Medway 35 Farnham 15 (London 1 South) 22nd January 2022

Medway entertained Farnham RFC at Priestfields for the first time ever in this Division 1 league encounter. The match was played in front of a large crowd boosted by the club’s Volunteer Luncheon attendees.

The game kicked off in excellent playing conditions and Medway were soon on the score board after just 4 minutes. Good field position saw Medway pressure the visitors as they looked to clear. Antony Clement intercepted a loose kick then fed Jack Johnson who rounded the defence to score. Owen Church-Mills converted 7-0.

On 8 minutes a sharp looking Farnham team responded. Medway were penalised at a scrum and Farnham kicked in the corner. The initial attempts to score a catch and drive were thwarted but the visitors No 8 broke left to score a well taken converted try. 7-7.

The match entertained the crowd as both sides looked to play a high tempo expansive game. With 10 minutes gone it was Medway who went in front when the reliable boot of Owen Church-Mills punished a scrum infringement from the visitors. 10-7.

The lively Farnham team looked to come back and in doing so played some excellent rugby forcing Medway to defend and eventually concede an offside penalty after 32 minutes. 10-10.

Medway were struck a blow when influential lock Henry Kenny was forced to leave the field through injury. 18 year old Michael Fankah replacing him.

Despite the the last 6 minutes of the first half and the first 4 minutes of the second was to be deciding period of the game. Medway scored two tries and a penalty in quick succession to take control.

The first try, a brilliant individual effort, by Alfie Orris saw him break two tackle attempts in midfield then burst away to score near the posts which Owen Church-Mills converted. 17-10.

The second came from good work by Captain Tom Beaumont who broke left from a Medway Lineout near the visitors line and created space for Jack Johnson. He rounded the defence to add to his personal tally in the left corner. The try was unconverted.

The second half saw the visitors penalised at a scrum after just 4 minutes and Jack Johnson made no mistake with the ensuing kick. 25-10.

Owen Church-Mills was forced from the field with an ankle injury with Billy Humphrey replacing him.

On 48 minutes Farnham who continued to battle hard were rewarded with a penalty of their own for a deliberate knock on. Mo Pangarker saw yellow and Farnham punished the indiscretion with an unconverted try in the corner to make the score 25-15.

Despite the changes and being down to 14 men Medway retained possession well and were rewarded with a Penalty after a handling in the ruck offence from the visitors. Jack Johnson was successful 28-15.

The final score of the match which gave Medway the try bonus point came in the 68th minute. A penalty on the half way line saw a quick tap and go from Sam Garofalo. Medway then went through several phases narrowing the Farnham defence creating space out wide for man of the match Sean Marriott to score. Jack Johnson converted. 35-15.

Catch Taff Gwilliam said ‘this was a much tougher game than the scoreline suggests. Farnham are a good team. We picked up a few injuries and despite to having re-organise managed to secure the points’. He added ‘Farnham play a good brand of rugby and have a good spirit within their team. They will do well’.