Farnham suffer last kick defeat
With the game won, all Farnham had to do was keep the ball
Incandescent to furious to just angry as Farnham squandered an opportunity to clip the heels of third placed Twickenham at Monkton Lane.
Having done all the hard work to get back into the game and with the game won – all Farnham had to do was keep the ball and kick for touch. Job done with four league points in the bag.
The outcome: Farnham penalty and Mike Salmon and Andy Naisbitt discuss possibilities. Salmon for the three points and a shot at goal, skipper Naisbitt get it off the pitch and game over. The result: the touch kick is missed and Twickenham come back in the last chance saloon inexorably winding down the metres towards the Farnham try line culminating in a well-constructed maul and the penalty awarded.
Foster, the Twickenham fullback, who enjoyed a flawless afternoon, was never going to miss. 21-22 and victory snatched from Farnham’s grasp.
What a battle! Total commitment from both sides with formidable defences countering varied attacks. More action than the England v Argentina game being shown on the big screens. A proud advert for junior rugby.
The rain had cleared for the kick off. Third versus fifth in the league was always going to be an out and out contest. Farnham on the retreat in the early exchanges, unusually untidy, the scrum under pressure with a rejigged front row. A sweeping series of attacks by the visitors and the Farnham defence has to be measured, frantic last-ditch tackles and Bond with a turnover. Salmon with the relieving kick straight into the arms of the Twickenham prop James. A prop on the charge is akin to a rogue elephant, pumped up at having caught the ball without any help, there was no stopping the rampage. 0-5 with a superb Foster conversion from the touch line. 0-7.
Farnham, notorious slow starters, continue to give up the ball. Promising attacks thwarted and turned over – patience required. The pack with Gareth Yeomans and Kieran Marshall in for Joris and Jennings, both injured, under pressure from the Twickenham scrum. Penalty for the corner and the catch and drive smashed back by the Farnham pack. Frost, Adams and skipper Naisbitt to the fore. Turnover Bond and the relieving kick attempted. The Farnham faithful are shaking their collective head as the kick is scuffed straight back to the opposition. Twickenham flanker Moore is over wide out for the try. 0-12 with Foster just past the post.
Farnham settle and late arrivals would consider that Farnham then controlled the final 59 minutes of the game. If it had extended to all 60, the points would have been secure.
Pete Daly and Dan Williams, on for Ben Adams, start to make inroads. But the Twickenham defence is organised, aggressive, all encompassing and Farnham are battered back. The visitors kicking game, helped by a straight down the pitch breeze and a greasy surface, is excellent. Moore from fullback squeezing yards out of teasing relieving kicks.
Farnham reset and attack again, three then four line out catch and drives are frustrated. Twickenham are gnarly and organised. As the clock winds down the first half, a final fifth onslaught is finished by Daly – easy for Michael Salmon 7-12 with the breeze to come for Farnham in the second half.
The big crowd expects and Farnham go for the throat from the off.
Corlett and Salmon through the centre with stand-in fly half Andrew Freshwater, enjoying a superb first outing for the 1st team this season, pulling the strings. A good combination with Oli Brown and wings Elliot Rich and Connor Rumpson providing pace. The Middlesex boys are in retreat. Fast hands to winger Jack Scullion, on for Rumpson, and a full-on collision requiring head injury assessments. Both players cleared.
Farnham penalty to the corner and Daly over for his brace. Referee on the spot. Salmon with the bonus conversion. 14-12.
Twickenham break out, are held and pushed back. Farnham under the cosh and gradually the visitors up the pressure. Prop Evans over in the corner and a superb Foster touch line conversion sees the lead restored. 14-19 with just eight minutes to go.
From the kick off – Farnham penalty, high tackle on full back Ben Jones in mid-flight. Salmon wide with the attempt. Back come Farnham from the 22 restart. Maul after maul, five metres short. Brown to Freshwater, twinkling feet side stepping over for a try. Salmon from in front 21-19.
The kick off secured there’s a penalty Farnham in the last play of the match. Total frustration for all concerned and a get out of jail card for Twickenham. The boys probably deserved the hairdryer treatment after doing all the hard work. Taking the positives only works sometimes.
Pete Daly – 3 – two tries but vital periods of defence but still needs an 80-minute performance.
Dan Williams – 2 – the hard yards and the dark arts in the mauls.
Andrew Freshwater – 1 – stepped up from the 2nds and owned the shirt. Great try.