The Extras welcomed top of the table Sevenoaks to a warm and sunny Priestfields keen to sign off with a win for their final home game of the season.
Medway started brightly spending the first five minutes camped in the Sevenoaks half with both forwards and backs getting into the game early. The pressure on the Sevenoaks defence was slowly increasing and a number of early penalties saw Medway move into the twenty two and secure a line out ten yards out. The forwards secured possession to set up a drive to the line which the Sevenoaks defence did well to stop but as the ball was sent along the back line full back Zach Garratt took the final pass at pace to score the first try of the game. A successful Ford conversion saw Sevenoaks restart at 7 – 0 down and yet again Medway let their opponents straight back into it as they conceded a number of needless penalties to gift them possession and territory. A Sevenoaks line out saw them execute a good catch and drive which Medway failed to stop and the scores were level at 7 – 7. A successful penalty kick from Ford saw Medway regain the lead which was extended five minutes later as Medway worked hard to hold up a Sevenoaks maul. The forwards were now in the groove securing the ball with some ease at the subsequent scrum before quick ball along the backs again found Garratt timing his run into the line perfectly to take the ball and beat the Sevenoaks full back with some excellent footwork before touching down for another converted try and a 17 – 7 scoreline. Sevenoaks restarted and soon reduced the lead to 17 – 10 when yet another penalty in front of the posts gifted them points. Medway came straight back on the attack with a great break from winger Bobby Ellis which saw Sevenoaks straying offside at the subsequent ruck giving Ford the opportunity to close the first half with a simple kick and a 20 – 10 lead.
Medway extended their lead straight from the restart as winger Matt Brightman out jumped the Sevenoaks second row to secure the ball and make ten yards before setting up the ruck. The ball was recycled along the back line at real pace before centre Henry Hall took the final pass, beat two defenders and finished what was an excellent piece of fast, attacking rugby. Sevenoaks restarted 25 – 10 down and began to build some pressure resulting in Medway losing possession as they knocked on at a ruck. Sevenoaks were in a good attacking position but Medway’s forwards again delivered when it mattered winning the ball against the head and giving the backs the ball to run with. Good handling along the line saw Garratt again time his run perfectly taking the ball and accelerating away at real pace to score his third try under the posts. A successful conversion saw Medway extend the lead to 32 – 10 but Sevenoaks continued to work hard aided by yet another string of Medway penalties and were soon deep in Medway’s twenty two where yet another well executed line out catch and drive saw them being awarded a penalty try to close the gap to 32 – 17. Any nerves that Medway had were soon calmed however when Sevenoaks lost possession on Medway’s ten metre line and, with quick ball out right, Garratt capped a very good afternoon as he carved through the Sevenoaks defence to run in his fourth try of the game and confirm a well deserved Man of the Match performance. At 37 – 17 down Sevenoaks still refused to give up and yet another line out catch and drive saw them score again but it was too late and the final whistle went with Medway running out 37 – 22 winners.
This was a really good performance from the Extras that had pace, power, individual skill and team work and shows what they are capable of when they play to their systems. A big well done to young Zach Garratt for his first, but surely not his last, Man of the Match performance. A special thank you also to prop John Dugan who stepped up from the 4’s at short notice to give us a front row. Thanks to Sevenoaks for playing their part in a very entertaining game – it is clear to see why they have enjoyed the season that they have and we look forward to meeting them again next season. Thanks also to Mr Khanna who refereed firmly and without whom we wouldn’t have had a game.
Medway Squad: John Dugan, Richard Petch, Al, Waterman, Dan Goodall, Rhys Gue, Josh Hawkins, Oscar Wells, David French, Rob O’Brien, Brad Ford, Bobby Ellis, Lewis Hollidge, Henry Hall, Matt Brightman, Zach Garratt, Tad Bileisis, Sean Crittenden, Johnny Smith, Adam Dady