SUTTON AND EPSOM RFC 1St XV. 18. TUNBRIDGE WELLS RFC 1ST XV. 32.
Wells started this game with changes at hooker and second row as Stuart Nicholls took the hooker position and Christian Earle returned to the second row. In the backs Mike Doherty returned from injury to be joined in the centre by George Montgomery. Newcomer Richard Murray started on the right wing and skipper Ryan Taylor- Dennehy returned to full back.
Wells were soon dominating play and territory and after 10 minutes should have finished a sweeping move on the right but didn’t quite get there. On 11 minutes and within 2 meters of the try line on the left Sand E winger Kyren Ghumra intercepted and went the length of the field to score with Sam Hurley converting 7-0.
Within a minute though Wells had replied as skipper Taylor – Dennehy chipped over the defence for Jake Caddy to score on the left 7-5.
Wells continued to dominate in the scrummage and with turnover ball being earnt by a strong back row of Allen, Nick Doherty and Hathaway. It took though until the 26 th minute for a penetrative run from Mike Doherty to earn a penalty which Frank Reynolds kicked 7-8.
Hurley kicked another penalty on 33 mins as Wells strayed offside 10-8and then contrived whilst pressing on the S and E line to give the ball to Ghumra again who needed no prompt to sprint the length of the pitch again to increase the home sides lead at the break to 15-8.
Despite this score the Wells players and supporters believed they could take the second half as SAnd E had not breached the Wells defence in open play and had been blowing hard as the half came to a conclusion.
It did not take long to see S and E’s lead reduced as on 45 minutes Caddy threatened the home line in the corner only to be taken out with a high tackle and referee Mike Lamb signalling a penalty try 15-15.
S and E hit back shortly afterwards with a further penalty from Hurley 18-15 but by then it was one way traffic as when S and E had the ball they were one dimensional and Wells dominated possession and position.
On 56 minutes Murray took a high ball and fed wide as Mike Doherty carved an arc to the line taking the try under the posts for Reynolds to convert 18-22.
Wells continued to pin S and E in their own half as they applied the screw punching up at close quarters and then testing the home side out wide as the forwards continued to win turnover ball. Ultimately S and E had to crack and it was Mike Hathaway taking a great line from deep who took a flat pass and powered over under the posts for Reynolds to convert on 75 minutes 18-29 and the try bonus point.
The game came to a conclusion with Wells camped in the home 22 and there was still time for George Montgomery to slot a low drop goal to seal a 18-32 win which moves Wells up to 10th against an S and E side in 5th place before the game started.
Wells will need to maintain this improved form next Saturday at St Marks when they entertain Tring KO 3 00 pm.
Squad: Crosilla, Nicholls, Williams, Straeche, Josh Hawkins, Earle, Pentney, Hathaway, Allen, Nick Doherty, Edmonton, Reynolds, Murray, Montgomery, Mike Doherty, Caddy, Spicer, Taylor- Dennehy.