Medway 31 London Cornish 0 (London 1 South) 13th November 2021

Medway entertained London Cornish on their return to Priestfields on Saturday and ran out winners by 31 points to nil. Although a bonus point victory was achieved this was not the quality of performance normally attributed to the home side. Credit for that in part must go to Cornish who were dogged at the breakdown, looking to slow the game and prevent Medway from playing at the desired tempo which they did successfully. Medway opened the scoring in the 4th minute with a text book try from Jordan Stubbington on his 100th appearance for the Medway 1st XV. A good scrum platform allowed Stubbington to attack. He beat the cover defence and went over. Dan Harvey converted. 7-0. On 16 minutes a line out on the right saw Medway move the ball wide to Alfie Orris who stretched the visitors defence then threw an inside pass to Max Bullock and he scampered over to score the unconverted try. 12-0. On 21 minutes with Medway, dominating up front through Jack Nickalls, Bill Sandison and Richard Petch, went further ahead. A line out in the corner 5m from the visitors line saw hooker Bill Sandison drive over after help from Stubbington and Easton. The conversion from Harvey hit the post. 17-0. Medway were forced into a change when Richard Petch was forced from the field through injury and that saw the introduction of Dan Huntley playing his first game for over 2 years. The home side were dominating with everyone anticipating further scoring but credit to London Cornish they dug in battling hard and showing good character. That combined with some poor decision making from the home side meant that the sides went in at half time with score at 17-0.

The second half kicked off with Medway keen to secure the bonus point  victory and maintain their promotion challenge. With 46 minutes on the clock the bonus point was theirs. Dan Harvey secured a Medway line out with a 50-22 kick. The line out was well won and after several phases with good carrying from Henry Kenny, Tom Beaumont, Antony Clement and Max Easton Dan Harvey fed Max Bullock who crashed over under the posts. Harvey converted to make the score 24-0. Medway looked to up the tempo of the game. They introduced fresh legs with Billy Humphrey replacing the industrious Lewis Stimpson and Sam Bailey coming in at hooker for Bill Sandison. Medway had a number of opportunities to increase the score but that combination of decision making and the dogged character of the visitors meant that the final score of the game did not come until the 71st minute. A Medway attack deep in the visitors 22m from a set piece scrum saw the Medway backs stretch the home home defence and this allowed Alfie Orris to feed the ball back inside for John Sipowa to score. Dan Harvey converted to make the final score 31-0.

Dickon Moon, the London Cornish coach, said after the game….’with such a depleted side we are delighted to have kept the score down to 31-0. We showed character and tenacity……I was proud of the lads’