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Gravesend 47-0 Staines
Gravesend produced a performance, on Saturday, that they have promised all season, when they ran in seven unanswered tries with a workman like display at Rectory Field.
Far from the reported club in turmoil, Staines competed throughout the full eighty minutes but could not break through a resolute Gs defence to find that elusive score.
In fact it was Gs that were on the back foot as the Swans were attacking on the home five metre line, when the ball went loose; it was a Gravesend hand that retrieved it.
Slick passing, between full-back David McMurtrie and Adam Bishop, saw the latter run the full length of the park to open the scoring.
As the clock moved pass the quarter point, Chris Meddings stepped forward to slot over the conversion for 7-0.
Such was the intensity of the game, with both XVs putting in some huge hits as both defended in the middle of the park.
Gs were threatening to add to the earlier score but it was not until thirty minutes that skipper Ashley Moorey wriggled free to burst away to touch-down.
Meddings was again on target to ease the score forward to 14-0.
With half-backs Tony Nolan and Gary Gray combining well to keep the home three-quarters going forward, it was again superb passing that saw Bishop run in his second.
The last kick of the half from Meddings moved the score to 21-0 at the break.
When Jamie Newman, who had been providing good line-out ball at the back of the line, went off injured, Tomas Ford proved to be more than an able replacement.
Seven minutes in and the Swans lock-forward Nathan Orpen-Palmer was shown the yellow card and went to the bin for ten minutes.
Gravesend’s forwards, who had been working solidly all afternoon, were justly rewarded when concerted driving inside the visitor’s five metre line, saw Jamie Forsyth stretched over for the try.
Another successful kick from the tee, but, that was all they had to show for having the extra man, but this could be put down to the extra effort being made by the Swans back-row.
The visitor’s number eight, Ian Brooks, impressed throughout the game, and it was his leadership of the back-row, John Downey and Kerry Boyd, that kept Gravesend aware that they were still in a contest despite the score-line.
Try as they might, to break away with the ball, the visitors were shown no quarter in the tackle area as Gs Klus, Stevens and Riley put in some huge tackles.
Gravesend’s tight five were leading the way at they drove forward close to the break-down before releasing the half-backs to spread the ball wide.
Full-back Dave McMurtrie was showing his real game, with some fine touch finding field kicks and well timed runs to join the line for try scoring opportunities.
It was McMurtrie that started a move near the home twenty-two and was again on hand to finish it by the corner flag.
Meddings only miss of the afternoon left the score at 33-0 as the game moved in to the last fifteen minutes.
Gravesend’s forwards were keeping the ball alive with their fine support play, and when hooker Nathan Moorey tapped on a loose ball, he was adept enough to keep it controlled before touching down.
A couple of sloppy passing moves during the closing stages saw scoring chances missed, but McMurtrie had the last say as he ran in his second.
Chris Meddings added the extra points to these last two tries, bringing his kicking successes to six from seven, and a comfortable 47-0 victory.
To their credit it was the Staines Swans that were pressing the home line as the final whistle was blown.
Adam Bishop was voted Man-of-the-Match by the Saturday lunch club, “it was his score on twenty-minutes that turned the tide coupled with his all round performance in attack and defence”, that edged him front of his rivals.
There is no easy game at National 3 level, and it will be a sad day if Staines loses their place which now looks on the cards, but with Gs positive result today, they may have just turned around their season.
Team: McMurtrie, Curley, Bishop, Moorey, Meddings, Gray, Nolan, Cutting, Moorey, Forsyth, Newman, Irvine, Stevens, Riley, Klus. Rep: Lines, Ford, Clement.