Dorking vs Westcliff RFC
by Scott Richardson
Dorking went into the game against Westcliff at the weekend with a real sense of duty to put on a performance. The game against Westcliff on their patch earlier in the season had stuck in the craw of the players and coaching staff as they did not perform to the standards they set themselves. That coupled with the recent run of good performances but no results going their way, and the return of Cam Pimlow at fullback for the day, meant that expectations were high amongst the Dorking faithful at a sun-drenched Big Field.
The game started at a frenetic pace although not many real chances to speak of as both teams tested each other with jabs and feints, finding their range before attempting to land their respective haymakers and whilst Dorking had the better of the opening exchanges and the scrum carrying on from where they left off against TJ’s last week, the game took a turn when Harry Watts saw yellow.
Dorking had been giving away penalties consistently and Harry was the unfortunate owner of the straw that broke the camel’s back. From the ensuing penalty, Westcliff put the ball in the corner and pushed over from the lineout to get the games’ first points and put them seven points to the good.
As the game continued to be scrappy, the referee had a chat with both captains about their discipline. Dorking then managed to score a magnificent try from deep off first phase ball which is becoming a welcome habit of recent weeks.
The ball went wide to Cam Pimlow who gashed through the 13 channel before drawing the fullback and giving it to Tom Hunt on the wing. Hunt still had plenty to do with the scrambling cover defence steaming over at a rate of knots. Hunt managed to outpace them all and slam the ball down whilst running a full pace in remarkable display of control and delicacy to go with the raw pace to finish a wonderful try.
Matt Noble dissected the posts from out wide to bring the scores level and Dorking looked in the ascendancy. When Westcliff were on the receiving end of a yellow of their own for a late tip tackle on the returning Harry Elbrow (on for James Catton who was forced off with an injury), things were looking good for Dorking at half-time.
Prior to the half-time whistle, the heavens opened and what was meant to be a short shower, turned out to be a deluge for the best part of 40 minutes, threatening to turn an open game into a dour scrum-fest. Testament to both teams that, regardless of the conditions, they both endeavoured to keep throwing the ball around.
The second half began with Dorking’s scrum earning a penalty for yet another mammoth shove to make it 10-7. The game began to open up some more as Westcliff had to push for points.
They gave away a penalty in the Dorking 22, Matt Noble saw an opportunity to go quick and that doesn’t seem to do it justice! He burned through the first line of defence before sending a pass wide to Ed Carne (who performed admirably on the wing all day) who looked destined to be bundled into touch, only to pop the ball inside for the supporting runner, Harry Watts, to make amends for his earlier indiscretion.
The final score of the day also went to Dorking when, after some consistent pressure on the Westcliff line, the ball found Ed Carne stepping in at first receiver, who lofted a sumptuous cross field kick out to Tom Hunt to take it in stride and dot down for his second try of the day and Carne’s second try assist. The game finished 20-7 in Dorking’s favour and marked the end of a savage run of defeats.
DoR, Armand Roux, had this to say:
“It was really pleasing to show glimpses of what we can achieve today.
“Our scrums were really working well, and was great to see us maintain the pressure earning nine penalties.
“Good performances all round, but especially pleasing to see young Brandon Sweet making his debut at prop as well as Cameron Pimlow playing his first league game of the year for us after injury struck in preseason.
“We are really looking forward to another big week at training and to carry this momentum into Amersham.”
A hugely deserved win after a torrid few weeks and what was equally pleasing to see was a frustration at not winning by more. Positive signs for the final stretch of the season and a win that perhaps allows for a little breathing room from the bottom of the table.
Team: Fred Evans, James Catton, Ben Edwards, Finn Osborne, Jasper King, Jonny Ellis, Oli Edwards, Harry Watts, Zack Woodcock, Matt Noble (c), Ed Carne, Fraser MacDonald, Mike Terelak, Tom Hunt, Cam Pimlow, Brandon Sweet, Harry Elbrow, Stuart Watkins.