well taken try, converted by Johnson.

Horsham conceded a penalty at the breakdown which was kicked by Louis Richards. After one missed opportunity from Declan Nwachukwu, the Green and Whites secured a good field position through clever kicking. The following lineout was turned over by Horsham and from several carries by Ciaran Preston and Jack Osgood, the ball was moved via Redmayne who put Nwachukwu in to score in the corner. The try was well converted from wide out by Johnson, and after 20 minutes Horsham led 24-3.

With no further scores added both sides went into the half time break and it was Beckenham who exploded into life adding three tries in 12 minutes from James Cleverly, Will Berry and Andrew Knowles, two of which were converted by Richards to narrow the deficit to 24-22.

Horsham were rattled and it required some great footwork from fly-half Jordan Bell and then the pace to accelerate away from the defence to calm the fraying nerves of the home support. Although the conversion attempt was uncharacteristically missed by Johnson after ten successful consecutive kicks in the league season to date he made amends minutes later with a thumping penalty from the half way line to secure the win.

An elated Horsham head coach Nick Stocker reflected on the win: “It was great to get the 5 points in a league where every point will be precious this season. Our first half was very good with our set piece, kicking game and continuity all working well. In defence we were aggressive and Beckenham struggled to get into the game. That said, the 15 minutes immediately after half time were poor where we compounded our mistakes with rash decisions to allow Beckenham back into the game conceding three soft tries.

We were pleased that we arrested this slide and with our bonus point try on 58 minutes went back to the first half and controlled the game from then on. We still need to be more clinical when we have fashioned try scoring opportunities as we left four clear opportunities out there, one of which was a fine last ditch tackle on Declan Nwachukwu whilst in full flight and would normally result in a try.

The front row was excellent today with strong work at the set piece against a big unit and good carries from all four of the guys that took the field. Jonny Goward was strong at the ruck and disrupted the opposition lineout well whereas Jamie Redmayne and Jordan Smith worked hard with telling contributions throughout. In the backs Joe Wilde had a good game with the back three offering threats throughout. In a close contest, man of the match was ultimately decided by the opposition who managed to separate the excellent Aaron Linfield who had a great game and awarded Vince Everitt as man of the match who was a thorn in Beckenham's side all afternoon.

Next week we visit HAC who are somewhat of an unknown quantity having transferred across from London 1 North for this season. Having played two contenders for the top spots this season, they will be a very tough proposition and a great opportunity to build on the good performances so far.”

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Match details

Match date

Sat 14, Sep 2019

Kickoff

15:00

Meet time

13:30

Competition

London 1 South

League position

7
Horsham
12
Beckenham
Vince Everitt

Player of the match

Vince Everitt