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27

OCT

Match report from Cranbrook's game against Erith
Both sides had major injury problems but Cranes were helped by a superior strength in depth. Although it took the home team 15 mins to get onto the score sheet the evidence of a one sided game was clear from the outset. Over eagerness and too much elaboration slowed Cranes down initially but the home pack were quick to show a marked improvement over last weeks poor showing against Vigo, with skipper Nick Bunyan leading from the front.

On 15 mins Tom Alderwick, moved into scrum half, chipped into the Erith 22. The bounce and the follow up were both to Cranbrook’s advantage, and the quickly recycled ball was slid out to flanker Loyd Dell who crashed over. The next score was made by the pack. A clean throw in, a solid take into the Erith 22 and Alderwick was on hand to break blind and ease through for the touchdown. The Erith restart was high and followed up with some passion. The resulting knock on appeared to have been cleared when Cranes healed against the head, but the Ref spotted a helping hand in the home pack and Erith made no mistake with the penalty, 10 – 3.
Cranes rapidly returned to the business in hand with a quickly taken Alderwick penalty 30m out. A slick transfer to Alex Wenman who had no difficulty in outstripping the Erith cover. Full back Miles Harvey added the points. Half time 17 – 3.

Harvey was soon again in action. Fielding a high kick, he side stepped his onrushing opponent, and from inside his own half, he carved his way through the entire Erith team to ground between the posts. Alderwick added the conversion. More good work from the pack working the ball down the left to be held up 5m out. Hooker Greg Smith grabbed the ball as it was eased back and was over in the corner in a flash. 29 – 3.
Once again the home team did not handle Erith’s kick off at all well. An initial knock on followed by some disagreement with the Ref resulted in them defending their own 5m line. Sloppy defence allowed Erith in for an unconverted try, the low point of the game for Cranes. However normal service was quickly resumed with Tom Brooks on the left wing intercepting a loose Erith pass, hacking on from half way, and winning the race to the touch down. A prodigious kick from wide out by Harvey, 36 – 8. More good driving from the Cranbrook forwards, a strong break from Jamie Sims, well supported by Rory Gower who went over in the corner. Another great kick from Miles Harvey and Cranes were home 43 – 8.

Match report by Mike McMinnies

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