Disappointing Farnham fall at the last hurdle
The travelling faithful were nonplussed this was a sleepy Farnham, no zip something was missing.
After the sumptuous feast of two weeks ago against league leaders Camberley, Farnham travelled to Richmond to take on newcomers Old Tonbridgians (OTs).
The weather was appalling. Windy, swirling rain enveloped the pitch as the team's warmed up. However, as forecast, the weather began to clear and by kick off, apart from the odd breeze, only the pitch would cause the players trouble. Kicking with the wind Farnham began tentatively allowing the OTs to take the initiative with a succession of driving mauls to the Farnham try line. The defence stood firm and after a breakout by Flyhalf Toby Salmon released James Corlett, Farnham were held. Not releasing at the breakdown and the penalty opportunity taken by Mike Salmon 3-0.
The travelling faithful were nonplussed this was a sleepy Farnham, no zip something was missing. The black and whites were not at the races perhaps it was the peach away strip affecting the boys.
Back came Tonbridge driven on by their forwards - a catch and drive, held then reset - try under the posts 7-3.
Still no sustained passages of play from the lacklustre visitors. Sport is often a leveller and this was proving to be one of those days - no spark, a few heads drop and it becomes infectious. OTs were on a roll, playing for position then capitalising - another driving maul out wide and again prop Macintosh crashes over. 12-3.
At last a spark from the visitors. Comley breaks into the 22 and on by Markham to win a penalty for Salmon Snr 12-6. But the euphoria short lived, a half break from the kick off and OTs crash over wide out. 17-6. Half time.
A cagey start to the second saw half Farnham beginning to improve from the first half sleepy malaise. But it proves to be a false dawn. Penalty Tonbridge 20-6.
Individuals began to spark life into the Farnham effort. Dan Williams and Ben Adams in the second row started to make the hard yards driven on by front rowers Naisbitt, Davidson and Trodden - a resurgence from nowhere. Catch and drive and Ben Adams over for a try 20-11.
An attack by OT was turned over and a mass breakout spearheaded by Olly Brown and on to Toby Comley whose pop pass to Toby Salmon allowed him to score out wide. 20-16.
The game is opening up as the sapping pitch and weather begin to take their toll. Another Tonbridge attack snaffled by fullback Elliot Richardson at full pace, chip and chase and over in the corner 20-21. Farnham lead unexpectedly and in truth undeservedly with just two minutes to go.
Tonbridge regroup and drive into the heart of the Farnham defence. A silly penalty is conceded and the win for the visitors is snatched away. The final icing on the cake for OTs is a gift try to seal a 28-21 bonus point win.
Rugby is mostly about attitude and on this day OTs desire was far greater than the visitors. Unusual but sometimes you can look around a dressing room and know that a team is just not on song. This was the case and it was a disappointed Farnham that made the trip back home. "Never again," was the message from a frustrated skipper Mike Salmon. Lessons have been learned.
Next week's opponents are old rivals Purley John Fisher - a chance for the boys to put things right.
Toby Comley 3 - tremendous throughout.
Elliott Richardson - 2 scored what should have been the match winning try.
Olly Brown - 1 bossed the biggies and fronted up throughout.