RUGBY ROUND-UP: One point. A single point.
After 80 minutes of rugby, Warlingham suffered their latest defeat last Saturday in London 2SE when they went down 32-31 at Aylesford Bulls, who delivered plenty of beef to the game and proved that they were not a bunch of nags.
Warlingham had Tom Street in the back row after his spell of paternity leave and, in the early stages, the visitors’ pack made mince meat of Aylesford.
But the home side took an early lead with a penalty, followed by a converted penalty.
Play descended into a penalty-riddled affair but the Warlingham pack, with flanker Zack King prominent, applied pressure on the Bulls’ line until the referee awarded them a penalty try for persistent, try-preventing activity.
The Bulls made some key substitutions at half-time and a deft chip ahead by their fly-half bounced perfectly to their winger who dashed in for their second try. They looked set for a third but Warlingham centre Mark Kozminski brought off a try-saving tackle.
When lock Luke Delderfield was yellow-carded, Bulls kicked the points and stretched their lead further.
Only now did Warlingham raise their game, and with hooker James Delderfield snorting forward in charge he slipped the ball to Mikael Ahola, their Finnish international, who scored his first try for his new club. Kozminski converted.
After a simple try scored by Aylesford, Kozminski slotted a penalty, but Warlingham fell for the chip ahead again and Bulls claimed their fourth, and bonus point try and the match looked lost.
But a quick tap penalty on the Bulls try line saw Kozminksi score a try which he converted. It became a race against the clock but Warlingham were now rampant and Ahola crashed over for Warlingham’s bonus point try which Kozminski calmly converted to put Warlingham within one point of the hosts.
Within a minute of the final whistle, Warlingham were awarded a penalty just inside the Bulls’ half and, with nigh on 50 metres to cover but time running out, they opted to kicjk for the posts.
Both teams and sets of supporters held their breath as Kozminski swung his boot. To the huge delight of the home side, the ball fell just short and Bulls claimed the five-point win.
Purley John Fisher, in London 3SW, moved closer still to re-joining Warlingham next season, as their promotion surge continued thanks to a 20-8 win at Old Wellingtonians. Their cause was not assisted by results elsewhere, though, as league leaders Winchester beat Old Mid-Whitgiftians 45-0, while Weybridge won convincingly at Ellingham and Ringwood.
That leaves PJF in third place in the division, six points off Weybridge but with a game in hand. This Saturday, Purley John Fisher are at home at Parson’s Pightle against Old Blues, while Midwives host Wellingtonians.
Down in Surrey 1, Old Whitgiftians enjoyed a good away win, 17-15 at Cranleigh, while Old Walcountians, 38-17 at Old Freemans, and Croydon, 24-18 at Old Tiffinians, both lost.
Croydon travel to Kingston this Saturday, while Old Whitgiftians and Old Walcountians are both at home, against Old Wimbledonians and Cranleigh respectively.
Streatham and Croydon‘s bad patch of form continued in Surrey 2, as they lost at the Law Society, 26-12. This Saturday, Streatham and Croydon have a derby against Bec Old Boys.
Warlingham this week host Heathfield and Waldren at Hamsey Green.
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