Ahola’s power helps see Warlingham through to the Finnish

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Warlingham emerged from the mid-season break to claim a much-needed victory in London 2SE, 19-10 at bottom club Heathfield and Waldron.

Warlingham take the attack to Heathfield in wet and muddy conditions last Saturday

Warlingham take the attack to Heathfield in wet and muddy conditions last Saturday

Their second successive win in the league moved Warlingham to eighth in the 12-team division, and pretty much secures their status in the league for another season.

Warlingham’s three-try win might have been even more dominating had the referee performed a more effective warm-up and so been better able to keep up with play in the early exchanges, when the pace and footwork of fly-half James Agate saw him chase his own kick-ahead and hack the ball across the try line, winning the race to get his hands on to the ball.

The referee, somewhat behind the play and without the benefits of a TMO, decided he did not see the touchdown and awarded a 22 drop-out, to the bemusement of the spectators.

Warlingham, having conceded an early penalty, were soon in front. From a quick penalty, scrum-half Joe McEvoy fed the ball to captain Zack King, who slithered over the try line for the first score. McEvoy converted.

Heathfield, who had been denied a try themselves by the referee in the first half, continued to press in the second period and quick recycled ball gave their centre a clear run in for a converted try.

But in the heavy conditions, and after a couple of weeks’ Christmas inactivity, Heathfield’s pack appeared to tire and Warlingham, with prop Antony Abou-Zeid steady as a rock, came into ascendancy.

Warlingham’s Finnish international No8 Mikal Ahola made the most of the forward momentum scoring from a rolling maul. McEvoy again added the extras.

Repeated drives from the Warlingham pack earned them a penalty deep in the Heathfield 22. The kick for goal was spurned and the quick tap eventually found experienced winger Mark Kozminski, who crashed through for the third try.

With floods across large parts of Surrey, Kent and Sussex, Warlingham was one of only three local clubs to get game time after the Christmas break – the other two being Streatham and Croydon and their namesakes, Croydon, who were able to get a game in the Surrey Shield – albeit played in Kent, at Addington Road.

Streatham and Croydon emerged 28-20 winners and will now meet Battersea Ironsides in the quarter-finals.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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