Farnham 5 Medway 22 (London 1 South) 03rd October 2021

Medway travelled to Surrey on Saturday to take on newly promoted Farnham in this league encounter. On an excellent playing surface, the game kicked off with the wind and rain at Medway’s back.  Given the conditions the skill set from both teams was to be commended. Although Medway had the elements with them it was Farnham who started the stronger. A scrum on the halfway line saw Farnham attack the open side. Good handling, running lines and a missed tackle saw the unconverted try scored in the corner. 5-0.  Medway, understandably given the conditions, began to dominate field position. With Billy Sandison, Max Easton, Jordan Stubbington and Henry Kenny securing good line out possession and the Medway scrum functioning well Penalties on 18, 35 and 39 minutes followed which were all kicked by Owen Church-Mills to grind out and secure a 5-9 half time lead.

The second half saw an expectant home crowd will their players on to overturn the slender lead. Within a few minutes of the re-start Farnham were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Inexplicably the kick was missed.  Despite the miss Farnham continued to press their visitors and a number of catch and drive lineouts and pick and go’s’ on the Medway line were repulsed. The Medway defence held firm. Good work from Jack Johnson and Alfie Orris relieved the pressure to give the visitors breathing space.  On 52 minutes an excellent box kick from Sam Garofalo backed up by a good kick chase saw Alfie Orris drive Medway deep into the Farnham half winning a lineout. Medway won the ball and Orris was unlucky not to score. However, the home side were penalised for going offside. Church-Mills slotted the kick into the wind. 5-12.  Farnham came back with their influential No 8 and sharp scrum half leading the way. Despite good field position they could not break down the resolute Medway defence with Antony Clement, Max Bullock and Sean Marriott all making excellent tackles.  On 65 minutes Medway scored their only try of the game. An excellent team try. A midfield scrum saw Medway attack. Good work from Jack Johnson got Medway over the gain line supported by Tom Beaumont, Mo Pangarker and Sean Marriott. Billy Sandison then drove into the midfield with Jack Nickalls and Richard Petch in support. The ball was then fed wide where Antony Clement Max Bullock, Owen Church-Mills and Alfie Orris gained good ground and securing possession. Another Phase through Max Easton, Henry Kenny and Jordan Stubbington stretched the home defence for Sam Garofalo to feed Alfie Orris. Orris was tackled short of the line after a good run, but Max Bullock was in support to receive the offload and score.  Owen Church-Mills kicked an excellent conversion and Medway led 5-19.b Medway freshened their team up bringing veteran Billy Humphrey and Harrison Cooper-Meadows on for, man of the match, Mo Pangarker and Richard Petch.  Farnham looked to try and get back into the game but with fresh legs giving Medway a fillip they continued to be resolute in Defence. Any hopes of a late Farnham come back were extinguished on 75 mins when they conceded a penalty just inside their own half. Owen Church-Mills rounded off an excellent kicking day from the tee day to slot the kick into the wind and rain ensuring victory for the visitors.

Coach Taff Gwilliam said “This a good win on the road in very difficult conditions. Despite their league position Farnham are well organised team and will win plenty of games.”