Charlton Park overcame a challenging pre-match team reshuffle to register a needed win over Folkestone at Broad Walk on Saturday. Some necessary midweek action gave the line out some structure but the main reason for the improvement was the return from injury of three important forwards, although there was the equivalent of another team missing for one reason or another. To overcome that there was some highly imaginative team organisation with at least five players starting out of position.Then the loss of prop Beau Stanford-Francis meant the cupboard was almost bare when into the fray strode that shining knight Michael Casizzi with his unique brand of confidence.

As might have been expected Charlton conceded a try in the first minute while they were still working out who was playing where, but from then on they dominated the first half, scoring four tries. Firstly a Joe Simpson penalty settled the nerves and then tries from close range came from Iwan Haines and Luke Boyns, while Reion Raybe sped in after Alan Knuckey’s weaving crossfield run put him away and then he chased his own kick from his own half.

29-8 at half-time was a springboard for more but there was only one more try, a wonderful bullocking charge through the middle from Terry Read. Two yellow cards hindered Park’s progress, Folkestone had a fair share of the ball and their heads never went down but they were too far behind.

So what started as a possible train-wreck turned into a Charlton Park evening, enlivened by a players’ court. Many thanks to all who came to the lunch and to our distinguished guests Clive Efford MP and Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Denise Hyland. We are, after all, a community club, and they are always welcome. The shop did a roaring trade on the new jackets

Charlton played with a structure, but not a game plan, and this may have freed some heads. Whatever, it was refreshing. Next week it’s down the road to Dartfordians.