Charlton Park, in their last home match of 2016, with a comprehensive win over Crowborough, who despite their league position competed for the whole of the game.
A dream start from Charlton saw them, from the kick off chasing the ball and forcing Crowborough into a mistake. From the ensuing scrummage Charlton gained good possession and subsequent driving play resulted in Rob Saunderson opening the scoring with a try in the opening ninety seconds of the match.
Holding the lead Charlton began to impose themselves on the match and take play into Crowborough’s half. It was a break from Alan Knuckey that lead to Charlton’s second try when following a solid scrummage Knuckey broke and his subsequent the ball over the onrushing defence saw him win the footrace to touch the ball down for the try. A subsequent chip and chase five minutes later by winger Tshepo Mooki saw him touching the ball down for a try and thereby ensuing Charlton’s lead being extended.
Playing with flair Charlton were in control over most facets of the match and this enabled them to spend him large periods of play in the Crowborough half. It was as a result of the pressure that saw Crowborough clearance kick not finding touch saw the ball being run back; and after Charlton took the ball through a series of phases Mooki finished the move off by breaking through to touch the ball down for his second try of the half and ensuing Charlton had gained a try bonus point within the first thirty minutes.
With pressure building Crowborough began to conceded penalties and a quick tapped penalty lead to Charlton’s fifth try of the half being scored by Reion Raybe as he bounced through tackles to finish an opportunity created by quick thinking and good passing.
It was another misdirected clearance kicks from Crowborough that lead to the ball being fielded in the centre of the pitch by Lee Amzaleg and following a long pass Jeremy Montes broke and when tackled Tommy Nightingale was on hand to score Charlton’s sixth try of the half. Knuckey added three first half conversions to complete the scoring for the half.
Despite being on the back foot for much of the first half Crowborough had not let their performance falter and the opening ten minutes of the second half saw Charlton napping as the visitors forced Charlton into a series of errors. It was a Crowborough chip through that lead to Charlton conceding a five-metre scrum> Despite having problems in this aspect of play Crowborough resisted Charlton’s push and a pick up and drive followed by phase play saw the visitors resolve being rewarded with a converted try to give them hope.
Having conceded a try Charlton’s concentration returned and they their aim. Despite being reduced to fourteen men when they had a player shown a yellow card for a “low tackle’ Charlton extended their lead when following a robust drive by Mark Harlow-Singh good support play by back row forward Renaud Van Neel saw him scoring his home debut try.
Crowborough’s line out had hit and miss and when an overthrow was caught by Knuckey and following a break his pass saw Saunderson juggling the ball but finally controlling the ball to score his second try of the match.
Throughout the match Raybe had enjoyed running the ball back at Crowborough and his second try of the afternoon was as a result of such an action. When Raybe caught a kick just ten metres from Charlton’s goal line he set off and following a characteristic run saw him weaving his way the length of the pitch to touch the ball down for a try. Charlton with only ten minutes left had another player shown a yellow card but despite this slight handicap never altered their resolve as they added another three tries.It was a turnover that created the opening for the tenth Charlton try scored by John Beith crashing over the try line following quick passing. The final tries of the match were the result of passing enabling Montes to touch the ball down and providing Beith with the opportunity to score his second in the space of ten minutes. Knuckey added a further six successful second half conversions.
Crowborough put in a spirited performance, never letting their heads drop, and never stopped completing for the entire match but were overwhelmed by a Charlton side beginning to discover some semblance of cohesion.
Crowborough side who never stopped completing for the entire match but were overwhelmed by a side beginning to discover