After weeks of training in the mosquito-ridden hell of the Leathersellers and some disappointing pre-season fixtures it was finally time for league rugby. The sun was shining, the pitch was sand-free, the lunch was in full swing and all the omens were good.
With 4 debutants and a modified warm up there was a sense of new things afoot. However some things don’t change and OCs got off to a slow start, failing to gather the kickoff and immediately conceding a penalty in our own territory. Fortunately for us it was missed and the game began to swing in our favour.
Once out of our own 22 a few line breaks saw us awarded a scrum 5 meters out which lead to a pushover try for captain and temporary no8 John Fletcher (far less gracefully than some previous colfes 8s would have managed). 3 minutes later a scrum in our own 22 saw Dan Hepden burst his way through the midfield to run the length of the pitch and make his way past fullback to score an absolute blinder.
Shortly after the best team try for a while followed as 3 swift set moves saw Estefan finish with a powerful run. This was followed by a 20 minute spell with colfes early in possession and mostly in their own 22 as Maidstone’s persistence forced OCs to concede penalty after penalty before being caught on the short side men down and our foes duly executed the overlap to score. HALF TIME 21-7
After the struggles before half-time Colfes fired back after the half and the third quarter saw first 5/8 Jack Potter take an intelligent tap and go to set up Chris Harris who ghosted past his opposite man to score. A lovely attacking move then saw Jack take a try of his own followed swiftly by another for Estefan. Debutante Joe scored a try with a surprisingly powerful pick and go , which was mirrored by a similarly barnstorming effort from AG who was dragged down short by 5 defenders leaving Charlie “Andy Baker’s brother’s son” Baker to finish.
All in all a fine day at Horn Park with the backs relishing their moment in the sun and the home crowd leaving well satisfied. MOTM was well earned by Ladi who for 80 minutes was essentially omnipresent so good was his work-rate. Next week, we are welcomed by Crowborough.