Despite a hard-earned trio of tries from Alan Knuckey numerous errors committed by Charlton Park saw them slump to a loss against Medway the already crowned league winners last Saturday.
Playing with the benefit of the natural conditions Charlton hoped to continue in similar vein to how they had finished the previous week but it was not to be the case. Following an error by Charlton in failing to pressurise the kick off Medway proceeded to run the ball from their twenty-two-metre area and following multiple passes and good ball retention opened the scoring with a converted try in the first ninety seconds of the match.
Charlton posted their first points of the match, when following gaining the ball against the put in breaks from Luke Boyns and Alex Miller saw Medway, in their efforts to stop the break commit a penalty and Miller, shaking off the effects of a high tackle, stepped up to make a successful kick to five Charlton some hope.
The successful penalty kick proved to be a false dawn for Charlton as they gave away a string of penalties and errors when in possession meant that they were unable to build any momentum and Medway, playing with confidence capitalised on the opportunities presented. Charlton conceding a penalty lead to Medway scoring their second try from the ensuing lineout.
Spirits were slightly raised for the beleaguered Charlton side when following robust driving play from their forwards saw them maul and drive close to the Medway goal line and Knuckey’s reach was just long enough to enable him to touch the ball down for his first try of the half.
Medway’s response to Charlton’s try was instantaneous and from the restart they set into existence a slick running and passing move, and when Charlton dropped off tackles, the visitors ran in their third converted try of the half to further increase their advantage.
With Charlton having to re-arrange their team due to injuries happening Medway tightened their control of the match and despite another successful kick from Miller Medway continued to dominate play. A fourth try for Medway, following an error at a lineout by Charlton, saw the visitors gain a bonus point before half time A last ditch play from Charlton in the dying seconds of the half saw them go close to scoring a try but Jeremy Montes was unlucky to have been held up over the line and with no time left the referee’s final whistle finished what had been a very disappointing half of play for Charlton.
The second half saw Charlton beginning to come more into the game and play to their strengths but inaccuracy in their play allied to further injuries and the conceding of penalties meant that they were unable to maintain any pressure. Charlton, despite their mounting problems at the scrummage finally gained some material reward for their second half play when following a great passage of play saw Terry Read take the ball forward and when awarded a penalty Knuckey took a quick tap and darted over scored his second try which was converted to narrow the deficit.
Any thoughts of Charlton gaining a bonus point were quickly dispersed when from the restart, Medway seemed to raise their tempo of play and encamped in the Charlton half of the pitch and the pressure saw them force Charlton into errors and give away penalties resulting in them scoring another converted try despite heroic goal line defence from Charlton. A sixth try from Medway put the result firmly resolved but a good period of play during the closing few minutes of the game from Charlton saw Knuckey scoring his third try but scant recompense for the loss and the injuries suffered during the match to key players.
Next week Charlton visit Crowborough hoping for an improvement in their fortunes with them due to play two semi-finals in the next four weeks.