Putting aside a disrupted pre-season Charlton Park open their league season with a five try win over Old Alleynians last Saturday without ever seeming to be playing at full capacity or with any fluency.
At the onset of the game Charlton Park’s play was slightly non-cohesive with passes going astray but their forwards began to create the basis of play and slowly Charlton began to gain an advantage in tight play.
It was following a series of scrum close to the Old Alleynian goal line that Charlton opened the season’s scoring with the home side’s forwards struggling to contain the drive they were eventually pushed backwards and when the ball was close to the try line Ben Pritchard twisted over to touch the ball down for the try which was converted by Alex Miller.
Old Alleynians almost struck back immediately when they were awarded a penalty that just drifted wide of the goal posts and when a pass was adjudged to had been forward they were denied what would have been a well merited try following good running and passing
Charlton, putting the scares behind them, continued to try and press but at times their over ambition saw them waste good opportunities and it was not until the closing plays of the first half they increased their lead. It was recent signing Peter Squires that created an opening when following his 50 yard break through the centre of the Old Alleynian defence good passing and ball transference saw Reion Raybe popping up on the opposite wing and his running saw him outstripped the last tackles for him to score the second try of the match. Miller added his second conversion of the match to enable Charlton to hold a fourteen-point lead at half time.
Charlton’s ring-rustiness saw them make an error at the start of the second half when they failed to deal with the kick-off and concede a penalty. Anxious to post their first points of the game Old Alleynians kicked for position. Despite being soundly rebuffed in the first half when they tried to use rolling mauls Old Alleynians attempted this tactic again and finally, when denied a score by whole hearted defence, decided to kick three points instead.
Midway the second half Charlton had a period of play that saw them score two tries in the space of three minutes the first coming when at a scrum close to the Old Alleynian goal line they gained forward momentum and Luke Boyns was able to touch the ball down for a try. The fourth try, that secured a bonus point when following the restart kick the ball was taken through multiple phases of driving and when released to the backs slick passing saw Raybe going close to scoring his second try and when he was tackled just short of the try tine his pop-up pass was gratefully received by Tommy Nightingale who scored the try. With Squires adding a second conversion Charlton Park were holding a comfortable lead.
Charlton’s final try was the result of good forward play when following a line out hooker Chad Reay took the ball on a crash pass and good recycling of the ball saw Mark Harlow-Singh driving over to touch the ball down for Charlton’s fifth try of the match.