A maiden try from scrum half Ryan Bennett against a highly committed Twickenham side, secured Charlton Park’s progression into the third round of the Intermediate Cup.
It was Twickenham that started the better of the two sides but the chasing of a kick through by Reion Raybe almost provided the opening score for Charlton but unfortunately the bouncing ball eluded his touch. The charge down of a clearance kick was the basis for Twickenham to score the first points of the match when from the ensuing scrum, five metres from Charlton’s goal line saw a well-executed set plan lead to a converted try for the visitors being scored.
Stung into action by falling behind Charlton’s began to pressurise Twickenham and establish a territorial advantage. It was following a series of forward drives that saw the ball being recycled well and it finally reached Raybe and it required fine defence to tackle him just short of the goal line.
It was Charlton’s forwards dominance was to be the catalyst for the home sides two tries scored in the first half; when following a lineout, a well set up rolling maul saw Twickenham being driven back 30 metres and when the maul crossed the visitors goal line Luka Perlain touched the ball down for the try.
With partial dominance in tight play Charlton, when awarded a penalty for Twickenham being deemed to have collapsed a scrum, chose to take this option again and with the visitors when being pushed backwards collapsed and wheeled the referee awarded Charlton a penalty try. Player/coach Alan Knuckey playing in the unaccustomed role of fly half successfully converted both tries to give Charlton a 14-7 lead at half time.
The start of the second half saw Charlton suffer a blow when following the kick off Charlton did not secure safe possession and the result was Twickenham turned the ball over and quacking passing of the ball saw the visitors score a try and a conversion from the side-line saw the scores levelled.
With both sides pressing the game became closely contested and it was with a well-judged kick from Knuckey saw Charlton slightly ease away opening a gap of their points to slightly calm the teams’ nerves.
Once again it was driving play that proved to be the basis of Charlton’s third try when following a storming run from Rob Saunderson when he was tackled and the ensuing ruck Bennett spotted a slight gap in the Twickenham defensive line; and his darting run lead to him touching the ball down close to the goal posts to aid Knuckey’s third conversion of the afternoon.
Requiring at least two scores to snatch the result Twickenham increased their work rate setting up a nervous final period of play, but to no avail as Charlton’s defensive qualities were sufficient to nullify any threat posed and Charlton progressed to the third round of the cup with the match due to be played on 21st January 2017.