Charlton Park returned to winning ways when they entertained Heathfield & Waldron in an entertaining match that saw seven tries scored including a double for Reion Raybe.
Heathfield were the first of the sides into their game plan and from the onset drove into the Charlton half winning themselves the first opportunity to score points via a penalty but fortunately for Charlton the ball drifted just wide of the goal posts.
Having weathered the initial Heathfield surge Charlton settled into their system of play with good running and interplay between backs and forwards. It was following a series of plays which saw the ball being taken through phases they were rewarded with a penalty and player coach Alan Knuckey took the resulting kick to post the first points of the match.
Playing with confidence Charlton started to dominate play and Heathfield were forced to defend frenetically as Charlton increased the tempo of play. It was following a break by John Beith down the centre of the field and driving play by Mark Harlow-Singh good backing up by Chad Reay saw him score the first try of the game converted by Knuckey.
The restart kick saw the ball being fielded in midfield by Reion Raybe playing in the unaccustomed position of full back and his run down the centre of the pitch caused panic in the Heathfield defence as he twisted and turned through tackles into the clear when he accelerated away to score a try which was converted by Knuckey.
Now playing with fluidity and at pace Charlton had the majority of the possession and they continued to pressurise Heathfield deep into their half. With Charlton’s forwards gaining a measure of advantage in the loose it was they who created the third try; when following the ball being taken through several phases of play Rob Saunderson made a break and when tackled his pop pass was gratefully accepted and he touched the ball down for the score which he then converted.
As they went in search for a fourth try Charlton were guilty of over ambition as they over-elaborated play although Tshepo Mooki was unfortunate not to score a try when following his chasing of a Beith chip through the ball just eluded him when over the goal line. Charlton finally scored the bonus point try when a quickly taken tapped penalty and slick handling saw Gregory Helior power his way through tackles to touch the ball down.
The five minutes either side of half time proved disastrous for Charlton as Heathfield came back into the match. In the dying seconds before half time Charlton conceded a penalty and following the subsequent lineout Charlton allowed the ball, which they had won against the throw, to go free over their goal line and Heathfield were the quicker to pounce to score their first try.
Heathfield made the best possible start to the second half as they caught Charlton napping and following the ball being taken through several phases to score the second try. Having suffered a sucker blow Charlton slightly decreased the tempo of their play and errors began to creep.
The final try for Charlton was another Raybe special as following several well executed pass the ball reach him and his swerve took him around the Heathfield defence enabling him to score the try. With the result seeming not in question Charlton were guilty of slowing down too much and although creating chances they were prone to giving away possession having established good field position.
In the final minutes of the match it was following Charlton rising advantage at the scrummage they won the ball against the head and Knuckey was unfortunate not to score a try when he was deemed to have been held up after placing the ball on the try line.Next week Charlton have a trip to the seaside as they visit Deal & Betteshanger kick off at 2.15pm