Charlton Park moved into the London Semi Final of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday with a win that most spectators reckoned was 35-0 but which the referee had down as 31. Nevertheless it was five tries – two to Jake Conway on his birthday, and two to Luke Boyns on that of his mother – with a few others going begging as players made themselves available for a final pass and then cold hands, or just over-exuberance, dropped it. Far be it from me to mention the name of fumbler-in-chief, but we’ll let him off.
Coach Lee caused controversy at the end of the game by awarding man-of-the-match to his brother, but there is no doubt that one of the positives from the game from the home side’s point of view was the performance of Adam Neale at loose head. There were also welcome returns for John Beith, after nearly a year out, Alex Miller and Ben Pritchard as well as Ross Fowler, tractorman, for a visit from up north.
A possible reason for the ref marking down missed kicks is that Miller managed to miss two penalties, taken when Park supporters were urging them to kick for the corner. We think he managed to convert every try. Reigatians offered stubborn resistance all afternoon and Lee Amzaleg made reference to the clean sheet, particularly after last week’s defensive horror show.
Jeremy Montes led the early assaults – he just seems to be getting better by the game, although a dislocated finger sustained in a tackle may set him back a bit – and his burst through led to Luke Boyns scoring the first. Tommy Nightingale almost got a second when he followed up a Miller penalty which came back off the bar, and then Jake Conway scored his first in support of another run from Montes. Park struggled to break down some last line defence despite several breaks, but when Terry Read came on the scrum dominance led to a pushover dotted down by Boyns, Then Josh McMullan followed a kick through from replacement Alan Knuckey and Conway got his second in the last minute supporting Read.
It was bit helter-skelter but Charlton played with energy throughout and it was good to see others coming back. They now go into the pot with two other league rivals, Gravesend and Colfes, plus Letchworth from north of the river. Another mini-tour would be good!
Many thanks to Reigatians for a good game and all the best for the rest of the season. Next week we’re on the magic bus to Thanet Wanderers.