4th Xl back on song
Good teamwork wins through
Kent Open Division 4
Gravesham & Wellcome Unicorns 1 : 6 Sutton Valence 4th Xl
4th Xl back on song
This week saw Sutton Valence 4’s travel away to play Gravesham & Wellcome Unicorns at the Gravesend Rugby Club, one of the county’s finest pitches.
Valence arrived in good spirit, fielding the usual consistent team but with the added benefit of the return of the ‘yuffs’, freed from the shackles of private schooling for the half-term break. They started well from the off, using short and sharp passing directly to red sticks, something that has been lacking in recent weeks. Early on there were a number of fast attacks, with the Unicorns’ defence simply unable to compete with the blistering pace of the Sutton Valence midfield and forwards.
The first goal came early. A nicely injected short corner from Chris Jackson went to Adrian Gander, who passed to Chris Bailey for a shot on goal, deflected past the goalkeeper by lurking injector. The second came shortly after, with Alex Sandberg breaking into the D, rounding the keeper for a tap into the open goal, and then continued his scoring ways with a second minutes later. 3 : 0.
The fourth came not long before the end of the first half, with Tom Cavell and Sandberg playing a string of beautiful 1-2s all the way from the halfway, only for Sandberg’s shot to get stuck under the keeper’s pads, for Rob Cockayne to gather and muscle his way through the logged keeper and a defender to push into the goal. Valence had a number of other easy chances, which should have been finished but weren’t.
At this point it would have been very easy for Unicorns to drop their heads and give up, but credit where it is due they persevered and made an attack against the break of play, scoring a well worked goal. Half-time 4-1. Mark Whitmill said some stuff.
The second half saw Sutton Valence having lots of room to play around with, however cockiness and fatigue from the heat started to show. Unicorns utilised an increase in pace, using their selection of ‘yuffs’ on a rolling sub basis, which worked well in the wide positions. Nevertheless, Valence pushed ahead, again with some lovely 1-2’s up the pitch for a pass to Dylan Queen in the D, who cracked a screamer past the goalie from a wide position, into the top rear corner of the net.
The final goal came from Dylan Queen making a charging run into the D only to have his shot saved. Rob Cockayne picked up the loose ball, and chipped it over a logged keeper and a defender who was waiting on the line.
The game finished 6-1, a good result for SV moving towards the latter end of the season.
Thanks go out to Geoff Bell for volunteering to umpire.
MoM: Joint to Tom Cavell & Alex Sandberg for simply sublime passing, stamina, pace and un-selfish play.
Goal scorers: Jackson (1), Sandberg (2), Cockayne (2) and Queen (1)
Team: Chris Back (GK), Nick Hall (C), Reuben Fielding, Mark Whitmill, Adrian Gander, Chris Bailey, Chris Jackson, Duncan Field, Tom Cavell, Rob Cockayne, Alex Sandberg, Dylan Queen, James Willmott
Umpire: Geoff Bell
The 4th Xl continue their Kent Open Division 4 campaign next week in 2nd position, with two games in hand, with a home game against Gillingham Anchorians 4th Xl who are currently in 5th position.