After six straight wins Charlton Park were on the receiving end of a committed display from Old Colfeians. Having led 10-0 with two tries in the right corner the wind, drenching rain and gathering gloom energised the home team better and with the last kick of the game they ended up denying Park even a losing bonus point.

These local derbies with Colfes are always tasty affairs, although this always kept within the bounds of the laws and both teams should be commended for their ability to channel their aggressions under the difficulties of the conditions and the voices on the side. It paid to have the ball and Colfeians had it most after the first 20 minutes. Even so, Park pressure at the end came ever so close to snatching a victory and the visitors could feel they gave their all.

It was cold and wet at kick off, and it got colder and wetter, but Park started as if it was a spring day and dominated the first quarter. After three minutes a strong scrum led to Terry Read smashing over after it appeared that Jim Conway may have scored. Ten minutes later Charlton scored a beauty with a Crossfield move starting from halfway. A beautifully floated pass from Jeremy Montes put Rob Saunderson in the clear and he timed his pass to perfection for Kenny Molekoa to score.

But that was where the scoring ended for Park. Colfeians changed their props, kicked cleverly for position and ran the ball hard. Two penalties brought the score back to 10-6 at half-time, and in the second half the forwards drove over for their sole try under the posts and then kicked another penalty to lead 16-10. Park were down to the bare bones, with Montes, Conway and Read all off injured, but only determined defence on the Colfeians line preserved the scoreline and a threatening breakout from Ed Mason could have won the game. Eventually Jack Potter’s fourth penalty with the last kick of the game delivered the coup de grace (as Jeremy would say).

The better team on the day won, but there wasn’t much in it. Man of the Match for CP went to Mark Harlow-Singh, but nobody let themselves down. There’s now a three week break before we reconvene at Broad Walk on January 5th for the visit of Maidstone. We hang on to second place and, of the remaining 10 games, six are at home.