Medway 34-15 Tottonians
Medway 34-15 Tottonians

Following defeat at the hands of Westcombe Park last week it was important that Medway bounced back to winning ways.

With the Captain and a number of key players out with injury this was going to be a test of the squad’s depth. Tottonians led by Searle are always a well organised and tough team to play.

Tom Whitnell came in for his first start at hooker and centre Antony Clement stood in at scrum half were the notable changes following injuries from the previous week.

In good Autumnal conditions the game kicked off and it was Medway that made the brighter start. With the wind at their back they secured the kick off and attacking through a number of phases forced the visitors to concede a penalty in front of their posts. Stand in Captain Dan Harvey made no mistake with the kick, 3-0.

Medway continued to control the ball and on 7 minutes Charlie Wardzynski, with some individual brilliance, beat 7 players on a mazy run to score under the posts. Harvey converted and Medway had the start they wanted, 10-0.

The good start did not last long however as Medway found themselves under pressure as they failed to clear their lines. After an initial miss Searle made no mistake with his second opportunity to narrow the gap to 10-3.

On 21 minutes Medway won a penalty at the set piece. Harvey elected to kick and was successful making the score 13-3.

Medway’s kicking game from hand was not at its best and as a consequence Tottonians secured good field position and exploited this with a well constructed and converted try aided by a couple of missed tackles. 13-10.

Medway needed a spark and on 28 minutes Amon Panikoula provided it with an excellent break and carry through midfield. Good control of possession and several phases later the ball was fed to young 18 year old winger Zach Garratt who showed great footwork. He beat his marker and the cover defence to score under the posts. Harvey added the extras and the lead went out to 20-10.

Tottonians came back. Medway with consecutive line out losses on their own throw saw their defence narrowed gifting Tottonians an overlap which they exploited to the full. Good handling saw them score an unconverted try. That signalled half time, 20-15.

Playing into the breeze and with only a 5 point lead Medway needed to up their game if they were to secure the win.

The first chance of the half went to the visitors following a penalty at the breakdown. But the kick at goal went astray. A let off for the home side.

On 53 minutes another excellent break on the half way line from Wardzynski takes play close to the Tottonian’s line and he feeds Tom Beaumont to score under the posts. Harvey added the conversion and stretches the home lead to 27-15.

On 70 minutes and with time running out, Tottonians looking to get something from the game, try to run their ball from deep. They lose control of ball on the half way line and Zach Garratt scoops it up and runs it in for a try converted by Harvey. Medway secure the bonus point and with so little time left the victory with that try.

Tottonians continued to attack as the game closed out but they were denied. In truth this game was closer than the scoreline suggests and Tottonians were a solid team but were undone by some moments of individual brilliance.

Coach Taff Gwilliam said ‘We are just pleased to secure the win after our first defeat last week. Tottonians are a good side and were a stern test for our squad. To keep them scoreless in the second half playing into the wind was a good effort’. He added ‘The players who came in did a good job and with some of the missing players back next week will make for an interesting selection decision’.