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Home > News > Dorking 14 - Gravesend 10
Your News Dorking 14 - Gravesend 10

It had been nervy all week. News of the level of toxic debt at Lehman would have been bad enough. But Merrill being taken out on the cheap in a Treasury bail-out had club members glued to their Reuters screens nervously awaiting news, any news, of the fate of The Bank of New York and whether the Newks Dorking player communications center would survive the global meltdown in financial services. That Ian had secured his personal player sponsorship from “Mrs Newks” only increased the sense of foreboding. In deepest Mayfair, the heartland of the hedge funds, Tap contemplated the correct portfolio weighting between gilts and equities amidst such turmoil as he stroked the pure white Persian purring in his lap.

We’d sure picked a great week to launch the senior squad player sponsorship programme.

Tuesday saw over fifty at training motivated partially at least to hear the latest intelligence on which ailing stock to short but predominantly in response to the pressure for places following a clean sweep the previous week end. Early season individual and team performance had given the Selection Committee some tough choices and the A XV team sheet that emerged from the Committee Room was the strongest for many years. News of Jamie O’Brien’s selection in the A’s took six percent off the market cap of his Sponsor, Box Hill Caravans calling into question their marketing campaign with Jamie as “The Face of Box Hill Caravans”. It was getting really ugly out there.

Relief, we thought would come in the form of Gravesend arriving at a sun drenched Big Field for the first home league fixture of the season. From the get go it was apparent that “The Gs” were going to be a far tougher proposition than the rather porous Maidstone the previous week. The two packs appeared evenly matched in the opening exchanges and the lively Gravesend half -backs Clement and Ballard frequently had the Dorking defence on its back foot. But for the proverbial try saver of a tackle from centre Simon Love, the first of several standout moments in a virtuoso performance, and the visitors would have taken a not undeserved lead. Instead after some ferocious counter rucking from Carlos and Roux it was left to Love to open the scoring with a routine penalty having previously fallen short with an ambitious range finder from half way. First blood Dorking, but only three nil and after half an hour. An unseemly number of penalties in both directions stemmed any real flow or shape to the game until Adam Kelly produced an unexpectedly athletic take and turn under a high ball from which Dorking through the tireless Terelak and lively Liebenberg worked their way to the Gravesend 22. Quick ball allowed Noble to release Love to once more unseat the Gravesend defence with a characteristic dip of the shoulder to send Rob Clarke over for the first touch down of his Dorking career. With ELV derived penalties continuing to go both ways with undue regularity, Gravesend profited with first a penalty and then the despatch of back row Qin Wiseman to the sin bin to cool his heels pinged for persistent infringement at the break down in the eyes of Mr Dillon the visiting London Society official. 8-3 Dorking at the break.

Talk on the touchline was of foreign exchange exposures and the likelihood of Dorking finding greater rhythm in the second half and the fluency that the side is clearly capable of. Instead Gravesend began to press home their numerical advantage with the sizeable Fijian Stevens brothers in the back row putting themselves about to good effect, enjoyed much the better of field position. A disallowed Gravesend seemingly good try for obstruction, was shortly followed by a well-worked converted try following a dummy and dart from centre Austin Saunders. Momentum had well and truly swung to the visitors. As the game wore on the pattern emerged of Dorking working their way into good positions only for unforced errors and an increasing penalty count to prohibit mounting any sustained pressure. A nonplussed scrum half and vice captain Ollie Cummings was next to incur the referee’s displeasure swapping places with Wiseman in the sin bin for his fractional delay in releasing the tackler at the breakdown. As the clock wound down a home victory looked increasingly unlikely until a scintillating break from full back Stuart Fee resulted in another penalty deep in Gravesend territory which Love, in Leodensian like silence around the ground, nervelessly dissected the goalposts to establish a slender lead. Aggressive defence from Lucas, Catton and McDougall, replacing the injured Wiseman repelled Gravesend’s inevitable last ditch kitchen sink efforts. Fittingly for this game at least it ended with a further penalty, which Love once more converted to close the position in a tight game in profit. Skipper Roux was clearly relieved at the finish: “Having to play for twenty minutes with fourteen men against a well drilled outfit, I am happy to take any form of win.” Director of Rugby Richie Andrews concurred; “ I thought the boys showed great character and composure to come back at the death. That wouldn’t necessarily have happened last year. It was a very different experience grinding out a result today from the try fest of last week and yet you get two points just the same.”

Ted and Justin had a Clatworthys moment to record their first fifteen debuts. Rob Clarke (and Newks) live to fight another day. With whopping great wins for the As and Extra As (both to nil) the turn out at training is again expected to be strong.

Man of the Match Simon Love – Absolute Self Storage

Squad; Fee (Ian Dixon GCF Bespoke Framers), Terelak, Clarke, Love (Absolute Self Storage), Kemp, Noble (Chris Brown (Electrical) Limited, Cummings (Arty P’s Dorking), Wiseman (St John’s Leatherhead), Lucas (Barber One Dorking), Roux (International Sports Marketing Limited), Watts, Carloss (G Bell Esq), Kelly (Chris Brown (Electrical) Ltd) , Catton (JJ Whispers Reigate), Leibenberg (Mick Williams) , Bambridge, Mc Dougall (Absolute Self Storeage)

Stop Press Stop Press Stop Press

Further player Sponsorship announced

Ryan Lucas has received an offer of sponsorship from the Under 13s Mums. Good Luck Ryan.

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