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Home > News > Guildford 20 - Dorking 29
Your News Guildford 20 - Dorking 29

Dorking secured their survival in London Two whilst all but consigning Guildford to the drop in a game that was dominated by some perplexing decision making from the referee. Whilst Dorking were palpably the superior team, the haste with which any breakdown was halted with a penalty meant the game had little flow or momentum. Perhaps as a result, three of Dorkingís four tries came as result of charge downs or interceptions whilst the last two tries from Guildford came in the last minute when the game was already won and defensively, the team were already in the changing rooms.

Like the fixture back in September against the same opposition, Dorking were severely disrupted by injuries on Thursday night. The bullocking Greg Bateman at hooker, the potent Qin Wiseman at no 8 and young tyro Jason Roy at fly half all dropped out. Fortunately, Dorking, having used nearly 50 players this season, are not short of cover and the reintroduction of a fit again Jason Geldenhuys and the move to fly half of Stuart Fee meant that little was lost.

It also gave Dorking the opportunity to replace a 19 year old hooker with one just a month past his 18th birthday. James Catton, who has been playing in the back row in the A XV for most of the season due to his age, slotted seamlessly in to the otherwise experienced front row. Catton, another of last yearís all conquering U17 side, clearly relished the challenge. The opportunity to play again with his former team mate, George Kruis meant that the line out was as secure as it has been all season. Having skipper Armand Roux jumping at the front also made his job easier as not many players get the better of Roux in the lineout.

Outside the forwards Fee controlled matters well; mixing deft chips and grubbers with booming positional kicks meant the home defence were never sure whether to charge up or track back. This in turn gave the backs space to roam and all the backs took advantage of this. Simon Love in particular looked dangerous in attack. After Fee had opened the scoring with an excellent long range penalty across the breeze, it was through Love and returning winger Ed Gardner that the first try was secured. Quick hands and testing lines of attack had the Guildford backs in disarray. Gardner had come back on beautiful angle and gone clean through before passing to Love who found himself with a 4 on 1 overlap. The full back didnít have a chance as Love speared past him for the try, duly converted.

Guildford came back with a penalty of their own before one of the more fortuitous tries of the season was snaffled by Richard Kemp. With the home full back moving to fly half to clear his lines, his kick was charged down and ballooned in the air in the in goal area. In the ensuing melee, Kemp rose highest to claim the ball and drop to the ground. Guildford hotly contested that he managed to ground the ball but the try was given. This time Fee pulled his conversion to leave Dorking 15-3 up at half time

Frustratingly, Dorking were slow out of the blocks in the second half, giving their hosts a lifeline with some slack defending of their own to allow them an unconverted try. At 15-8, Dorking needed to score next to put the result beyond doubt. Once again, it was a result of excellent pressure on a dithering half back that saw another returnee from injury Ben Lucas charge down the attempted clearance kick. With the bouncing ball eluding both Lucas and the kicker, Fee followed up to score his first try of the day and convert it to boot. With Dorking now stretching away to 22-8, Guildford heads dropped and their voluble spectators retreated inside to leave them to it. Shortly afterwards, Guildford suicidally attempted to run it out from under their posts only for Fee to clutch the ball out of thin air and plop over the line for his second try. Another conversion gave Fee 19 points for the day and put the result beyond doubt.

All that was left was for Guildford to show that they could have threatened so much more had they employed their three quarters a little more. Whilst Dorkingís defending in the final moments was not the best, had Guildford chosen to attack with such verve and abandon earlier in the game, one wonders if the result may have been different. However, it was not to be and although their two tries gave the score line some respectability, it is not hard to see why Guildford find themselves in the position they are.

By contrast, Dorking can be left ruing certain abysmal performances during the season but look forward to their remaining games. Technically, it still remains a possibility that they could get as high as 4th in the league table. This may involve some particularly heavy scoring but it will give the club the impetus it needs to push on next season to be serious contenders at the business end of the table. First up are Wimbledon at home on the 29th March. Dorking have assumed a Grim Reaper role in recent weeks having relegated Sevenoaks and probably Guildford and now itís Wimbledonís turn. Dorking got their biggest win of the season in the opening game and will be looking for more of the same.

Dorking squad: Elsbury, Catton, Kelly, Burgess, Kruis, Roux, Lucas B, Geldenhuys, Cummings, Fee, Keenan, Kemp, Love, Gardner, Lucas R. Subs: Carloss, Liebenberg, Williams

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