KCS Sucker Punch steals the show
Another Saturday and another late defeat for Farnham.
By Geoff Bond.
After dominating proceedings both in defence and attack Farnham were exposed at the death when KCS, who had been battered at the set piece scrum all afternoon, launched a final effort. From five metres out they drove for the line – try under the posts and the conversion a formality. Farnham’s hopes yet again swept away with just minutes remaining.
Frustrating for all concerned. Farnham with the front row dominant until that scrum, excelled both in the tight and around the field. Joris, Davidson and skipper Andy Naisbitt creating space, making hard yards backed by Daly and Adams in the row. The omens were good. Farnham in control and the raiding KCS backs constantly pushed back.
In attack Corlett and Michael Salmon prompted by Brown and Freshwater were making inroads into the home defence. Winger Jack Scullion creating yards of gain with his howitzer like left foot. The pressure was on KCS and the penalty count rose while Farnham searched for that elusive first score. Time and time again held metres from the line, Farnham constantly lost possession to the home back row, recovered and attacked again without breaking the deadlock.
A rare KCS foray into the Farnham 22 and a penalty. Scrum half Slater with the tap and go and a try under the posts with an easy conversion for the scorer. 7-0.
Stung into increased action, Farnham attack. The back row of Bond, Frost and Comley to the fore pressurising the home rearguard. The arch predator Comley is up and in the face of the KCS fullback to charge down and follow it up for a try. Extras are easy for Michael Salmon 7-7.
The pace is hectic. The penalties continue to mount. The referee issuing warnings to the home back row but “warnings” don't disrupt the play so the back rows continue to play right up to the line.
Once too often and a penalty Farnham. Michael Salmon from long range makes it 7-10.
Farnham have made most of the running in a hectic first half. The cold breeze may have bumped up the mistake levels, but pressure and hard defence cancel out both sets of attacking backs. The Farnham back three of Wigmore, Scullion and Jones are working well in unison. The half time verdict is “OK”, but the scoring chances need to be turned into points on the board.
With the Chairman Geoff Robins now acting as Touch Judge – a rare occurrence - the second half saw Farnham with the breeze and Coach Jamie Salmon’s half time instructions to play in the KCS half.
The frustration mounts as the coach’s plan is ignored. Farnham are trapped in their 22 and a penalty for the home team Slater with the three – 10-10.
Just two forays by KCS have produced ten points. Farnham continue to enjoy the bulk of attacking possession. The penalties mount and the referee has had enough and awards 10 minutes in the bin for the KCS 8 and a sitter for Mike Salmon 13-10.
The last quarter of the game is painful for Farnham. Their attacks beaten back and with the wrong options chosen, the dominant side is vulnerable.
Again, a rare break out by KCS and ends in a five-metre scrum and that push over try by Vermont. Slater with the extras. 17-13. This after the KCS scrum had been driven back all afternoon.
Elliot Rich plus newcomers De Nardi and Bentham make an impression but the decisions, the KCS rampant defence and the handling errors all serve to take the game away from Farnham.
Four times this season Farnham have squandered a winning opportunity. Andover, Gosport and Fareham, Twickenham and now KCS have all snatched wins in the closing stages of the game. The effort and skill from Farnham cannot be faulted but the decision making and the management of the game can. It’s time for the old heads in the side to proffer their advice and that advice to be heeded.
“We can’t just take the positives from this game,” said Farnham club president Geoff Bond, “I honestly believe they were not better than us. it's time for Farnham to start putting away teams like this. We have lost 12 league points this season in similar fashion. The boys have got to start managing the game better if they are to do justice to their skills and endeavour.”
President's Podium: Jonny Davidson 3, Pete Daly 2, Jack Scullion 1