Following the cup success last weekend against Fullerians, OC’s were looking to get the league season back up and running against Crowborough.
After a poor performance in the reverse fixture early in the season, OC’s were determined to make amends and deliver a performance. The opening exchanges were positive with OC’s linking together slick phase play and dominant running lines to have Crowborough on the back foot from the start. This momentum was rewarded with a scrum on Crowborough’s 5 metre line with the forwards driving over the opposition’s line and Andy O easily diving on the ball to give OC’s a 7-0 lead. With what was described as some of the best attacking and defensive play this season, combined with disrupting Crowborough’s set piece at will, OC’s were on the front foot and questioning Crowborough’s defence on nearly every play, but a slight lack of composure in the areas that mattered meant the scoreline did not reflect the dominance. However, more strong work from the forwards and patience on the goal line allowed captain John Fletcher to squeeze his way over and give OC’s a 14-3 lead at half-time.
The second half saw OC’s once again come out firing, with Crowborough not being able to grab any foothold in the game due to OC’s ascendency at the set piece. The forwards once again showed their patience near the line with Chris O’Malley diving over from close range after strong build up play, leaving the score at 21-3. Now with a clear buffer, OC’s went searching for the bonus point, with Dele leading the charge. However, with Crowborough going down to 13 men and becoming increasingly desperate, the game became stop start and OC’s were unable to pull away as much as they would have liked. OC’s resolute defence though meant Crowborough never looked like getting into the game and with OC’s going back to their patterns and direct running lines, slick hands from AG allowed Ed to dive over in the corner and seal the deserved bonus point. Jack Potter slotted in from the touchline to give OC’s a 28-3 lead. With time ticking down, OC’s were able to use their bench, much to the delight of Will Smith, who not being the pitch that long, claims to have made one of the runs of the game, ‘bouncing’ off their nine and slowly crossing the gain line, in what was self-described as a ‘very powerful performance’. This however, is yet to be confirmed or believed.
On the last play of the game, OC’s got a penalty in front of the sticks, with Jack Potter slotting the three and rounding off a well-deserved 31-3 win. We now look forward to Gravesend where OC’s hope to build on the momentum gained after the Christmas break.