Charlton Park’s unwelcome run of losses continued on a bleak afternoon at Beckenham on Saturday. Once again players could not be faulted for effort and skipper Terry Read said as much as he rallied the troops after the game with an upbeat assessment of a match in which Park had to cope with two yellow cards and then a red, leaving them playing with a man down for about 30 minutes of the 80.
Certainly Charlton have to look at why they seem to be aggravating referees, and the tries they conceded were what might be termed soft. But Beckenham deserved their win; they enjoyed more possession, particularly from the line out, and they used it better, orchestrated by fly half Louis Richards’ shrewd choices of passing or kicking.
Park were behind and a man down within two minutes. From a kick to the corner hooker Felix Marot was adjudged to have blocked an attacking player while both were chasing the ball, resulting in a penalty try and a very harsh yellow. To their credit they came back quickly. Lee Amzaleg slipped a pass to Jack Hudson, whose straight line took him clean through. Then from a wheeling scrum in the right corner flanker Wilisoni Senikauvaka drove over. By half time, however, that lead was lost as a bouncing ball was pounced on in the right corner and then a penalty made it 15 – 10 to the hosts.
With the freezing rain lashing across the field Beckenham slowly exerted their dominance with two more tries, and heads went down further as Jake Conway was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on, and then the red card for a dangerous tackle by Loqorio Waqanidrola. However, to their credit Charlton finished strongly, a string of scrums and a card for the home prop led to Lee Amzaleg running in their third try.
It was a scrappy game but that was down to some horrific conditions and both sides should be given credit for their willingness to move the ball, and it was further enhanced by the superb hospitality of Michael O’Rourke and the Beckenham club. We wish them all the best for the season.
Next week Park face another challenging away match at Old Alleynians; I’m sure they would welcome all the support you can give.