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1st XV - Match centre

Droitwich RFC
Farnham R.U.F.C.
Sat 6 May 13:00 - Cup Full time Attendance 2,500

Champagne all the way as Farnham win Twickenham trophy

From Geoff Bond, your Royal Box correspondent

What a day for the town and the rugby club as close on a 1000 supporters made the pilgrimage to the home of rugby and the final of the RFU Senior Vase.

The whole atmosphere at the club was ramped up as, from as early as 8 o'clock, supporters started to arrive. With Television interviews out of the way the team was greeted on to the first team pitch by 500 supporters - Bolle, one of the club sponsors, presented each squad member with a pair of sunglasses turning the squad into some sort of Mafia reunion. Spirits were high as the boys were applauded off the field and on to the team coach - closely followed by the flotilla of supporter coaches and cars. The day of all days - the most important in the club's history was underway.

Twickenham was awash with colour, four finals were scheduled for the day - the Junior Vase at 11, Farnham v Droitwich at 1, Intermediate Cup at 3 and, finally, the Under 20 County Final at 5. The whole operation with eight sets of supporters, committee lunches and drinks areas and receptions was run with almost military precision. The Farnham Camp in the North Car Park, erected by John Wicken's Team, another club committee member and volunteer, was swamped with excited supporters - pre game drinks and the talk of victory. The Farnham Faithful were ready.

The supporters massed in the cavernous West Stand and both teams were presented on the pitch to the RFU and Club Presidents - as kick off approached the noise from both sets of supporters was deafening.

Kick off to Droitwich and the game of a lifetime under way.

Farnham under early pressure as successive pick and drives and rolling mauls, the Droitwich game plan throughout, started to make inroads into the Farnham half. Momentum with the Midlands Champions. Respite as the referee penalises the Droitwich No 8 Horton and Farnham fly half Toby Salmon lifts the siege with a spiralling kick to touch - line out success - hooker Lenny Jennings on target to Toby Comley - at last ball for Oli Brown - the backs through Toby Salmon and brother skipper Michael stretch the opposition first right then back across the field testing the Droitwich defence - crash ball to Corlett recycled and Weeks pops the ball in field to the predatory Gabe Hills - jinking run to the line plus an extra ten metres in for good measure - openers for Farnham with the kick from Toby Salmon 7-0 on 5 minutes.

Droitwich proud of their 100 per cent record played 26 - won 26 come back with a vengeance and their narrow driving game frustrates Farnham - stifled of any possession Farnham's frustration mounts. The front row of Naisbitt, Jennings and Joris are beginning to dominate the bigger Droitwich pack - the Williams boys and Luke Batten adding their bulk - first scrums and the Midlanders are shunted back - Pete Daly at 8 for Farnham starts his own battle, the first of seemingly countless charges on the day - the big man attracts 3 sometimes 4 to haul him down - a human battering ram - the result - space created for others.

Pop pass to Luke Batten on the charge - the last desperate stretch to the line - knock on and the chance a begging. With a quarter of the game gone Droitwich start to gain their own momentum with a sustained series of driving attacks - penalty and the classy fly half Bobby Scott Walker calmly slotted the penalty. 7-3 but the signs of a Droitwich revival are looking ominous - the driving maul is starting to eat in to the Farnham defence - time after time held short of the line Droitwich persist with the power game, props Poke and Sherwell to the fore - five metre line out and another maul - this is attritional - O'Brien over and easy extras for Scott-Walker 7-10 with the Midlanders in the ascendancy on the half hour.

The teams are slugging it out on the hallowed turf - Farnham starved of the ball and the impetus with the Midlands side as half time approaches - a rare Farnham break out by Mike Salmon - held - illegally signals the referee and with the clock in the red Toby Salmon kicks the points, against the run of play, to regain parity at the interval.

Farnham take the game by the scruff and a series of Pete Daly inspired charges end deep into the Droitwich half - penalty and that man Toby Salmon takes the spoils, Farnham back in the lead. Are Droitwich starting to wilt - out wide they are vulnerable and a Salmon pair attack frees up Corlett, held but Gabe Hills wriggles free and stretches the Droitwich defence to score after a 30 metre sprint. Salmon with the conversion 20-10 on 50 minutes.

The killer blow - again the Salmons in tandem forty metres made and on to the supporting back row Davidson and Comley - Club Captain Dave Hurley steaming up the right wing to score wide out and the Flawless Toby S - the favourite one - takes the extras 27-10.

Droitwich will not lie down, a testament to their fitness levels and bloody mindedness to protect their unbeaten record - again the ball goes route one - maul after strength sapping maul and finally flanker Knight breaks the deadlock 27-15 with the conversion from the touch line shaving the post.

The next score is vital.

Hurley off and Ben Jones on - immediately in the action with an aggressive, twisting, turning run - scrum and with 15 minutes to go Pete Daly and Dan Williams aided by 'Trods' Trodden and Jonny Davidson grab the initiative back with the direct approach - smashing up the middle with support to hand - the driving maul saps, this approach splinters. The Midlanders resolve is stretched - penalty and Toby Salmon takes his tally to 17 and the Man of the Match award 30-15 and a lead of more than two scores.

The clock is running down as the supporters beg for more - the boys don't disappoint as Ed Weeks raids down the wing - held but the back row battering rams take the move on to free up Mike Salmon for the Captain's coup de grace. Brother Toby does the rest 37-15 and the brave Droitwich effort finally shudders to a halt.

A great game of rugby on a fitting setting with a tremendous day for all the supporters that will stay long in the memory.

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