Medway travelled to Roehampton on Saturday looking to maintain their push for promotion after a splendid win least week against London Welsh. The match was kicked off by London Cornish on an excellent playing surface in good, bright but slightly breezy conditions. Within 2 minutes Medway were awarded a penalty. Opting to kick for touch, they missed. Cornish punished the errant kick and following a number of phases eventually scored an unconverted try out wide. To make matters worse fly half Dan Harvey received a yellow card reducing Medway to 14 men. On 10 mins London Cornish, belying their lowly league position, scored again. Another Medway turnover in the Cornish half saw Cornish counter attack and score another try out wide. This time converted to make the score 12-0. On 24 minutes Medway again conceded. This time a penalty for holding on in the breakdown. 15-0. To add to the visitors woes lock and Vice Captain Max Easton was injured and forced to leave the field to replaced by young 18 year old Michael Fankah. Medway were reeling and had to tighten their game up. Possession was retained and penalties came from the home defence. The returned Harvey kicked the penalties into the corner and Medway scored two catch and drive tries from the line outs. The first a penalty try when the maul was pulled down short of the line. This resulting in a yellow card for a Cornish player and the second from Tom Beaumont from an excellently controlled driving maul. This was converted by Dan Harvey to make the score 15-14. The final play of the half saw another opportunity to score from a line out but Billy Sandison was held up over the line.
The second half saw Medway pin London Cornish back from the kick off. Glen Wadsworth playing his first game in 9 years for the 1st XV charged a clearance kick down forcing a 5 metre scrum. The Medway pack drove and No 8 Lewis Stimpson was on hand to score. Dan Harvey converted and Medway led for the first time. 15-21. Dan Harvey added a penalty to his conversion to push the Medway lead out to 15-24. The next 5 minutes took the game away from the home side. A catch and drive try from Billy Sandison (converted by Harvey) and a push over try from Lewis Stimpson took Medway’s lead out to 15-36. Medway then lost centre Max Bullock to injury with Dan O’Brien replacing him and veteran Billy Humphrey came on to replace Captain Tom Beaumont. The last 10 minutes of the game saw three tries. Two to the home side with a one from Medway. This Cornish team never gave up. They showed character and plenty of fight and deservedly earned a try bonus point. Their first try was scored out wide after some good phases play and fine handling. The second was a pick and go on the Medway line with the final play of the match this after Sam Garofalo and Billy Humphrey had combined to score on the blind side of a scrum.
The final score 27-41.
The London Cornish team battled hard and despite their lowly position showed the tenacity and pride in their game which will hold them in good stead for next season. Their Director of Rugby Dickon Moon was beaming with pride. He has done a great job for them. Taff Gwilliam said ‘This was not our finest performance. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition and be grateful to your own team for keeping it together after a disastrous start and securing the all important win’.