|25th Jan 2020||2.00pm||1st XV||Folkestone II||Shepherd Neame Kent 4 Rural||Home||27-19|
A bright and sunny afternoon saw the visit of a young physical Folkestone side. Ash opted to wear their change colour of purple to make it easier for the ref due to a clash in colours!
A good bright start by both teams saw both sides apply pressure to each others defence on 8 minutes. Folkestone were penalised at the break down for not releasing after the tackle. Ash opted to take a kick at the posts to get early points on the board, which was sent over by Ben Gunter, great start!! Ash 3-0 Folkestone.
On 20 minutes Shaun Warren was penalised for an alleged high tackle leading to a yellow card. This meant he had to go to the sin bin for 10minutes. Folkestone made full advantage of the extra man and scored a try on 25 minutes but the conversion was missed. Ash 3-5 Folkestone.
Folkestone continued to apply the pressure and even though some strong defending by Ash, they managed to score again this time making the conversion. Unfortunately during this passage of play Ben Gunter received a knock to his arm which saw him leave the field of play for treatment with Jorge Russell as the replacement, and Andy Brown moving to fly half from full back. To add to Ash's problems Chris Ralph was shown a yellow card for another high tackle.
Despite Ash's strong defending Folkestone crossed the try line once more from a line out win and spreading the play widee to use the space and cross the white wash and the conversion was made, to add more points. Ash 3-19 Folkestone. The half time whistle blew to the relief of the Ash players, time to regroup and set up to go again.
The second half started and what a half it would prove to be, either the inspirational words from the coaching team???? (I doubt it!!) or more likely the return of the talisman and the influence?? Or Jimmy Osborn coming back from injury (welcome back mate great to see you out there again). Ben Gunter also returned after treatment to start the second half.
On 45 minutes Folkestone made a clearance from their 5 metre into touch. Ash won the following line out and after playing on 2 separate advantages for infringements at the breakdown, Ash managed to finally cross the white wash for a try, scored by Kieran Munn-Hollands, followed by a conversion. Ash 10-19 Folkestone. The come back begins !!
Then on 64 minutes following the ever increasing pressure from Ash, Folkestone made a knock on resulting in a scrum on the 5 metre line. A strong push from Ash resulted in Folkestone collapsing the scrum and a penalty awarded. Olly Lawn took a quick tap and a dive for the line only to be met by a desperate lunge from Folkestone. He managed to release the ball to offload to the on rushing Troy Larkins, to cross the line but the conversion was missed. Moral lifted and the belief rising the come back was on!! Ash 15-19 Folkestone
Then on 70 minutes a scrum was awarded to Ash, which Ash won and shipped the ball wide for another try, scored by Sam Gunter, but the conversion was missed. Ash 20-19 Folkestone.
Folkestone were then right under the cosh, as Ash turned on the pressure casing Folkestone to wander offside at the ruck. The following penalty was kicked to the corner. The line was won and a text book maul was set up with the ball in the perfect position at the back, in the safe hands of one of our more experienced players, who decided it would be best to run back towards his own posts followed by calls of run forward, just like a Sunday morning with the Under 7s!! He was duly rewarded after the game for his efforts!!!
On 75 minutes another scrum was won by Ash, and the ball ended up in the hands of Matt Radbourne to leap across the line for the final score followed by the conversion. Ash 27-19 Folkestone.
Some strong defending by Ash saw the game out and come back complete!!!
Another victory in 2020, that's 3 in a row and what a display that second half was. That Ash spirit that is inside all of us at the club, players, coaches and supporters alike never stop, never give up work for each other and everything is possible.
Lets keep it going, get behind the boys once more on Saturday at home to Cranbrook 2nd XV, kick off 2pm