Following a strong performance last week against Crowborough, OC’s travelled down the A2 to Gravesend in search of another BP win. However, Gravesend are traditionally tough opponents so the boys would need to be at the top of their game to come out victorious.
The game kicked off with both teams trying to gain the upper hand in the initial stages. There wasn’t much to talk aboutuntil Dan Hepden (Daniel to some) made another trademark run to score under the sticks to make the score 7-0. Gravesend immediately applied the pressure and it wasn’t long before their prop scored close to the sticks to bring the score back to7-7. This score seemed to galvanize the opposition where they continued to make their way up the pitch as a result of OC’s indiscipline. With the pressure building, Gravesend scoredfrom pick a go to make the score 14-7.
With last week’s MOTM Jiggy having to come off with bloody nose syndrome, Dan H was moved to 9 with Alex Verissimo coming on to the wing. Dele was also brought on to add some much-needed physicality. This was a clearly an astute decision from the management team as within 5 minutes of coming on, Dele crossed over the line with Potter adding the extras, 14-14. This was one of the last passages of play before half time so we entered the break level. The second half started with OC’s in the ascendancy again with a number of strong carries from AOM and Angus Dalgleish who delivered another solid performance in the centres. OC’s had now camped in the oppositions 22 and after sustained pressure Chris O’Malley scored a well worked try with Potts adding the extras to make the score 21-14 to OC’s. One would have hoped that we could have pushed on from there but credit to Gravesend who came back with two successive penalties through their kicker who had a good day off the tee,21-20 to OC’s. With the game entering the last 15 minutes, Dan H once again showed his impressive speed (which clearly doesn’t run in the family) to make a good break before offloading to Ladi to score the try. Unfortunately, the kick went wide leaving the score 26-20.
With Dan Wood going to the bin for a deemed deliberate knock on, Gravesend were able to use the man advantage to score in the right-hand corner leaving a kick to take the lead. Fortunately, the kick was missed, the score 26-25 to OC’s with 3 minutes to play. With good initial game management, OC’s looked like they would run down the clock with relative ease. However, anyone who follows Colfe’s knows that the easy route is never possible. Gravesend turned the ball over and made substantial ground up the pitch working into our 22. This was until Angus Dalgleish got over the ball to secure his first turnover of his career which would signal the end of a very tough game with the final score 26-25. Importantly OC’s had picked up the maximum 5 points and can take plenty of positives from the performance.
There were some very strong performances all over the park but the MOTM was deservedly given to Dan Hepden for an excellent all round game. We move on to next week where we face Dover in what will be another tough game.