Rugby: Tunbridge Wells charge past Kent rivals Sidcup
11th April 2019
Tunbridge Wells 17 Sidcup 10
FOUR games ago, both Tunbridge Wells and Sidcup hovered above the relegation zone in the London & South East Premier League.
However, the Kent rivals had struck such rich veins of form that when they met at St Marks the teams had risen to mid-table safety, sitting eighth and ninth respectively, both on 60 points.
Wells began poorly in the battle for county bragging rights and on four minutes Sidcup outside-half Josh Twyford slotted a 35-metre penalty.
Dave Allen, in what is likely to be his last home game before retirement, and Mike Doherty were evident throughout with ball in hand in the absence of the suspended Nick Doherty.
From a scrum penalty on the half-hour, Charlie Rigby was able to feed Doherty, who crashed through two tackles to score a deserved try under the posts. Frank Reynolds’ conversion was a -simple one.
As half-time approached, a scuffle broke out which saw both Wells’ lock Josh Hawkins and Sidcup’s scrum-half James Munton sent to cool off in the sin-bin.
Wells went in at the interval with a slim 7-3 lead but within two minutes of the restart they had fallen behind.
From a powerful push by the pack, Sidcup’s second row Joe Thomas went over for the try and Twyford’s conversion made it 10-7.
Sidcup then camped in Wells’ half but could not turn this pressure into points and Wells regained their lead through a superb individual try.
There did not seem to be much threat when the ball was fed to Doherty on the blindside 40 metres out but he beat two men with pace and guile before powering through the last tackle to score. Reynolds struck the conversion well to add the extras on the hour-mark.
The home side stretched the lead when Reynolds slotted a penalty from 30 metres, but another attempt fell short and when Allen was given a yellow card for a high tackle the game was wide open again.
Despite being a man down, intense pressure by the home side kept the visitors at bay and they held on to record their fourth win in five games.
Wells, who move up to seventh, are now away to fifth-placed Hertford in their final game of the season on Saturday [April 13, kick-off 3pm].