Farnham U16Bs enjoy a successful friendly vs Crawley RFC
By Steve Ratcliffe
The weather was cold but fortress Farnham stood strong against new friends from Crawley RUFC
From your touchline correspondent - David Adams
On a beautiful sunny, but cold day at Wilkinson Way, the U16B team took on new opposition Crawley RFC. With the wind behind us Sam Johnston kicked off into enemy territory and to a certain extent that is where the ball stayed for most of the first half. The Farnham pack were champing at the bit from the off and Crawley were unable to make much progress across the gain line as the tackles came flying in. It didn’t take long for an opening to occur down the right wing and some good passing fed the ball to Jack Gilbert who tip-toed down the touch line to score in the corner. From what seemed an impossible position Sam Johnston added the extra two points.
With barely 10 minutes gone, we almost added a second try as Ben Seymour broke down the right and fending off a couple of tackles looked certain to score but was tackled by the Crawley full back. However, he managed to get a pass to Josh Lavery which unfortunately went forward and was well spotted by referee Doug Ogilvie. However the expectant crowd didn’t have to wait long for another score as again the Farnham pack won the ball. Louis Thomas was starting to make his presence felt and after some slick passing by the backs Tom H-T was released down the left wing and avoided a couple of defenders to score in the corner. It wasn’t long before Farnham pack won the ball again and Josh Smith sprinted through midfield. Unfortunately he was tackled but managed to off load a good pass to the excellent Oli Wingfield who was not to be denied.
The scrums were fairly evenly contested although Crawley’s flankers could have protected their scrum half a little better and Tom Adams in the first half and Harry McGuigan in the second, did put their opposite number under a lot pressure. The same can't be said of the Farnham flankers who were excellent and our number 9’s had a great platform to work from.
From the kick off Farnham again won the ball and Sam Johnston ran through the Crawley lines and looked like he was heading for a score. A last ditched tackle forced Sam to pass and Tom H-T was again at hand but unfortunately the pass went forward. Towards the end of the first period Crawley started to play a bit better and after a period of possession scored a good try down our right flank.
So 17-5 at half time and the home supports cold but happy. In a rare appearance at the ground Mrs Adams summed up the first half thus ‘when the big guys in the middle (forwards) do lots of tackling and pass the ball to the fast guys (backs), we score lots of tries’. Probably not how Eddie Jones would describe it but generally the right idea.
The second half was a more even contest but we again started well and from a move down the right wing the pack surged forward and Kian Ashcroft scored in the corner. Then came the try of the game and a score out of nothing. In a seemingly impossible position in the centre of the pitch and 30 yards from the goal line, Aston Ulisee was passed the ball. With virtually all the Crawley players in front of him, he scored under the posts and I believe untouched by a Crawley player. Even Mrs Adams realised she had witnessed something very special. Harry converted to make the score 29-5.
Uncharacteristically Farnham then went to sleep a bit and from some loose play on the half way line Crawley broke through to score and from the kick off, probably their best player caught the ball and ran it straight back to score under the sticks. So 29-19 and still ten minutes to play and the game not won yet. However the boys rallied and sealed victory with another well worked forward move and a try for Kyle Drablow.
Crawley were a very friendly and sporting opposition and the game was played in a good spirit. Unfortunately they only had 14 players and then suffered a number of injuries during the game and special thanks for everyone of our boys who played for Crawley. Podium points went to the three forwards who made the most tackles, third Will Partridge, second Josh Smith and first Scott Atchison.