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Home > News > Sevenoaks Extra 1st XV lose their unbeaten record
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Your News Sevenoaks Extra 1st XV lose their unbeaten record
21
OCT

Sevenoaks Extra 1st XV: 31

Gravesend II XV: 46

Sevenoaks lost their swagger as well as their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday as they threw away what looked to be a certain victory in the final minutes against Gravesend.

The Extra 1st XV were unable to hang on to the lead despite being ahead for the majority of the match, as a strong Gravesend team snatched the win in the dying minutes at Knole Paddock.

Sevenoaks fielded a much changed second string to the side that won emphatically against Thanet the week before, but it was still a strong and experienced fifteen who would have favoured themselves before kick-off.

A great start from Oaks put Gravesend on the back foot immediately when Keith Maclean’s darting run resulted in a bizarre try as a Gravesend player tackled and then proceeded to drive him over the try-line.

Giving thanks to the helping hand from the opposition defence, George Banton sent over the conversion and Sevenoaks were up and running after a couple of minutes.

A second try soon after put Sevenoaks in familiar territory with a reasonable lead very early on but a strong Gravesend team, who fielded several of their 1st XV players, were far from dead and buried.

The away side finally got some possession of the ball and wasted no time in making it count. A searing run from their centre split the Sevenoaks defence in half as they touched down near the posts for their first score of the afternoon.

Sevenoaks responded in the best possible way with a try from the kick-off as number eight Malcolm McCulloch powered his way over in the corner to put Sevenoaks back in the driving seat.

But the home team slowly lost their momentum and some poor discipline allowed Gravesend back into the game, giving away a penalty which they converted comfortably.

Oaks then spent the rest of the half trying desperately to escape from their 22 but several failed attempts to clear the ball invited Gravesend to attack the line time and again.

The away team failed to execute their position though and Sevenoaks were grateful to hear the half-time whistle without conceding anymore points.

As the teams swapped ends Sevenoaks lead 19-8 and with the sun behind them, looked to go for the jugular and seal the win early on in the second half.

A much more open forty minutes saw both sides trading scores as each team went over the line twice, but kicking both their conversions and a second penalty saw Gravesend dig into Sevenoaks’ lead with the score at 31-25 with less than quarter of an hour to go.

Sevenoaks then proceeded to implode as their organisation and communication in defence evaporated. Some poor kicking in open play allowed the away team’s speedy full-back, who had been Gravesend’s largest threat all day, to run holes through the Sevenoaks defence and a converted try after a questionable bounce of the ball inside Sevenoaks’ in-goal area put Gravesend ahead by one point.

Sevenoaks failed to address their communication problem and a quickly taken 22 drop out from the opposition just minutes later saw Gravesend run in a try from deep inside their own half.

The added conversion suddenly left Sevenoaks eight points adrift with just minutes to spare. Unfortunately it got worse for the home team as from the resulting restart Gravesend’s winger caught the ball and ran the length of the pitch to put the game beyond doubt, leaving a stunned Sevenoaks team staring at their first loss of the season, 46-31.

The Sevenoaks Extra 1st XV now hope to bounce back as they go away to Beckenham this Saturday in what will be another stern test.

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